Politics on gun control in the United States have been taking different directions since time immemorial, and politicians have been arguing over this issue since 1934 and regulations of the same have been enacted time and again without success (Wilson, 2007). Recently, the politics on this issue took a different direction when the advocates taking on this issue stated that, it only through the enacting of federal rules that the government can be in a position to curb the vice once and for all (Wilson, 2007). This brought sharp political comments given that, the advocates were also asking for private guards to be relieved off their guns or alternatively they have all their fire arms registered. They continued to observe that, the constitution was not against this and it as well did not come with any cost (Wilson, 2007). This essay will attempt to analyze this recent political event on guns control in the United States using the five principles of political action in order to elaborate the issue and bring out the outcome. The essay will also attempt to identify any results emanating from this analysis that cannot be explained using these principles of political action.
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The first principle of political action states that: All political behavior has a purpose. Political action is merely a "means to an end" or a process to achieve something. Political action requires "premeditation and effort" and seeks to accomplish some sort of goal, whether trivial or instrumental (i.e., whether it's to demand civil rights for a minority group or force park patrons to clean up their dog's feces). Putting this into consideration in the politics of gun control, it is clearly seen that, the debate will result to something either good or bad for the society. For those who are politicking the whole idea to have citizens allowed to have guns, they have a sole purpose of wanting to have rights to own guns. On the sides of politicians especially, the idea of having private guards relieved off their fire arms does not augur well with them. They think that, by their guards in public and back at home being relieved of their weapons, they will be exposed to insecurity.
Going by the first principle in regard to advocate's view, their sole purpose of engaging in the politics on gun control is to ensure that the private guards whether trained or untrained should surrender all their firearms or registered them all together (Wilson, 2007). In order to solicit for support on the same, they argue that, the constitution does not hinder for such an arrangement and that the move does not charge anything extra on top (Wilson, 2007). In yet another achievement that the advocates would like to make is to block the move of fire arm transfer from one person to the next. This proves that any time politics on something crops up, politicians and the parties interested are fighting to achieve something (Wilson, 2007).
Although this principle to some extent is true, it does not seem to work in some situations if the following explanation on gun politics is anything to go by (Wilson, 2007). On the recent politics on guns, some groups still argue that, with so many people being allowed to have guns it will help to curb crime in American cities (Wilson, 2007). This would definitely reduce the hustle and bustle of the police in their attempt to pin down the offenders in a given criminal activity. The principle argues that, politics on an issue are all about achieving something, or with an intended purpose. In such a situation, if police are relieved of their duties, neither the politicians nor the advocates on this issue will tend to gain anything from it (Wilson, 2007).
The second principle states that, All Politics is Collective Action. Compromises and bargains, both formal and informal, make up the bulk of political action, because any political action is beset by the collective action problem. This principle is based on the collective action dilemma, a problem that invites free-riding, which then can be corrected by applying the by-product theory, which applies selective benefits to participants in return for their participation. However, this principle is still compounded by the tragedy of the commons. This principle means that sometimes people engage in politics knowing very well that, the repercussions which will emanate from the decision they are going to make will affect all i.e. collectively. The mob psychology is the one used to push thing to happen.
Still on the same politics on gun control, the politicians enjoy the free riding when they are making decisions collectively (Bruce & Wilcox, 1998). In some cases, some people just follow others blindly without having a concrete reason for doing so. The collective bargaining leads to a lot of things happening (Bruce & Wilcox, 1998). When the politics on gun control encompasses and then an agreement is reached to allow all and sundry to posses' guns, the consequences will affect many. Such a decision affects the majority, while it is only a few people who made that decision (Bruce & Wilcox, 1998).
In the United States, the politics on gun emanates from such issues as some careless people who use guns in places where guns are not even supposed to be used. These are places such as schools, hospitals and so forth (Bruce & Wilcox, 1998). When such politics come up, going by the second principle of political actions, politicians and the parties who engage in such politics don't seem to put such in their mind and end up free riding in a collective bargaining (Bruce & Wilcox, 1998). They do so knowing very well it will affect majority. In the recent debate about guns in the United States, the debate revolved around whether guns should be banned completely (Bruce & Wilcox, 1998). In what appeared rather strange, most people were debating not looking at the repercussions that will emanate from such an act. The politics that majority supported was not to burn guns completely (Bruce & Wilcox, 1998). Majority did not even like the idea of reducing the number of arms in the United States. All this can be explained using the second principle that, people engaged in politics of banning guns collectively whether in a formal way or informal way (Bruce & Wilcox, 1998). A good portion of people after heated politics on the issue were interviewed on which side they supported whether for citizens to be allowed to have guns or not, an overwhelming 60% were of the idea of people being allowed to own guns (Bruce & Wilcox, 1998). Most of those who made these decisions did so out of being convinced by the rest who were also suffering from collective bargaining and free riding and formal and informal bargaining (Bruce & Wilcox, 1998).
The third principle argues that, Institutions Structure Politics. The political action is shaped and structure by the rules, procedures and the institution. Like the rules or procedures of a sport, they determine the "game." Therefore, varying institutions create varying types of political action. This principle encompasses jurisdiction (what authority do the institutional members have), decisiveness (what rules are in place to reach decisions), agenda and veto power (what the institutional members consider important for discussion or what they can effectively block), and delegation (who delegates or represents the interests).
For instance, in the recent politics about the control of guns, many institutions came on board to have their say on the same. They have since helped on shaping the direction on which such the issue will head. For instance, the law enforcers, in this case the police had their say on the matter (Bruce & Wilcox, 1998). When some groups, were arguing that allowing people to own guns would help in reducing the rate of crime the law enforcers held a different view (Bruce & Wilcox, 1998). They argued that, by allowing people to have guns without putting restrictive actions, it would be very difficult on their side to curb criminal activities given that they fear for their lives just in case the criminals decide to use the weapon on them (Bruce & Wilcox, 1998). The same was echoed by the institutions of advocates, who were for the idea of a law being put by the federal government to restrict the transfer of guns from one person to the next (Bruce & Wilcox, 1998). In the same breath, the institutions of advocates also held the idea that, all private guards whether trained or untrained should not be allowed to own guns. They had the view that, this was reducing the police into puppets and it would be very difficult to differentiate between state police and private guards (Bruce & Wilcox, 1998).
Still on the same politics of gun control, the political institutions also took part in decision making. According to polls from a reliable source, the democrats and republicans took positions in the whole debate (Squires, 2000). The democrats are ever supporting the idea of having what are said to be stricter laws on the control of guns (Squires, 2000). This is different from the republicans who are ever supporting the idea of having laws which are less strict in controlling guns. On the same 25% of the republicans who engaged in politics about gun control and 14% of the democrats decided to remain neutral on the whole political game (Squires, 2000). This helped a lot in shaping the direction in which the political debate on guns took. The political decisions made by the two political institutions, helped a lot in shaping of the public opinion as well (Squires, 2000).
The fourth principal on the political action states that, Political Outcomes are the Products of Individual Preferences and Institutional Procedures (the Policy Principle).Results of Politics=Policy. This principle is really just a combination of Principle I through Principle III. It is the link between the institutions and the individual preferences or purposes that produce a political outcome. (Seen in all political outcomes, from civil rights movements, unionization, or more directly, subsidization of factory farms for the production of corn) Also applies to the representation of the institution (the ambition of a delegate or representative is to get re-elected). This is really about the "roads" or ways that a person or group can affect or bring about a political outcome -- the "series of chutes or ladders that shape, channel, filter, and prune the alternatives from which ultimate policy choices are made." ( Lowi et al, 20)
If the above principle was to be applied on the recent politics on guns control it is crystal clear that indeed politics result to policies whether bad or good (Squires, 2000). The Supreme Court of the United States which was another institution that took part in the politics on gun control argued that, debates about the same have always led to some policies being put in place by the congress. They backed u their argument with what took place in 2008 (Squires, 2000). The congress decided to hike the prices of fire arms in order to discourage most people from owning them. If the forth principle on political actions is anything to go by, politics usually lead to policies (Squires, 2000).
Oppositions about the same issue have been there and are indeed very powerful. Those who oppose believe that, policies emanating from the federal authority as a result of too much politics do not help a lot (Carter, 2006). The have a feeling that, the policies do not help in keeping away guns from individual of high risk and that the policies are putting too much burdens on citizens who are following the law to the latter (Carter, 2006). The policy, from their observation should be amended. Still on the same, there were arguments that allowing people to have guns would curb criminal activities (Carter, 2006).
Other policies which are well known to have emanated from politics are the constitutional act of 1934 and 1964 (Carter, 2006). The act or call it a policy after a series of politics was passed and it tightened the requirements that an individual should have in order to be allowed to posses a gun. It also increased heavily on the tax an individual should pay anytime a gun is being transferred from one individual to the next (Carter, 2006). The policy that was enacted in 1968 restricted selling of guns using mail order stores. The states were also restricted on allowing young people from transferring the fire arms (Carter, 2006).
The fifth principle on political actions states that, How We Got Here Matters (the History Principle). This principle confronts historical circumstances. Political outcomes or choices made in previous times affect the political outcome of the present. Argues for path dependency, or that certain political possibilities are made more or less likely because of previous historical events, i.e. certain voting rules created in prior centuries tend to create a two-party system, or certain historical events or past political choices "shape current viewpoints and perspectives."
The above principle is true if what is happening in the United States is anything to go by. From the political debates which took place in the country regarding the same issue of gun control, there are some decisions which were made and have come to affect the country so much (Carter, 2006). For instance, the 1934 decision by the congress of allowing individuals to own guns on very strict rule did not help a lot (Carter, 2006). The effects are still being seen today. There have been many cases of violence emanating from use of guns. Statistics indicate that, over 10,000 individuals are killed in each given year by guns (Carter, 2006). In the United States, decisions which were not very strict were made following cheap politics by members of the congress and he effects are being seen today (Carter, 2006). In yet another study on the same issue, it was noted that, the United States is among the leading nations in the world with the highest percentage of fire arms. The hand guns are widely used by criminals and ordinary people in ending lives of others (Carter, 2006).