Gun Control.  

Posted by Jessica in ,

In public policy courses you learn how policy entrepreneurs use a "focusing event" to attach to their "solutions." It's inevitable and it will happen with any focusing event. Hmmm, I should provide an example. Let's use 9/11. 9/11 was a focusing event for many reasons. It moved several issues to the top of governmental and media agendas. Issues such as terrorism, immigration, airplane safety, airport safety, national security, etc...Is this clear?

Policy entrepreneurs are those who have solutions that are floating around, waiting to be attached to an event that happens that makes it easier to sell your solution. Can you imagine before 9/11 being told you can't line up at the front lavatory on an airplane? Now I think most people hear that policy and don't think twice about it.

With the Columbine shooting in 1999, many policy entrepreneurs used that focusing event to attach the solution of gun control. Still others tried to attach more regulation with video games, movies, music, etc...Some entrepreneurs used it to point out how unsafe schools are, and should we install metal detectors?

The focusing event of the Virginia Tech shootings should reveal many "solutions" that have been created and it will be interesting to see what these "solutions" are. I think we can all agree that gun control will be one solution, though the shooter using two legally obtained hand guns, so the sell of gun control will be harder than it was for Columbine. This brings me to a place I don't like to be in. I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other about gun control right now. I support our Constitution and I support the right to bear arms. I don't support the idea of everyone having access to any gun that exists, like an AK 47. However, when you illegalize something, a black market is created. Let's use the issue of the criminalization of drugs. If I want to buy illegal drugs, I can do it. It won't be legal and I could be jailed if caught, but I can get access to illegal drugs. The same thing is true for guns. If we create more gun control, how do we combat a growing black market that lines the pockets of criminals with more money? Do we ignore a growing black market because we think we are doing the right thing? What about studies that have been done that have shown that crime in other countries has increased due to stricter gun control laws? I haven't investigated the studies enough to see if the methodology is correct and if other variables that affect crime rate were accounted for. However, is it really as simple as creating more laws will lead to lower crime rates? Do the issues of crime and school shootings have a myriad of causes that work together to make the United States such a violent and scary country to live in?

There are many unanswered questions in regards to the effectiveness of gun control. Right now, I am open to any data that can be produced and shown to me, for either side, because this is definately something that will remain on the media agenda and gun control could reach the governmental agenda as well.


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