Social Sciences: Controversial Topics Writing Assignment

Gun Control vs. Gun Right

The right to carry and keep guns was regulated in the Bill of Rights when the United States was just created. However, as soon as the Americans overcame the necessity to defend themselves every day from different threats, the gun right looks more like a vestige of the past. Furthermore, there are more arbitrary shootings at schools and other public places, which are often viewed as the tragic results of very soft gun rights in some states of America. The supporters of gun rights claim that only being armed they can feel safe and able to protect their property from trespassers. One can hardly argue that police will come timely every time, and in this case, a personal weapon is the only thing that may help a potential victim. Undoubtedly, both sides have reasons to support their opinions. Nevertheless, it is not necessary to take away all weapons from American citizens, in order to secure the country from arbitrary shootings. It is enough to make stricter requirements for those who want to buy a weapon because not all people who keep a gun are able to use it responsibly.

Gun control supporters are inclined to think that only more severe gun laws would prevent arbitrary shootings, such as Virginia Tech massacre, Sandy Hook shooting, Red Lake massacre, etc. Indeed, this may be an effective solution to the problem because potential arbitrary shooters would have fewer opportunities to commit a crime, when it is impossible to buy weapons freely. Moreover, most arbitrary shootings were committed by people, who were mentally ill and who should not have had access to weapons at all. At the same time, a person who is considered physically and mentally able to carry and own a gun is not secured from momentary and sudden mental disorders. There is nothing surprising that there are more accidental cases of injuries and deaths caused by firearms in the states with soft gun rights than in those states where gun possession is prohibited. Hence, the gun control would be an effective measure against such cases.

Gun control supporters also argue that the main purpose of the Second Amendment was the organization of strong militia and as soon as the United States has strong military power and effective police department, this amendment has no sense. Nevertheless, the argument about the effectiveness of American police cannot be considered completely strong because the Americans are still inclined to use weapons for self-defense. According to Cramer & Burnett (2012), in 2003 the US citizens, who used weapons for self-defense, injured or killed at least twice as many criminals as policemen did.

It means that the right to carry and keep a gun is still necessary and relevant for American citizens. Actually, it is the only way to protect oneself and one’s property from criminals when there is no policeman in a neighborhood. Gun right provides the Americans with a feeling of protection, which is extremely important when terrorist acts became more frequent. Moreover, almost all criminals have a gun and undoubtedly even a well-trained person who has no weapon cannot adequately stop an armed person. At the same time, there is no certainty that criminals would follow gun laws and that even very strict gun legislation may prevent them from getting weapons. On the other hand, when a criminal is aware that his/her potential victim may be armed, it would take him/her more time to think whether it is worth to commit a crime.

Probably, the anti-gun policy may have the same effect as anti-alcohol legislation during the Roaring Twenties. Very harsh restriction of gun rights would lead to the development of the black weapon market. However, the effectiveness of gun control cannot be underestimated too. Mild gun control laws seem to be a very rough way to create a feeling of security, but armed citizens will never eliminate criminality. The principal issue is that people often use weapons when it is possible to cope with a problem with the help of words. Thus, it is clear that something should be changed in the current gun rights in the United States. At the same time, one cannot seriously take into account the most radical suggestions of gun control supporters who suggest taking away all the guns of American citizens. Neither the opponents of gun control nor its supporters are satisfied with the current gun policy. However, if the opponents of gun control are afraid of criminals, the supporters are scared of private gun owners who live in their neighborhoods. Obviously, gun control laws must be stricter in several states, such as Alabama or Iowa where almost anyone can buy and keep weapons. Nevertheless, gun control should not be as tough as in California and some other states. American government should find a flexible way to make gun policy satisfactory for both supporters and opponents of gun rights. Full freedom of carrying guns will only lead to increased numbers of shootings and accidental killings caused by firearms. At the same time, guns really provide necessary security and protection for American citizens. That is why, it is important to find a solution, which will satisfy all the representatives of the American society.

The Questionable Necessity of Same-Sex Marriages

The debates over same-sex marriages divide the American society since this problem was firstly stated. Nowadays, many states legalized same-sex marriages, allowing gay people to marry each other. The opponents of same-sex marriage build their arguments on morality of such kind of marriages, claiming that it is not ethical with regard to the concept of traditional marriage and religion. On the other hand, the supporters of same-sex marriages claim that legalization of such marriages improves democracy and freedom in the United States as soon as gay people cannot be deprived from such a basic civil right as the right to marry each other. Both sides are right when they argue that same-sex marriage changes the social opinion about traditional marriage. However, it is still questionable whether these changes are positive for the society. On the one hand, it is difficult to be sure that the greater part of the Americans has already accepted gays as the members of the society. On the other hand, there are also some doubts that changing the concept of marriage would not make the society and the further generations less moral and ethical. Any decision, which would ban or vice versa allow same-sex marriages, will be difficult for American government. In my opinion, initially, American government should be attentive to the opinion of the majority and each state should decide by public poll whether to deny or allow same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriage is still a very difficult problem, which could not be solved at once. That is why, I consider that same-sex couples should have all rights of a conventional married couple, but their union should not be called a marriage because its definition with regard to same-sex couples provokes the harshest disputes in the society.

Opponents of same-sex marriages consider gay people`s desire to be legally married as a whim. Nevertheless, legal marriage is not a mere attempt to attract public attention. Legalization of same-sex marriages allows gay and lesbian couples to enjoy the similar rights and benefits that traditional spouses do. According to Andryszewski (2011), “same-sex couples in a committed relationship who are not able to be legally married must piece together legal protection and sharing arrangements”. Legally married couples do not have to involve lawyers in order to settle disputes over property, divorce, etc. Moreover, with the increasing problem of child adoption, gay couples as a non-reproductive family may become the solution. At the same time, the experience of living in a family with parents who do not have a stable gender role may have a negative effect on an adopted child who always views parents as a role model. Additionally, legal acknowledgement of gay marriages would lead to gradual acknowledgement of gays in the society and diminish discrimination. However, in my opinion, legalization of same-sex marriage and debates over this issue only provoke violent reaction of opponents.

The opponents of same-sex marriage are used to claim that legalization of such marriages will only ruin the concept of “traditional, stable and childbearing family” (Andryszewski, 2011). Undoubtedly, the society changes every day, and even such stable concepts as family and marriage change with time too. However, such changes are not always possible, and there is no guarantee that such moral shifts would not result in moral degradation. Certainly, as US citizens, gay couples have the right to marry with each other, but there is no certainty that it would not provoke zoophiles or pedophiles to demand the same right. Actually, it may also provoke polygamists to claim to legalize polygamy, presenting it as the evolution of a concept of marriage, similarly to the same-sex marriage. Undoubtedly, there is a great gap between gays and sexual perverts from a juridical point of view. However, in people`s mind, these groups of people are hardly distinguished. The opponents of same-sex marriages should understand that the denial of such marriages would not decrease the number of homosexuals. At the same time, it would inevitably harm the popularization of homosexual relations in the United States.

The society can be easily divided into two opposing camps. Undoubtedly, when dealing with such issue as same-sex marriage, the most important thing is to maintain agreement and harmony within the society. Same-sex marriage is an issue, which requires careful and wise consideration. There is no need to blame homosexual couples for being unable to bring forth children thus causing lower birth rates because they will not become heterosexuals if same-sex marriages are not legalized. Additionally, provision of religious matters is not valid as there is no such public blame of homosexual relations, which existed long before this issue became relevant. At the same time, homosexuals have been living with each other for many years without any laws. Thus, the main problem in this case is the necessity for same-sex couples to have the same legal rights as traditional couples. In my opinion, same-sex couples should not be legally unprotected, but their relations should not be posed as marriage in social matters. Therefore, states, which already legalized same-sex marriages, should not deny it, but states, which haven’t done it, should take more time for consideration, in order to evaluate all possible risks and benefits.

The Effects of Abortion Restriction

Abortion is an extremely debatable issue in the United States and all over the world. It is related to the religious, social, legal, and moral aspects of abortion. For this reason, the debates over abortion legalization or its restriction often involve many participants. The main issues in this problem are the right of pregnant women to freedom of choice and the status of fetus. The opponents of abortions are inclined to consider a fetus as an unborn child; that is the foundation of their arguments. On the other hand, the supporters of abortions claim that a fetus cannot be treated as an unborn child from neither legal, nor social nor physiological point of view. In order to understand whether the abortion restriction is necessary in the United States, one should analyze its advantages and disadvantages. The abortion restriction leads to increasing rates of unwanted children who are often abandoned by their parents or increased number of illegal abortions, which are dangerous for women’s health. In my opinion, the popularization of contraception and improvement of abandoned children’s life conditions are more effective as an approach than the abortion restriction, which would only have negative effects on American society.

The supporters of abortion restriction are mostly moved by religious and moral convictions. They predestine the nature of their arguments, which are largely based on immorality of abortion and the right of a fetus to live. They also often argue about millions of unborn children who were killed through abortion. However, taking into account modern problems of overpopulation, this argument can be hardly considered valid, even though there is no serious issue with overpopulation in the United States. Pro-life activists also claim that abortion is unsafe and can lead to serious problems for women’s health, such as infertility and even death. Nevertheless, there are also a lot of women who die during pregnancy or childbirth (Shrage, 2003). There is no need to say that for many of them pregnancy could be unintended. Finally, the main argument is that life starts when a fetus is formed that means that abortion is equal to murder. Some pro-life activists even compare killed fetuses to the victims of Ku Klux Klan and the Holocaust (Shrage, 2003). A fetus is undoubtedly a living being, but it is neither unborn child nor human being. It is completely dependent on a pregnant woman who bears it. For this reason, it is a right of a pregnant woman whether to give birth or not. At the same time, the strongest argument of supporters of abortion abolition is the problem of responsibility. Opponents of abortion claim that there could have been a lot of scientists, artists and just good people among millions fetuses, which were killed by abortions. However, there could have been also a lot of maniacs, tyrants and monsters.

Arguments of pro-choice activists are mostly focused on women`s right to be free to decide their destiny. All in all, in opposition to a fetus, women have human and civil rights. Abortion allows women to avoid unplanned children and many other problems, which follow an unintended birth. Every baby deserves to be loved and fostered by its parents. At the same time, the complete freedom of abortion is also not quite moral because it makes abortion a usual act for a woman who may be not responsible enough. However, one should also take into account that contraception does not inevitably help to avoid pregnancy (Shrage, 2003). Thus, even being responsible enough, a woman is not secured from unplanned pregnancy. It is not ethical to restrict abortion in such cases. Additionally, the opponents of abortion restriction point at such factors as pregnancy, as a result of rape, or which is dangerous for a woman because of specific health conditions. These factors are often ignored by most radical pro-life activists.

Undoubtedly, human life should be of a paramount importance to all members of any sound and democratic society. However, paying attention to a fetus’ right to live, opponents of abortion forget about women`s right to be able to take care of their body. Being unable to end pregnancy with the help of abortion, women become dependent on the circumstances. Abortion restriction would not make the society more moral as pro-life and religious activists want. On the other hand, it would make women seek for illegal ways to have abortion that would definitely threat their lives. Abortion could be restricted for irresponsible women who do not think seriously about childbirth. However, it will not make them good mothers, but increase the number of abandoned children. Before restricting abortions, at first, the government should think about how to make lives of those abandoned children better. Undoubtedly, abortion is not safe, but it is much better than a child whose parents do not need him/her. Additionally, instead of abortion restriction, it is more significant to increase the responsibility of both men and women and change their attitude to sex and childbirth because social irresponsibility in these issues provokes unintended pregnancy and results in abortions.

The Pros and Cons of Immigration Restriction in the United States

Immigration has always been one of the most disputable issues in the USA. The current immigration legislation in the United States is opposed and supported by both immigrants and the Americans. Immigration has positive as well as negative effects on the US citizens and immigrants. Undoubtedly, current immigration laws need to be improved. However, the only dilemma for American government is what changes should be made. In order to identify and implement the best immigration policy in the United States, one should find out the negative and positive effects of immigration. Obviously, taking into account the benefits of immigration and the percentage of illegal immigrants, US government cannot simply forbid the immigration; therefore, the government should find a compromise that would satisfy both immigrants and the US citizens and, at the same time, prevent mass immigration.

Usually, the opponents of immigration use several arguments. First of all, they consider that immigrants take away workplaces, which are supposed to belong to local people. Without any doubts, this argument can be justified because immigrants are eager to take any job, which would bring them a considerable income. In most cases, immigrants do not demand high wages and do not mind if their employer violates their labor rights such as working day extension, etc. The Americans are not inclined to accept any violation of their rights at work. This makes immigrants more preferred applicants for most low-paid jobs. Secondly, the opponents of immigration often argue about the negative effects of immigration on the economy of the United States. This problem derives from the first argument as thousands of new workers will cause unemployment. For instance, Krikorian suggests that “mass immigration is a significant contributor to the problems of the economy” because it causes lower earnings for the poorest Americans and slows down modernization of production. It appears that low needs of immigrants who do not seek social security, insurance or other things important to a regular American worker make employers less attentive to labor laws. Moreover, it is often cheaper to employ several immigrants than modernize production and it is also not beneficial for American industry and economy.

However, many of these problems are not as critical as they may seem to be. First of all, not all immigrants are low-skilled workers or criminals. Moreover, one should keep in mind that the United States is a country, built by immigrants. There are a lot of historical examples when famous scientists who moved to the United States greatly contributed to the development of this country. Basically, there are a lot of qualified workers, scientists, doctors and artists who immigrated to the United States in search of appropriate acknowledgement of their work. Nevertheless, even low-skilled workers benefit the United States because they do unpopular jobs. As for the economy, immigrants not only work and send money to their relatives, but also buy goods, which are necessary for living in the United States. Thus, it is not fair enough to claim that immigrants only take money away from America. Moreover, one should not neglect the fact that there are no immigrants who move to the United States if they are satisfied with life conditions in their homeland. Most of these people try to avoid extreme poverty, famine, and other threats, which most Americans are not familiar with.

Immigration policy has many flaws that must be solved. Restriction is one of many options, which may be necessary because there are still a lot of criminals who cross American borders. Nevertheless, it is not immigration policy that should be improved, but the border control. The problem is that most immigrants who are not able to cross the border legally try to do it illegally. For this reason, the United States should at first improve the border control. Immigration policy must benefit the American nation. There are a lot of immigrants who can improve not only their own lives, but also American economy and society. Thus, when it comes to the restriction of immigration, the government should understand that strict and harsh restrictions will only make more immigrants to cross the border illegally. At the same time, if Krikorian is right then the United States should pay more attention to the number of immigrants the country accommodates every year. Most immigrants are coming to the United States as potential employees, but very few of them are able to become employers. Thus, the United States cannot accommodate too many immigrants every year. At the same time, the government cannot just close the border or prohibit some ethnic groups to immigrate to the country as it did before.

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In many aspects, immigration is a huge problem to the American society. As soon as it has both positive and negative effects for the United States, the government cannot simply restrict it. At the same time, immigration without restrictions would destruct not only the US economy, but also the American society. Undoubtedly, the government should be extremely careful with immigration issues. For this reason, immigration policy in the United States should be as moderate as possible. The government should not construct the immigration policy according to either the most radical supporters who suggest opening the borders to all immigrants, or the most radical opponents who demand the closure of borders and exile of immigrants. The policy should be wisely balanced between the needs of the country, the society and the economy.

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