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Gun Control and Linkage Mechanisms

Gun Control and Linkage Mechanisms


There are several institutions or people that influence the government, but are not directly apart of it. These people or groups help influence who is elected, what issues are discussed, and what becomes public policy. These groups or people are known as linkage mechanisms. Four that are extremely important linkage mechanisms to our democracy are public opinion, organized interest groups, political parties, and elections. Each of these influences the government in different ways, including negatively. Although linkage mechanisms are not part of the government, they affect it in countless ways.

One controversial subject in American society today concerns gun control. The second amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms, but with amount of gun related violence today many feel the government needs to step up and enact more gun control. It is a tricky situation since about fifty percent of Americans own firearms, while the others believe that gun regulation is needed.

Public opinion is an extremely important linkage mechanism when related to gun control. Public opinion is, “the political attitudes and beliefs expressed by ordinary citizens” (Greenberg & Page 101). Since the United States is a representative democracy, the government should do exactly what the citizens want. Of course this does not always happen, but public opinion still is the most beneficial to a democracy. Listening to public opinion is the easiest way for the government to give the people what they want. In fact the best way to see if it is a true democracy is to see whether or not the citizens feel the government policies correspond to what the public wants. In the case of gun control it is difficult because public opinion is split. Recently many have been pro-gun control due the amount of deaths from guns. This is especially the case after the deadly school shooting at Columbine high school in Littleton, Colorado, as well as several others including two recent ones in San Diego, California. Many citizens question how these kids had guns in the first place, and if they were stricter laws maybe lives could have been saved. On the other hand, many anti-gun control citizens have voiced their opinion in retaliation to cries for more gun control. Many of these people own guns for sport or self-defense...

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Category:   Gun Control

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