Today is a very significant day for anyone in the media, a day when thoughts and ideas directly influence policy. In the first part of the political process it appears the right to life trumps gun life as revealed in President Obama’s fantastic speech. It is encouraging for all of us who think, talk and write, all who get criticised by the complacent. We are only preparing so that when we become significant in history as drivers of change, similar to Piers Morgan (we live in hope!!). The Gun Control debate will translate into engineered policies to reduce gun related violence in the US. Hopefully 18,000 (approx) gun-related murders in the US will reduce to hundreds and one day will be similar to numbers in Europe that are double-digit on average.
President Obama signed 23 executive actions which are recommendations by the President to track gun ownership and pave way to potential legislation restricting gun control. The executive actions were signed as an executive order which did not require congressional approval. In addition to the order, the President unveiled his proposals to Congress for changes to Gun Life/ Gun Control.
The two key proposals in the ensuing congressional battle will surround the ban on assault weapons, and background checks prior to gun ownership. Assault weapons (AR-15’s specifically) were used in the last 4 mass shootings in the US, and the key argument is that these weapons are designed to kill ONLY; designed for warfare, and do not need to be used as protective weaponry available in homes. The President has also highlighted that even if these weapons are owned, the magazines (or cartridges) should be reduced to 10, preventing mass carnage. This in itself is the linchpin of the debate; the availability of violent weaponry is directly proportional to the causable damage. We have all been sensitised to both topics courtesy of Piers Morgan and his fantastic work pioneering the debates. We understand why a certain sector of society believes their 2nd amendment rights are being restricted. However the rights of the children and other members of the society need to be protected by the government, as they have an equal right to safety. Like most political battles the argument is simply whose right TRUMPS whose; the right of the defenceless child/adult who can be attacked with ease, or the right of the recreational gun owner?
Is America symbolic of democracy in action? Is the American President’s reliance on public opinion an important model for other country’s to adopt? To pass through policies, it is important for the government to change ingrained notions and ideas in society, by compelling the population to consider change. Linking America politics to Nigerian politics- as a fledgling democracy the public need to continue to debate and remain engaged because one day the force of the weight of our ideas/notions/beliefs will influence our policymakers to pass through change.