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American Gun Policy, Essay Example

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Essay

American Gun Policy and Political Decision-Making Models

Within the professional sector of public policy formulation, technocrats apply different models in order to arrive at objective public rules and regulations (McCool, 27). An example of a situation, which employs policy-making models in formulating regulations, is the American gun policy. Gun policies include some of the longest contested debates in American politics. The need to address the issue of gun ownership and gun use is deeply rooted within the integral frames of the social aspect in American politics. Gun policies debates revolve around the issue of gun accessibility by American citizens and the right to possess a gun with respect to the social aspect of individual rights and security. Through American history, various legislations and policy amendments have characterized the struggle concerning the issue of gun control regulations in the nation’s diverse states. Most of the laws and amendments made earlier have been rendered obsolete and subjective by the dynamics prevailing within the American social and politics environments. This means that debates concerning gun policies in the US tend to incline itself towards the prevailing social and political ideologies of any given time. Formulation of the various gun regulations usually employs technocratic discipline, which entails application of different policymaking procedures. Employment of the different models of politics in gun policy formulation gives different outcomes, each of which partially serves the best interest of the American society. The next part involves illustrative instances where the most important models can be used to give the desired results.

Institutional Model

From a theoretical perspective, administrative institutions are responsible for the governance of any given society around the world. These institutions bear some ideal structures, which serves to co-ordinate the entire administrative functions of that governance body. Democratic governments are examples of administrative institutions with functional co-ordination structures. With respect to policy formulation, institutional model acknowledges the power of political institutions in structuring public regulations (McCool, 46). In the US, gun policies are debated and decided by both the legislature and the executive bodies. The judiciaries, which are the various police units, are responsible for implementation of the enacted policies.

Process Model

This model asserts that policy creation follows a systematic procedure comprising of numerous steps, each of which serves its own exclusive purpose. It does not consider the body making the policies as whether it is an administrative institution or any other social unit. The process model strictly follows the basic policymaking steps, which includes, problem identification, proposing viable policies, selection, and legitimization of the best policies, implementation, and evaluation. In the context of gun policies, identification of the insecurity problem concerning easy accessibility of guns is the first step. The next step entails brainstorming thinkers with the identified problem and suggesting valid proposal with respect to the gun problem under consideration. Upon thorough evaluation of all the proposed solutions, the responsible body selects the best ones based on the gauging standards in use (Kay, 37). Once the legislations are in place, another body takes up the task of ensuring strict implementation of the regulations within the public. After some time, feedback mechanisms and other indicators provide information on whether the developed gun policies meet its objectives.

Rational Model

The issue of gun policies in the US involves the desire to meet interests of various social and political units. These desires are diverge due to difference in political and social principles of the involved parties. For example, some states in the US are termed gun-friendly while other has strict gun regulations. In this regard, the rational model provides an avenue of addressing the diverse needs of the public. This model employs logical and unbiased decision processes in formulating policies. Rational model operates within boundaries which are determined by the paramount needs of the subject population. This model takes into consideration all aspects of any given policy by weighing both the positive and the perceived negative effects. Upon thorough consideration, the model settles at the most satisfactory and inclusive decision based on the boundaries in which it operates (McCool, 48). With respect to US gun policies, rational model acknowledges the diverse preferences of the American population concerning gun ownership and use. Therefore, gun regulations are subject to the best interests of the majority within any given society.

Group Model

This model acknowledges the fact that there is no perfect society where all members subscribe to the same set of social and political principles. This means that there can never be a decision, which perfectly fits the interests of the entire population. In this regard, decision-making involves establishing a compromise situation between the conflicting parties. In this situation, a conventional compromise pact should create a mutually beneficial relationship between the opposing parties (Kay, 29). With respect to gun policies, group model involves formulation of regulations that partially but satisfactorily addresses the radical interests of the opposing parties. An example of this model in actual application is in the state of Michigan. In this state, a compromise concerning gun policies outlines that it is illegal to carry concealed or unconcealed guns in public places, which includes entertainment joints and sporting functions. However, it does not ban the ownership of guns outside those places. In this case, a compromise between the security issue and the individual rights issue prevails.

Elite Model

In politics, policies are representation of the best interests of either the majority or the most powerful members of the society.  This model acknowledges the influence of the elite members of the society in policy making institutions. Powerful members of a society are in a better position which provides them with the advantage of influencing policy formulations in any given society. Based on this model, gun regulation policies in the US may bear the best interests of the elite portion of the American society. Elite Americans may influence adoption of policies that will allow them to benefit from gun trade. Therefore, gun policies made from elite model may neglect the interests of the masses while serving the best interest of the rich Americans (Kay, 32).

Incremental Model

Incremental model emphasizes the application of systematic decision making process where a conclusion one reaches a conclusion after considering all the surrounding factors of a conflict. Incremental policymaking model advocates for identification of problems by teams possessing conflicting interests as the first step. After problem identification, both parties should acknowledge both the positive and the negative extreme ends of the problem (Kay, 39). Finally, the conflicting parties should try to solve their problems in the most considerable way possible. With respect to the American gun policy, the responsible body will formulate regulations upon considering both the extreme ends of easy access to guns and strict regulation of firearm ownership. Consequently, a decision made should try to solve as many problems as possible, by listening to both the conflicting parties.

Game Theory Model

This model has found extensive use in policymaking institution because of its scientific characteristic. Game theory involves selection of different strategies, which can be combined to give a desired result. Each combination of the available strategies translates into a certain magnitude of payoff. In this regard, decision-making using the model entails adopting a combination of strategies, which results in the highest payoff (McCool, 49). The game theory application in gun policy formulation involves combining the most viable and legitimate strategies that will result in an inclusive and satisfactory set of regulations.

Systems Theory Model

This theory emphasizes the aspect of natural systems within the social and political elements of a society. Its fundamental principle is that social units tend to change in an effort to cope with the dynamics within the social structure. In this regard, individuals and groups in any dynamic society strive to create a comfortable system for themselves by pushing for the consideration of their needs (McCool, 43). With respect to gun policy, those pushing for their rights to own guns feel that the social system should respond to their desires by allowing them easy access to firearms. On the other hand, the opposing side feels that their social system will be imbalanced due to the threat of insecurity posed by firearms in the wrong hands. In this case, systems model strive to create a balance by addressing the needs of each group.

All the models illustrated above provide systematic mechanisms where administrative bodies may follow when formulating objective policies. In the context of gun policies, each model has its own advantages and disadvantages. American gun policies adopt different models depending on the prevailing social and political temperature during each given period. The difference in political models is responsible for the reason why America is yet to formulate a perfect set of gun policies that will address the best interests of all the parties involved.

Works Cited

McCool, Daniel. Public Policy Theories, Models and Concepts: An Anthology. California: Prentice Hall, 2010. Print.

Kay Adrian. The Dynamics of Public Policy: Dynamics and Evidence. Pittsburg: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010. Print.

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