Foundations of Public Administration
March 4, 2013
Dr. John Bathke
Updating the gun control policies in the United States will change the way a person can obtain a weapon and the type. This is done in the hopes of reducing the amount of gun violence and deaths that has increased over the years. Discussed in this paper will be the identification of a current public policy controversy in the news today. I will analyze the scope of the public policy concern. Identified will be the stakeholders and affected constituents as well as the political institutions that are relevant to the policy discussion about the issue of gun control. I will offer opinion on a solution to the problem in which I favor and discuss the factors that contributed to my decision. It will be discussed if the issue of gun control is an issue that should be addressed by the federal and state governments. Finally, explaining how much the issue of gun control cost Americans and the cost to address the issue of gun control. Gun control is the current public policy controversy in the news today. Before Barack Obama took office, he put in a plea for the US to do “what it takes” to eliminate gun violence (Obama aiming for gun control, 2008). This plea was made after the Northern Illinois University shooting, which occurred on February 14, 2008, when Steven Kazmierczak killed five people including himself and injured twenty one others. There have been many other incidents before this that has resulted in an enormous loss of life. For example, the incident in Blacksburg, Virginia, on April 16, 2007, was Seung-Hui Cho, killed thirty-three and injured twenty-three at Virginia Tech. In the last year, gun violence has been increasingly on the rise. In 2012, many tragic events occurred were high powered guns were involved. Just to name a few on December 14, 2012, in Newton, Connecticut, Adam Lanza, shot his mother and then went to Sandy Hook Elementary School where he killed twenty-eight and injuring two. On June 20, 2012, James Holmes, 24, opened fire in Aurora, Colorado, in a theater injuring fifty-eight and killing twelve. Right after the killings in Connecticut, Senator Barbara Boxer and other gun control advocates wanted to ban the “access to high-powered firearms and high-capacity ammunition clips, and tighten requirements for background checks before guns can be purchased (United States: US lawmakers mull gun control after Connecticut school shootings, 2012).” In analyzing the scope of public policy concern as it relates to gun control. The concern is mostly of the laws and how they are being enforced. In order to completely understand gun control policies I will review all policies leading up to the current era. I will start with the 2nd amendment to the United States Constitution. The Second Amendment states: “ A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed (Head, n.d.) .” The argument now is that the United States has the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Marines, and this constitutes that it is protected and therefore there is no need for persons to keep and bear arms. The first federal gun control law was enacted in 1934, The National Firearms Act, which taxed firearms under 18 inches and machine guns. It also required the registration of guns. In the decision of U.S. V. Miller (1939), found “that there is no individual right to bear arms independent of national self-defense (Head, n.d.).” In 1968, after the assassinations of President John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., the Gun Control Act was enacted. Under this act the sale of guns to felons, drug users and the mentally ill is prohibited. The legal age to purchase a gun went up to twenty-one and gun dealers have to obtain licenses. Interstate sale restrictions were also added. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) a...
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