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Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America

You are to write a 5-8 page, double-spaced paper in 12 pt., Times New Roman font with 1” margins 
all around in response to the following prompt. Strive to be as clear and specific as possible, as you are responsible for answering all elements of the question. 

In his 2013 State of the Union Address, President Obama evoked the horrific shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Sandy Hook Elementary, as well as the assassination attempt on former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, as reasons to put his new landmark gun legislation to a vote in Congress. His initiatives to reduce gun violence include requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales, including those by private sellers that are currently exempt; reinstating and 
strengthening the ban on so-called “assault weapons”; limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds; and banning the possession of armor-piercing bullets by anyone other than members of military and law enforcement, among many other significant measures. While many bills have since been introduced in the U.S. legislature to curb gun violence, no major legislation has been passed. Based on your reading of Gunfight and your own investigation of the efficacy of gun 
control laws, do you favor or oppose such legislation? Why or why not? If so, what kind, specially? Explain your answer. 
To provide proper historical context for this debate, first compare and contrast the cultures of “gun grabbers” and “gun nuts” in terms of their respective histories, values, beliefs, and 
practices in the United States. How has each culture mobilized to lobby Congress and the courts to have their principles and aims realized in public policy? Make plain that you have indeed read Gunfight in full when writing this section. 
Now, suppose for the moment that you are a member of the U.S. House of Representatives tasked with voting for or against Obama’s proposed gun control legislation. Your personal stance on the issue is clear and firm, but the majority of the constituents in your legislative district disagree 
with your view. How does this create an ethical dilemma for you as a representative? How would you take into account the views of your fellow political party members, the president, interest-group lobbyists, as well as those of your own constituents in making your final decision? What 
would the likely outcome be of having to go against any or all of those individuals or groups in order to make your decision? 

Now is the Time: The President’s Plan to Protect our Children and Our Communities by Reducing 
Gun Violence 

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/docs/wh_now_is_the_time_full.pdf 

Paper Guidelines and Criteria for Evaluation 

Your papers should be five to eight pages in length with 1” margins all around and double-spaced 
in 12 pt., Times New Roman font. The first page of your paper (and only the first page) should 
include the following heading: 

Your Name 
GOVT 2305 
Class Time and Days of Week 

Give your paper an appropriate title and center it. With the exception of the first page, number 
each page at the top right. 

Your paper must draw upon at least two outside sources in addition to the Gunfight text and 
the links included above. Besides other relevant books on the topic of gun control/gun violence 
in the U.S. and around the world, and academic journal articles from the fields of political science, 
sociology, and history, examples of acceptable sources include: 

Newspapers Magazines and other Periodicals 
The New York Times The Atlantic Monthly New York Review of Books 
The Washington Post The New Republic Claremont Review of Books 
The Los Angeles Times The New Yorker 
The Boston Globe Mother Jones 
The Wall Street Journal The National Review 
The Economist The Weekly Standard 

Pick a citation style (e.g., MLA or Chicago) and adhere to it consistently throughout your paper. 
When you quote, paraphrase, or summarize someone else’s work, you need to tell the reader the 
source you are using. Two common methods are in-text citations/parenthetical citations and 
footnotes/endnotes. Give the complete citation at the end of your paper in the bibliography or 
works cited page

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