Public Policy Analysis: Gun Control

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Public policies are developed in response to the existence of a perceived problem or an opportunity. The analysis delves into a public issue or problem and assesses a set of proposed government action for addressing the issue. The job of the analyst is to describe the background and status of an issue and then, using research and analysis, determine a proper government action to resolve the issue. By comparing options and weighing their expected benefits, the analyst should conclude with a recommended course of action or inaction to addressing the issue.

During the problem definition stage, one must realize that “a condition is not a social problem unless it is seen as violating certain fundamental values and beliefs about how society should operate” (Gusfield, 2011). I have determined that there exists a problem concerning gun control, more specifically, concealed carry laws, as they are inconsistent throughout the states. While 48 states now have some form of concealed carry policy in place, the Illinois does not. Thus, the citizens’ rights are in violation of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The agenda setting process begins by determining who decides what is to be decided. On the gun control issue the groups involved are Illinois government officials and national advocacy groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA), the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence and Handgun Control, Inc., political candidates, professional organizations, and the media. In order to build an agenda the analyst needs to understand how policy is made and how policy is implemented. In researching advocacy pages I was able to retrieve information on the mission of the N...

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... Amendment. Retrieved February 1, 2011, from http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_Second.html

Gallup Poll. (2009). State of the States: Political Party Affiliation. Retrieved April 10, 2011 from http://www.gallup.com/poll/114016/state-states-political-party-affiliation.aspx

Gusfield, J. (2011). How Do We Decide What are Social Problems? Retrieved April 6, 2011 from http://www.soc.iastate.edu/sapp/soc235ch02.html

National Rifle Association of America. (2011). The Institute for Legislative Action. Retrieved April 7, 2011 from http://home.nra.org/#/ila

Pearson, R., (2010). Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson Issues Open Letter to Nation's Sportsmen Regarding Obama's History in the Illinois Senate. Retrieved April 8, 2011 from http://www2.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/10-15-2008/0004904149&EDATE=
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