Assignment for an English class - Federal policy and the war on gun ownership
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Assignment for an English class - Federal policy and the war on gun ownership

This is a discussion on Assignment for an English class - Federal policy and the war on gun ownership within the Politics forums, part of the Main Category category; For an English class I had to write a letter or paper that would be sent to a newspaper or ...

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    Default Assignment for an English class - Federal policy and the war on gun ownership

    For an English class I had to write a letter or paper that would be sent to a newspaper or posted to a public forum. I know that opinions and responses are likely to be strong so I wanted to preface it with this. Please keep in mind the following few things before posting a reply: All the information in this paper has been thoroughly researched and verified with legitimate sources. While I have and express my opinion in this paper it is not in keeping with my typical political views but is based on that research, so please don't try to dismiss this based on what you might come to think my political beliefs are. And ultimately the purpose of this is not to change anybody's mind but to make people think before they make up their mind, so please don't be offended if you disagree.

    It is quite long, so thank you for taking the time to read it. Also I would be grateful for any constructive feedback you might have on the topic, as the next part of this assignment requires that I write some kind of public proposal relating to the topic discussed. So, here it is...



    I recently purchased a handgun. Since I have that right, I felt I also had the responsibility to ensure I kept and used it safely, so I took a concealed weapons class. Not really intending to carry my gun regularly, I thought it would be good to learn about the laws, how I needed to carry and store a firearm when going to the range, and general safety issues I might be unaware of.

    I did learn those things, but I learned a lot more along the way, having had no idea the level of indoctrination I would undergo as I found myself entering American gun culture. I was especially surprised when I learned about a mass conspiracy by the Obama administration to take away our guns!

    That’s what I was told anyway. That and how the National Rifle Association (NRA) is the only thing stopping them. I was also offered a $10 discount on the price of an NRA membership. But I didn’t buy it, the membership or the conspiracy theory. I researched instead.

    It turns out that the number of Americans in favor of increasing gun control increased from 72% in 1972, to 79% in 2008, according to the General Social Survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center. However, according to social polls conducted by Gallup, the number of people in favor of a ban on guns has decreased by more than 10 percent in that same time frame to less than 30% of Americans being in favor of making firearms illegal.

    This is interesting when compared to laws that were passed at the federal level during the same time period. From 1972 to 2008 there were six new federal gun laws enacted. All of these laws increased gun control with provisions such as establishing harsher penalties for illegally possessing or discharging a firearm in a school zone, and requiring trigger locks on newly made handguns. One law also lessened restrictions on the sale of some guns, while another established a system that made it possible to have background checks performed over the phone so that guns could be more easily purchased.

    It could be argued that two laws crossed the line between gun control and gun prohibition. One made armor-piercing, “cop-killer” bullets illegal, and the other banned guns that were classed as assault weapons. However, many people were in favor of banning armor-piercing rounds, all attempts to renew the ten year assault weapon ban have failed, and the federal government even overturned a local ban on handguns in Washington D.C.

    So it certainly seems as though federal gun control policy has fallen in line with what the public wants. Yet last year, the President of the NRA was still talking about “a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and destroy the second amendment.” Despite these claims, he also admitted that President Obama has not pushed for new gun control laws and has put off calls from the Democratic Party to renew the ban on assault weapons.

    When I read about how Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney took the stage to address the NRA in April, things started to come a little more in to focus. Romney warned that if Obama were to be elected for a second term he would be “unrestrained by the demands of re-election,” and, supposedly, ready to start this long awaited war on the second amendment.

    And it has been long awaited. The war against gun ownership should have happened by now. In 2008 the NRA spent millions of dollars on ads that warned of how the Obama administration would take away the guns of law-abiding citizens all over the country. Gun and ammo sales went through the roof, and even led to a national civilian ammunition shortage. But the war never happened.

    Now they are doing it again. The NRA is being even more insistent because they seem to think that a President in his second term can go unchecked. Once again engaged in fear-mongering, they are proselytizing the end of gun rights as we know them. But if there really is no threat, then why cause such a panic?
    The NRA had an income of $227.8 million dollars in 2010. This was raised by people paying membership fees, buying merchandise, and making donations so that the organization will keep defending their gun rights. One of the main reasons to become an NRA Member is to help fund their efforts to shape public policy through political lobbying. So the more people think the second amendment is in danger, the more money they are willing to give to the NRA.

    Mitt Romney wants to be President. There are many people that feel strongly enough about a single issue that it dictates how they vote. Politicians know this and often use it to their advantage. The media has exposed us to many people that would have us believe that if their opposition takes power it will ultimately lead to national disaster.

    But just like the right to own a gun, the right to vote comes with responsibilities. The main responsibility of which is to make an informed decision. This should be done by analyzing facts and not listening to hyperbole. If you are going to vote based on any issue, then look in to the facts surrounding that issue and don’t just listen to the political rhetoric.

    The NRA wants to keep making money and the Republican Party want to win an election. One of the ways for both of them to attain those goals is to make you think that there is a serious threat to your second amendment rights. But history has shown that federal gun regulations fall in line with public opinion, which is more strongly in favor of keeping our guns than it has been in decades.

    You should decide who you vote for. But know that if you vote based solely on claims that there is a conspiracy to take away your right to bear arms, you are most likely wasting your vote. There are so many other things at stake, things that can and will actually happen depending on who is elected.

    So please, take time to learn the truth. Think for yourself. And vote.
    Last edited by Mark Chitty; 06-08-2012 at 02:18 AM. Reason: Corrected an error that was pointed out.

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    All I can say is that the fact that Obama will feel unrestrained and unaccountable to the American people was made clear by him when he was caught on an open mike telling the Russians to hang in there until after the elections when he will be free to act. The danger to the Second Amendment goes much deeper than Obama, the left as a whole is against guns and drooling at the possibility of trampling it, their leader with no worries about running again just makes it more dangerous.

    I agree that many of the organizations will exaggerate threats in order to rally the membership and increase fund raising, but make no mistake, the threat is clear and present

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    You sound extremely biased against guns so if you were going for pure objectivity, you missed.
    By the way your reference to the D.C. gun ban is extremely false.
    You claim:

    "and when local government tried to enact a ban on all handguns in Washington D.C., the federal government stepped in and overturned it."

    The ban was in place from 1976 through 2008 until the US Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domineaux View Post
    You sound extremely biased against guns so if you were going for pure objectivity, you missed.
    By the way your reference to the D.C. gun ban is extremely false.
    You claim:

    "and when local government tried to enact a ban on all handguns in Washington D.C., the federal government stepped in and overturned it."

    The ban was in place from 1976 through 2008 until the US Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional.
    Thanks for pointing out that mistake. I had originally listed all the federal action taking regarding gun law during the given time period, but had to cut it because it made the paper a lot longer and harder for some to read. So this bit about the ban in D.C. was very poorly worded on my part when I did my summation.

    As for objectivity, it didn't need any because I was supposed to write about something that irritated me. I'd like to know what particularly makes you think I'm biased against guns though, because I'm absolutely not. I love my gun and I love that I can own guns. That's why I wanted to write something about guns. I am biased against misinformation and that was what I was really trying to get across.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Chitty View Post
    I am biased against misinformation and that was what I was really trying to get across.
    Then you should cite your sources and publish links for verification.
    “There are no stupid questions, only stupid people.”- Mr. Herbert Garrison
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    "Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still."- D. Carnegie

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    I don't see how citing sources and posting links applies to the section of my reply that you quoted. But I did correct the mistake I made. It's the next stage of this assignment that will require I cite sources when I put together a public proposal to address the issue I brought up in this piece. It really would be helpful to my writing if you could tell me what about the paper made you think I was biased against guns. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Chitty View Post
    As for objectivity, it didn't need any because I was supposed to write about something that irritated me. I'd like to know what particularly makes you think I'm biased against guns though, because I'm absolutely not. I love my gun and I love that I can own guns. That's why I wanted to write something about guns. I am biased against misinformation and that was what I was really trying to get across.
    You make it sound like the NRA and Republicans in general are intentionally misleading the gun owning public to generate unsubstantiated fear that Obama and other Democrats are hostile to gun ownership. This in fact appears to be the entire point of your essay (something that irritates you) but you fail to acknowledge that there are many real world examples supporting the fact that they are hostile to gun owners and pose a legitimate threat to our rights. There are a great many quotes of Obama and other top Democrats representing their open hostility towards gun ownership, there have been many efforts by federal agencies under the Obama administration to undermine existing laws related to gun ownership/purchasing and many attempts at new laws that are quite restrictive of gun owner rights.

    You are more than welcome to "feel" that the NRA and Republicans are just out to manipulate the gun owning public into more active support but if you fail to educate yourself fully on what readily available examples already exist, and then essentially promote your "feelings" as fact to your teacher/class, all you will do is promote false information that is likely to lead them down an anti-gun path or at least make them a little more apathetic towards gun rights and the very real fight to retain and enhance them.
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    Also your edit on my previous point about the D.C. handgun ban did not correct it.
    It now says "federal government even overturned a local ban on handguns in Washington D.C." when it should say that the Supreme Court overturned the ban as unconstitutional. You could mention the same for Chicago as well and even go further to indicate how both D.C. and Chicago have gone to extraordinary lengths to maintain a de facto ban via policy requirements that are nearly impossible to meet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Chitty View Post
    And it has been long awaited. The war against gun ownership should have happened by now. In 2008 the NRA spent millions of dollars on ads that warned of how the Obama administration would take away the guns of law-abiding citizens all over the country. Gun and ammo sales went through the roof, and even led to a national civilian ammunition shortage. But the war never happened.
    [/SIZE]
    The war on citizen gun ownership started with the very first bans and/or registration legislation.

    You also fail to see the obvious. You say that an Obama war on gun ownership has failed to materialize. Two subjects here. "Gunwalker" and the pending "UN Small Arms Treaty".

    Respectfully, you really should either do more research, or try to see the truth. Gun control isn't even an issue when it comes to my 2012 vote for president. Why? Because I have done my research and do think for myself. Good luck with your paper.


    I used to be a government-educated stooge. By the grace of God, I repent. -Robert Burris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Domineaux View Post
    Also your edit on my previous point about the D.C. handgun ban did not correct it.
    It now says "federal government even overturned a local ban on handguns in Washington D.C." when it should say that the Supreme Court overturned the ban as unconstitutional. You could mention the same for Chicago as well and even go further to indicate how both D.C. and Chicago have gone to extraordinary lengths to maintain a de facto ban via policy requirements that are nearly impossible to meet.
    The point I'm trying to make by discussing the gun laws that have been passed at the federal level is that they have fallen in line with public opinion. This includes the overturning of the gun ban in D.C. because the supreme court is a branch of the federal government. I understand that local lawmakers in several parts of the country are attacking the second amendment, and probably should have mentioned that because it is obviously a very large component of people's fears. I was trying, and failing to be concise when I left that out, and since it's clearly alienating my readers I'll make sure to convey that in the next step of my assignment.

    How would you guys feel if I re-framed the piece to be less about how irritated I am because I believe the NRA and the Republican party are exaggerating the threat on the federal level, and more about how I believe that the federal government will uphold our gun rights because history has shown that to be the case. I understand you might still completely disagree with that since SR40c brought up a couple of more recent topics. But since there is a congressional hearing looking to make people accountable for the "Gunwalker" incident and there's no way the UN small arms treaty will get two thirds of the votes necessary for senate approval, aren't these both proof that the system of check and balances is working in this regard? Would a piece about having more faith in the system be more appealing?

    Thanks so much for your feedback. It's really helpful!

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