CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, LOS ANGELES |
POLICY RESEARCH PAPER |
POLS 462 PUBLIC POLICY |
Victor Chang |
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It can be easily argued that we are currently living in a culture of violence. As we watch, read or listen to the news; daily incidents of individuals becoming victims of gun violence trumps the headlines. With tragic incidents such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut that occurred in December of 2012, as well as the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado in July of 2012 occurring less than six months away from each other, prompted debate on a national level regarding the importance of gun control and mental illness. Other highly publicized mass shootings, such as the one that occurred in Tucson, Arizona in January of 2011, involving former US Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the mass shooting at Virginia Tech, along with the two events mentioned above, “all shared two common characteristics: all four shooters were mentally ill, and all four used guns with large capacity magazines, allowing them to fire multiple rounds of ammunition without reloading (Barry, 2013).” As the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to bear arms, the issue at hand is: how can the government prevent guns from landing in the wrong hands, while at the same time, providing better mental health services for those in need.
In this paper, I will explore and compare the agenda setting process regarding two landmark gun control legislations that were passed along with the agenda setting process today – proposed by President Obama in the wake of the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook...