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4 pages/≈1100 words
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Law
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Research Paper
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Research and Explore the Texas Gun Control Law in Schools (Research Paper Sample)

Instructions:

1. Think of an issue that is important to you or an issue that has been in the news in Texas. I am including a list of possible topics that can be used for your assignment. Some of the ideas come from issues that I have seen in the news or are topics that are covered in the Discussion Board. Remember, these are just some examples – you may use one of these or you may use something completely different. Your topic needs to be a state issue, not a federal issue. If you are unsure if your topic is appropriate, please send me a note through the Messages link and I will let you know. You only need to pick one issue. I would rather see you cover one issue in depth then three or four issues very generally. To view news articles on Texas, click on the Texas news articles link on the left. •

Voting – ways to increase turnout; voter id •Education – suggestions for improving the system; school funding; standardized testing; funding •Regulation – should there be more regulation on businesses that store hazardous chemicals or on food safety •Justice system – death penalty; reforms on sentencing; equality in the system; public defenders •Health care – ways to improve access in Texas •Water issues – municipalities and farmers fighting over access to water during drought; actions the state can take to ensure adequate water supply •Revenue – ways the state or city can collect revenue; how should a budget surplus be used; should the state change the way it collects revenue •Social issues -- gay marriage, abortion, guns, etc. 2. Once you pick a topic, you need to prepare a background analysis of the issue. You will need three or more comprehensive, full-length articles from mainstream newspapers or news magazine publications. Your articles should discuss the substance of the issue, provide recent information and should consider various viewpoints. Avoid strict opinion pieces that provide a one-sided analysis of the issue. Your background analysis should include the people/groups involved in the debate, description of the conflicting viewpoints of the people/groups involved, including economic or ideological positions, and the various policy outcomes that are desired by the different participants in the debate. Including statistics or data that help explain your issue will make your analysis stronger.

To help find articles, you can use the Newspaper Source available on the list of databases through the Central Texas College Library at www(dot)ctcd(dot)edu/academics/library or other online searches available to you. The online news source the Texas Tribune is also a good place to start. 3. The background analysis should be two to three pages (double spaced). In addition to the information from the articles, you need to draw on relevant information in the textbook to show you understand how the issue relates to topics covered in the course. Make sure you cite all the articles used and include the URL for the article. 4. Once you have completed your background analysis, you need to identify a state, county or city government official in Texas that can address your issue. Hint: US Senators and members of Congress are not state level officials. Using formal correspondence style, prepare a three-fourths to one page (single spaced) letter informing the official of your concern and offering a solution or making a request for action. Yours may be an emotional issue, but your argument must be based on reason, not just emotion. Support your position and refute opposing positions with factual information, data and well-reasoned arguments. When writing your letter, you will use information from your background analysis, but you should not just cut and paste the information from your background analysis into the letter. 5. Save the letter and background analysis as one document and submit the file through the link below. 6. This assignment is worth 100 points. The background analysis is worth 70% of the grade and the letter is worth 30%. 7. Be careful when writing your background analysis and letter that you put the information in your own words. Simply cutting and pasting information from websites is unacceptable and will result in grade of zero for the writing assignment.

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Texas Gun Control in Schools
In a recent executive order, Obama indicated that there will be tougher gun control laws. This comes in the wake of the recent gun violence that has been experienced in the United States (Cargile). Compared to the UK, the shootings that have taken place in the United States are more than 30 times higher. Gun violence has become a leading cause of death in the United States, with thousands killed and thousands more injured through, home invasions, mass shootings, accidental shootings and many others. One of the most striking elements of the gin violence that has seen taking place in the United States is related to mass shootings ("Guns In The US: The Statistics Behind The Violence - BBC News"). In 2015 alone, there were more than 370 mass shooting, where more than 470 people lost their lives and more than 1870 persons who sustained injuries ("Guns In The US: The Statistics Behind The Violence - BBC News"). Quite a number of the mass shootings that have taken place in the recent years have been in schools where teenagers come to school with concealed weapons and shoot at their colleagues and teachers along with any bystanders. In 2015, there was a record of more than 60 mass shootings that took place in schools ("Guns In The US: The Statistics Behind The Violence - BBC News"). This has been a worrying trend and one that requires a sustainable solution to make the schools safe again (Loyd). Letting children go to school is now a constant worry for parents as the level of mass shootings have significantly translated to schools being unsafe for children with this level of violence going on without much sustainable caution from the authorities ("Texas Gun Control Laws - Findlaw"). This would also explain why, the statement by the president was filled with emotion in light of the young lives lost to this kind of violence cropping up in the united states and majority of the legislators and citizens alike remain adamant to make changes (Cargile). Away, from the emotional elements of the topic, there is a growing concern in Texas, relative to the commitment on the gun control mechanisms.
Gun control in Texas has been quite low relative to the fact that the state has some of the least restrictive legislations. In Texas, as long as one has a gun license they have the right to carry a concealed weapon (Fine). One of the most crucial elements of the Texas laws is that, there are no requirements for background checks, especially where the sales involve person to person interactions. This is a serious loophole that could exploited by criminals or persons that are not allowed to own guns, it is commonly required that one does not sell guns to person that they are aware should be allowed to have or buy a firearm ("Texas Gun Control Laws - Findlaw"). At the same time it is also illegal to sell a gun to an online buyer without conducting a background check. However, if the person come to meet the seller, this is a face to face and the background checks are skipped.
This has become a public concern and with the level of mass shooting in the United States, there is an even more radical debate that is three pronged taking place within the state. Quite a number of person in Texas believe that guns increase the level of security relative to the fact that, persons that are authorized to carry firearms are protected from stacks and they can also assist in the case of public attacks where violent crimes may be carried out by criminals against innocent victims (Shadwick). There are those that believe that gun control laws are flimsy at best and they have not done much to reduce the level of crimes committed in the state, and thus the presidential directive should be effected with less guns coming to the streets. The third category relates to persons that believe that the gun ...
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