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President’ Policy Decisions in the USA Term Paper

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Gun control

Gun control relates to administrative efforts to regulate sales, ownership, distribution, and use of guns. Gun control has divided the country into three with proponents, opponents, and neutral individuals. People who support strict and tough measures on guns believe that the laws would restrict access by criminals and children and limit injuries and deaths from guns. Conversely, people against gun control laws believe that such laws will not have any meaningful effect on criminals. Some of them have claimed that such laws violate their constitutional right.

In 2008, the Supreme Court made a fundamental ruling that upheld the right of US citizens to have arms for self-defense and hunting. It made a similar ruling in 2010 in which it expanded the right of people to bear arms in States and cities (Adams 1).

These rulings took place before the recent events of the Colorado shooting and the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. The National Rifle Association (NRA) has expressed its opposition to federal regulations against gun ownership, whereas other bodies and the public have favored federal gun control. Some of the gun control laws are in the Gun Control Act 1968 and the National Firearms Act 1934. These laws only accounted for sales, usage, ownership, and the spread of arms.

Since these two deadly events, American support for gun control has grown steadily. According to some survey results by Huff Post, 55 percent of Americans believed in strict gun control laws while 13 percent claimed that such laws should not be strict. Still, 27 percent of the respondents did not see the need to change gun control laws. Shootings in the recent past informed the decisions of most Americans to advocate for strong and strict gun control laws.

Activists and the public have supported strong and strict gun control laws for a while. There are many reasons for gun control, but the chief reason is to ensure the safety of individuals. Supporters have claimed that such laws would reduce cases of rampant shootings and firearm-related accidents and deaths.

These laws also aim to ensure that wrong people do not possess guns. Such people include people with questionable backgrounds, children, and mental health cases. Most gun related attacks relate to guns in the wrong hands of children and juveniles. The law will ensure that minors do not gain access to guns. The laws will restrict access to guns. Besides, supports believe that the implementation of a gun control policy would eliminate cases of criminals owning guns.

Most Americans use firearms for suicide too, especially people with mental problems. Gun control laws would make sure that people with mental trauma do not gain access to guns. Moreover, such people increase the chances of arming others with guns already in their possession.

The NRA and people who are against gun control laws also have valid reasons for their positions. They believe that such laws shall only put pressure on ordinary citizens who abide by the law, but not the targeted criminals. Therefore, such laws do not have any beneficial use. Based on such notions, we have to look at the pros and cons of gun controls and develop stringent solutions, which can reduce deaths and accidents from firearms by a significant number.

Gun is a dangerous weapon that only serves the purpose of killing. Therefore, it is only reasonable if few people possess guns. Still, criminals have gained access to guns because of weak laws. However, if laws ban people with criminal records from owning guns, then criminals would find it difficult to have guns. This would also restrict cases of children possessing guns.

Video games, sport shooting, hunting, or some advertisements have glamorized possession of guns and their roles in society. These activities fail to account for the fatal consequences of recklessness with guns. The policy should address the gun culture among the public, as well as desensitize unnecessary ownership of guns. Gun control laws would ensure that people account for all firearms in their possession. This act would reduce cases of violent crimes and gun-related accidents and deaths.

The most cited reasons for gun control laws are related to the number of deaths and accident-related to guns. Opponents of gun control laws claim that the implementation of gun control acts shall only affect law-abiding Americans. On the other hand, criminals will get their guns by other ways like smuggling, black market, or through theft from registered owners.

Given that the right to own a gun is a part of the American constitution and by extension, an individual’s right, it will be difficult to take that right away from citizens because gun owners will protest to protect their rights. While the law provides the provision to own a gun, the focus should be on the personal responsibility of the gun owner. In the past, people have engaged in violence involving guns, which lead to deaths.

The media have played their roles by claiming that such deaths result from a sense of the use of guns. We have to question the role and responsibility of the gun owner. Gun owners should take control of the places in which they keep their weapons. In other words, we have to keep guns away from people who should not gain access to them. In most cases, minors who cause deaths and injuries with guns normally get such guns from their homes. This shows that guns in homes do not have secure places to restrict accessibility.

Gun owners need adequate training on handling guns because many people own guns, but they do not observe gun safety and usage. People must spend time to learn about the proper usage and safety of guns. This is the only way to limit gun casualties. Training on the safety of guns should also extend to kids. Proper training can reduce the mystery surrounding guns, which children wish to explore. Such approaches can reduce cases of minor shooting others. We have to note that many people rushed to purchase guns in the recent past for protection. Consequently, the government reacted by introducing strict gun control laws.

On the other hand, gun control laws cannot eliminate guns from the public or reduce their lethal consequences. People need guns to protect themselves and their property. Besides, it is a legitimate right for Americans to have guns and other weapons. People are the sole culprit, and guns only act as weapons of murder or crime. In most cases, guns used in crimes are illegal, stolen, smuggled, or not registered. Gun control laws would make gun ownership difficult as opposed to the provision in the constitution. Therefore, many people will think that such controls deny them their rights.

Given the need to control gun ownership, usages, and distribution and the willingness of the citizens to do so, this policy advocate for strong and strict gun control laws. Guns in the wrong hands have turned out to be a disaster in America. It is also important to note that people who advocate for ownership of guns as a means of self-defense have increased, but we have to recognize that gun remains a dangerous invention to its users and non-users. Past events, figures, and literature can show us why guns need strict and strong control laws.

Education

Current America’s higher education system requires urgent reforms. Many students accrue an average debt of $23,000 for higher education upon their completion (Burke and Butler 1). Many students also leave college without adequate skills required in the job market. Despite these facts, there are no existing tangible policies to address the situation. However, some recent innovations have presented new opportunities for the American higher education system. Online education opportunities and a competency-based approach to learning have presented fresh grounds to improve the higher education system and change the traditional models. While these innovations present the best chances for reforming the higher education system, accreditation has remained a major challenge to any possible reforms.

Technology and innovations shall transform the American higher education system. The traditional form of education is expensive and there is a need to equip learners with adequate skills required in employees. Innovative institutions have embarked on promoting new methods of learning by using online platforms to reduce the costs of learning. These new approaches provide opportunities for restructuring higher education by reducing costs and providing students with great benefits of acquiring needed skills at low costs.

However, accreditation has remained the biggest obstacle to this restructuring of the higher education system. According to Burke and Butler, “accreditation is a feature of the traditional education system, accreditation is a “seal of approval” granted to institutions of higher education and is intended to assure students that colleges and universities meet certain standards of quality” (Burke and Butler 1).

It acts as a way of measuring education quality in American higher education. However, accreditation has some fundamental flaws that hinder the growth of American higher education. For instance, the system favors the expensive model of learning and hinders new forms of learning. Besides, the system provides a blanket approval to institutions i.e., it does not focus on a specific course. Therefore, accreditation is a poor system of determining skills that learners require.

Accreditation is voluntary to students. However, it limits students’ chances of gaining access to federal aid. Only students who attended accredited schools are eligible for such aid and grant. In the past few decades, federal aid and grants have formed the largest sources of financial support for universities. Most institutions have also sought accreditation to qualify for federal aid and grants.

No doubt, the system of higher education in the US requires urgent and long-lasting reforms. This will ensure that the higher education system keeps pace with the future demands of the economy. Therefore, the system for valuing the education system should use a specific course rather than an institution.

The role of the private sector is also fundamental in the transformation of the higher education system in the US. In this respect, institutions of higher learning must align their education system with skills that employers want. Therefore, lawmakers, policymakers, and all stakeholders in the education sector must collaborate to realize meaningful changes in the system.

The private sector shall facilitate competition and reform within the education system by ensuring that the federal government does not insist on the accreditation, which limits competition in the education sector. Critics of accreditation have not that accreditation is a barrier to competition in the education sector. It limits competition by creating a barrier to new entrants. Such government regulations have not been friendly to the education sector.

Institutions of higher learning have depended on accreditation for funding. The federal government has also used accreditation to limit aid to students in accredited colleges. In this respect, private stakeholders should encourage competition in the education system to increase accessibility and standards of higher education in the US. The business community should create various courses, which address the needs of the business environment. For instance, Microsoft has a certificate course in computer training. Such courses focus on specific needs in the market.

The main aim of accreditation is to guarantee learners that an institution of higher learning has met some standards of quality. This enhances confidence in the institution. Hence, students can be confident that they shall receive a professional standard of education. However, accreditation raises two fundamental issues of concern. First, critics have argued that accreditation does not guarantee a high quality of education. Second, some institutions may not stick to the standards of accreditation.

Policymakers and stakeholders in the education sector should facilitate innovation in the sector and support initiatives that shall make education accessible and affordable. Moreover, they must also support the education system that provides course-specific metrics so that learners can acquire specific skills required in their areas of specialization. Specifically, policymakers should also eliminate the policy, which requires that institutions of higher learning can only receive federal aid and grants when they have accreditation. This would introduce competition in the education sector and improve the quality of courses offered to students.

Federal policymakers must address the issue of accreditation so that meaningful reforms can take place in higher education. The policy should address Washington’s sanction on accreditation to provide opportunities for other institutions of higher learning to accredit courses. The system must also advocate for voluntary accreditation. At the same time, accrediting institutions should align their standards with forces of the market so that employers can get the right graduates with the right skills.

Policymakers must review the federal approach to accreditation. The new metric must measure “the output of colleges by criteria such as graduation rates, employability of graduates, and value for money” (Burke and Butler 1). This approach shall ensure that current institutions improve their standards and increase their outputs to achieve the best standards. The new scorecard should focus on outcomes that reflect the needs of both the private and public sectors.

The move towards a competency-based model can also transform the higher education system in the US. In this case, a degree award must focus on a specific area and not on time spent in a classroom. Such an approach can accelerate learning by reducing the time and money spent to complete a course. In this respect, policymakers should encourage States to adopt competency-based degrees, which facilitate learning.

Such changes would reduce the cost of higher education, enhance accessibility, and customize courses to fit the specific needs of the market and learners’ preferences. This policy in education reform aims to reduce the cost of higher education and improve quality and accessibility. This can only happen if policymakers and educators embrace the use of technology in higher education. Therefore, this policy must address the shortfalls of accreditation and replace it with a new policy that encourages competition, acquisition of skills, and reduces the cost of learning.

Welfare

Welfare is good for all citizens

Most Americans face difficult situations in the prevailing economic conditions. Therefore, welfare assistance has been a source of hope for many. For instance, many Americans lost their jobs and homes during the 2008 economic downturn. Moreover, several others lost their jobs and homes to the recent natural disaster. These people need welfare assistance. There should be government welfare programs at all levels to help victims of such unfortunate events.

The government must strengthen the right to welfare programs for all US citizens. In this case, policymakers must reinforce the role of welfare programs to all citizens. This suggests whenever the program fails to help citizens, it violates their rights to equal opportunity and fails its primary roles. Therefore, the welfare program must exist to serve people in need, who must utilize them fully. The government must ensure that people receive welfare at all levels.

It must provide such services at the local levels and make referrals to other programs simple. People must also have accessibility to emergency welfare programs that provide immediate needs to people who need help. The government should also review eligibility criteria from time to time based on the prevailing economic situations.

Unemployment

Grow the economy

The government should grow the economy through a stimulus plan to end the high rate of unemployment. The Obama stimulus plan of 2009 worked and so was the intervention plan of 1937. Therefore, such programs should not end prematurely. From the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009, we learned that the $787 billion stimulus package slowed down the recession and led to the recovery of the economy (Calmes and Cooper 1).

The package covered tax cuts, increments of unemployment insurance, and investments in green business, and other viable areas of the traditional business, which could stimulate the economy. However, some economists believe that the package raised the deficit (Madrick 1). However, the stimulus package increased the GDP in 2012 according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The CBO noted that the package would slow the rate of unemployment by between “0.5 percent and 1.4 percent” (Madrick 1) in the fiscal year 2011. Even investors from Wall Street agreed that the package reduced unemployment and recession.

On the budget deficit, some economists found out that the package would increase the budget deficit in 2010, but would reduce the same deficit in subsequent years. Therefore, the government stimulus package slowed the recession and create jobs. Without the package, the recession would have continued into the year 2011 and raised the rate of unemployment to over 16.5 percent. Still, the effect would have affected the budget deficit and GDP. The program worked, reduced unemployment, and fixed the economy, but it was not enough to have long-term effects on the cumulative high rates of unemployment (Kirchhoff 1).

Works Cited

Adams, Jerry. . 2013. Web.

Burke, Lindsey and Stuart Butler. Accreditation: Removing the Barrier to Higher Education Reform. 2012. Web.

Calmes, Jackie and Michael Cooper. . 2009. Web.

Kirchhoff, Sue. How will the $787 billion stimulus package affect you? 2009. Web.

Madrick, Jeff. Report And Recommendations Of The Citizens’ Commission On Jobs, Deficits And America’s Economic Future. 2010. Web.

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