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Affirmative Action
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Affirmative action works. There are thousands of examples of situations where people of color, white women, and working class women and men of all races who were previously excluded from jobs or educational opportunities, or were denied opportunities once admitted, have gained access through affirmative action. When these policies received executive branch and judicial support, vast numbers of people of color, white women and men have gained access they would not otherwise have had. These gains have led to very real changes. Affirmative action programs have not eliminated racism, nor have they always been implemented without problems. However, there would...
programs can only ensure that everyone has a fair chance at what is available. I believe, the larger question should be to ask is why are there not enough decent paying, challenging and safe jobs for everyone? Why are there not enough seats in the universities for everyone who wants an education? Expanding opportunity for people of color means expanding not only their access to existing jobs, education and housing , but also removing the obstacles that cause them from obtaining their goals. I believe, affirmative action is the best shot they have in order to achieve their dreams.
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Gun violence is one of the...Gun violence is one of the most serious problems in the United States. Each year in the U.S., more than 35,000 people are killed by guns, a death rate much higher than that in any other industrial nations. In 1997, approximately 70 percent of the murders in the United States were committed with guns. However, ironically, the United States also is the country that has the most gun control laws. Gun control laws generally focus on passing legislation"”by local state, or national government"”to restrict legal ownership of certain firearms. Seemingly, gun control laws may decrease criminals' access to guns, but in fact the same laws also have their negative effects. Thus, the controversy over gun control is always heated. But my paper is not about whether guns should be controlled or not. From another angle, looking closely at those gun control laws and their enforcement, we can not only see the criminal problem in America, but also another important social problem in America"”racial discrimination. The racial problem of gun control has raised attention of some American scholars in the U.S. For example, a black man, General Lancy, who is the founder of a little organization known as the National Black Sportsman's Association, often called "the black gun lobby" said when asked his opinion of gun control: "Gun control is really race control. People who embrace gun control are really racists in nature. All gun laws have been enacted to control certain classes of people, mainly black people"¦" Some white men have said almost the same thing. Investigative reporter Robert Sherrill concluded in his book The Saturday Night Special that the object of the Gun Control Act of 1968 was black control rather than gun control. Congress passed the act to "shut off weapons access to blacks, and since they Congress probably associated cheap guns with ghetto blacks and thought cheapness was peculiarly the characteristic of imported military surplus and the mail-order traffic, they decided to cut off these sources while leaving over-the-counter purchases open to the affluent." Gun control in the United States has its history. Prohibitions against the sale of cheap handguns originated in the post-Civil War South. In the 1870s and 1880s, small pistols costing as little as 50 or 60 cents were obtainable, and since they could be afforded by blacks and poor whites, these guns posed a significant threat to those who were wealthy or powerful. They were afraid that blacks and poor whites possessing guns would break their established social structure. So consequently, in 1870, Tennessee banned "selling all but 'the Army and Navy model' handgun". Of course this type of gun was the most expensive one, which was beyond the means of most blacks and laboring people. In 1881, Arkansas enacted an almost identical ban on the sale of cheap revolvers. In 1902, South Carolina banned the sale of handguns to all but "sheriffs and their special deputies". In 1893 and 1907, respectively, Alabama and Texas passed extremely heavy taxes on the sale of such weapons to put handguns out of the reach of the blacks and poor whites. The same thing happened in the North. Attempts to regulate the possession of guns began in the northern states during the early 20th century. These regulations were almost the same with their counterparts in South in essence although they had different focuses. In 1911, New York enacted its Sullivan Law requiring a police permit for legal possession of a handgun rather than trying to keep handguns out of means of blacks and the poor whites. This law made it possible for the police to screen applicants for permits to possess handguns. Such a requirement may seem reasonable, it can and has been abused. Those who are not in favor with the influential or the police are easily suspected and denied permits. The act was designed to "strike hardest at the foreign-born element" particularly Italians, Catholics and Jews. Those who were considered racially inferior found it almost impossible to obtain gun permits. Over the years, as the police seldom granted handgun permits to any person but the wealthy and influential, application of the Sullivan Law has become increasingly elitist . Then why those gun control proponents would always deny that those controls are either racist or elitist in effects? Of course the intent of those control apply to everybody and aim at reducing violence for everybody, but the controls are in fact racist or elitist in effect. We can easily notice that the anger towards weapon is originated from the anger towards criminals. Most people, when they are hearing of an especially heinous crime, or when they are victimized, feel angry and hostile towards the offender of the crime. The uncomfortable feeling can be easily transferred from the offender to an inanimate object "“ the weapon. Although the illegal possession of a handgun or of any gun is a crime, it doesn't produce a victim and is difficult to be reported to the police, therefore handgun permit requirements or handgun prohibitions aren't easily enforced. And when laws are difficult to enforce, "enforcement becomes progressively more haphazard until at last the laws are used only against those who are unpopular with the police." Of course minorities aren't likely to be popular with the police. These minorities, because of police indifference or perhaps even hostility, may be the most inclined to look to guns for protection. On the one hand, they can't acquire guns legally and on the other hand, it will put them in danger if possessed illegally. So while the intent of such laws may not be racist, their effect certainly is. Today, the dispute over gun-control, like those of days gone by, breaks out among different social classes. Most of the dedicated proponents of strict gun controls are urban, upper-middle-class people, many of whom are to some degree influential. On the other hand, the most dedicated opponents of gun control are often rural, working- or middle-class people, few of whom can publicize their views, but many of whom know a lot about the safe and lawful uses of guns. To these Americans, guns mean freedom and security. The gun controls dispute, therefore, has become a conflict that affluent Americans attempting to impose their discrimination on working-class people who are comfortable with guns. Above all, we have enough evidences to conclude that gun control in America, not concerning whether it should be or should not be, is a kind of racial discrimination. Now we can admit how right General Laney said: "All gun laws have been enacted to control certain classes of people"¦"   

Gun violence is one of the most serious problems in the United States. Each year in the U.S., more than 35,000 people are killed by guns, a death rate much higher than that in any other industrial nations. In 1997, approximately 70 percent of the murders in the United States...

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One question that has haunted Americans...One question that has haunted Americans for a long time is: "Should the use of marijuana be legalized?" Some say, "Yes", while other say, "No". According to Funk and Wagnall's New Encyclopedia, marijuana is defined as "a mixture of leaves, stems, and flowering tops of the Indian hemp plant Cannabis sativa, smoked or eaten for its hallucinogenic and pleasure-giving effects." Bram, Phillips, Dickey, 445 Owning marijuana was made a crime in 1937 when Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act. Despite this law the drug was still somewhat commonly used. Here we are years later, still without a satisfactory answer to the question. I think that legalizing the use of marijuana would have many medical benefits, economical benefits, and would decrease the incidence of crime. There are others who disagree. These people feel that legalization would lead to the formation of other habits and to health problems, such as, the use of a harsher drug and to psychological and personality problems that can come from using marijuana. These individuals feel that the negatives of marijuana use far outweigh the positives, and feel that the use of marijuana should remain illegal. To some people marijuana is considered a "gateway" drug. Legalizing marijuana would lead to the use of other, much more harsh drugs. From the book Drugs, Teens, and Recovery, Lauren, a teenager that got mixed up in drugs describes how she got involved with marijuana, then with cocaine. She says, "I was ten, in the fifth grade, the first time I smoked pot. I liked pot a lot better than drinking because it was easier. I loved it. Pot and alcohol, that's all I needed. I didn't want to get into anything else". She continues, "About this time, I started getting obsessed with cocaine and thinking about what the high would be like". Just like Lauren people can start off with just smoking marijuana but they would get the urge to try something a little bit stronger. Chesney, 46 Marijuana usage has many medical benefits. It became popular as a medicine in the United States during the mid-nineteenth century. Then, marijuana was used to treat general headaches, migraine headaches, depression, muscular tension, insomnia, and menstrual cramps. Today, marijuana has proven to be beneficial in the treatment of many more medical conditions including glaucoma, cancer, and asthma. In 1976, Robert C. Randall became the very first American to ever gain legal access to marijuana for medical purposes. In Marijuana, The Patients' Fight for Medicinal Pot, he describes how marijuana helped him through his battle with glaucoma, "Marijuana has helped control it. Marijuana is helping me to save my eyesight". Randall, 154 Marijuana has helped Mr. Randall in his fight with glaucoma, and has the potential to aid in the treatment of many other medical situations. Another person that has gotten relief from marijuana is Dan Shapiro. "He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease in 1987 when he called a friend who had also battled cancer. His friend's advice, Shapiro says, came in a six-word package: "Cancer is grim, man, get weed." Shapiro has been in remission for nine years and has stated that marijuana helped him stay functional despite the notoriously-debilitating chemotherapy." Sealy, Geraldine "Thanks Mom" These two cases shows that marijuana is a help to people who need it. Marijuana is legal in one state for medical purposes only. In 1996, voters in California approved a law that relaxes regulation on medical marijuana. The federal government cannot take action against California doctors who recommend marijuana to their patients. Marijuana has eased the pain of chemotherapy, sever muscle spasms caused b multiple sclerosis, weight-loss due to the AIDS virus and other problems. Experts from the National Institute of Health or NIH have confirmed that marijuana is an effective, safe and inexpensive alternative for treating nausea caused by AIDS medications and cancer treatments and other like ailments as glaucoma, muscle spasms, intractable pain, epilepsy, anorexia, asthma, insomnia, depression and other disorders. Other such ailments in which marijuana has been said to help are Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, repetitive migraines and Alzheimer's, but the NIH has not reported those results. The National Institute of Medicine shows us that the benefits from cannabis short term use doesn't hinder the possible hazards of its long-term use. Marijuana has beneficial outlook for some illnesses, but experimentation is limited due to it unlawfulness. The positive effects of this drug are helping a limited number so doctors have tried to work with the government to create a reliable way to distribute the drug without smoking it. The work being done to find a chemical fabricate should clarify that marijuana has some medicinal value. In 1986 a THC based synthetic called Marinol was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, unfortunately it did not treat as well as cannabis. Government experts have indicated that marijuana does relieve pain, and other disorders, but it does not cure them, therefore can not be legalized as a prescription drug. In many cases marijuana has been the building block for recovery, and it has given sick people a chance to move on without the tension and pain. Government experts have concealed some information about similar prescription drugs such as, percocet and codeine. Both are very addictive and they only relieve the pain. Medicinal marijuana has similar side effects as the often prescribed stimulants, but it is not quite as addictive. Marijuana is not so different from other frequently prescribed stimulants, but its stereotypical summary has the government questioning its output. Marijuana has undergone analysis for its use as a medicine and the results have shown improvements in the patients who were treated with this drug. "Using the drug can alleviate pain and nausea, and help patients hold down food, allowing them to stay stronger" Sealey, Geraldine, "Medicinal Dope on the Docket, Based on extrapolations from animal experiments, the ratio of marijuana's lethal dose to its effective dose is 40,000 to 1, compared to between 10 and 20 to 1 for aspirin and between 4 and 10 to 1 for alcohol. Possibly an agreement could be established concerning procedures for further development and treatment. I feel that if marijuana was legal the people who need it for medical purposes could get it. Legalization of marijuana has many economical benefits. Ethan Nadelman, an assistant professor of politics and public affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University wrote in the book Drug Abuse, Opposing Viewpoints, about several strategies of legalizing the use of marijuana. One strategy would consist of the government exercising strong regulatory powers over all large-scale production and sale of marijuana. The second strategy is to make drug-treatment programs available to all those who need them. The last, but not least, strategy was to make marijuana available only to competent adults. This legalization strategy would allow the United States to reduce government expenditures on enforcing drug laws and would allow the United States to enjoy a new tax revenue from legal drug production and sales. According to Nadelman, his strategy would increase public treasuries of at least ten billion a year and maybe much more. This strategy would have many economical benefits on the United States. Former Mayor of Baltimore Kurt Schmoke was a strong believer in legalizing drugs. In the article, "The War on Drugs", he says "¦the strategy for fighting it didn't work, and as a result the war lasted too long and cost too many lives. The same is true of the war on drugs. It's time to bring this enervating war to an end. It's time for peace". Gallagher, "Why the War on Drugs Will Never Succeed", 4 I believe, with Mr. Schmoke, that my legalizing marijuana, the crime rate would decrease in the United States. The streets of America would automatically become much better and safer places. The drug dealers would possibly be put out of business, and the shoot outs over drug related crimes would likely end. "Since cannabis arrests constitute 44 percent of all drug apprehensions, the Marijuana Policy Project MPP estimates that the governments war on pot smokers costs taxpayers $9.2 billion annually" Feder, Murdock, "Symposium" 1 Instead of drug addicts shoplifting, mugging, breaking into homes, and stealing from others to pay outrageous prices for marijuana from dealers, they could support their habit by simply holding an honest, decent paying job. From the book Drugs, Teens, and Recovery, Bobby who was a freshman in high school knows what it is like to have to steal to support his drug habit. He says. "For drug money, I stole a lot. I didn't take much from my own parents, but when I'd sleep over at another kid's house, I'd get into his parent's bedroom and see what I could take. I can't express the torment I was feeling" Chesney, 87 According to the chairperson of the advisory board of the Drug Policy Foundation in Washington, DC, legalizing marijuana would have a very positive effect on the public. Those who want marijuana legalized feel that they are not endorsing drug use, but instead, are recognizing the rights of Americans to make their own choices, which is very important to the future of America. "It is safe to say that at some point in the not-too-distant future, America will confront the question of whether or not to legalize the use and cultivation of marijuana. A recent poll shows that support for legalization has reached its highest level since the question was first asked thirty years ago, with 34 percent supporting a liberalization of policy" Linker, "Going to Pot" 1 I believe that marijuana should be legalized for the reasons of medicinal purposes, economical purposes and crime purposes. With all the research and time spent on the use of marijuana as a medical treatment, one would think that cannabis is beneficial and could possibly lead to other developments for treatment of disease and pain. There are proven facts that the NIH have provided, but government officials have their own set of ideas. Experimental programs, which have been going on for thirty years, have established the effectiveness of marijuana's treatment. "Marijuana legalization is a conservative idea whose time indeed has come" Murdock, Feder, "Symposium" 1   

One question that has haunted Americans for a long time is: "Should the use of marijuana be legalized?" Some say, "Yes", while other say, "No". According to Funk and Wagnall's New Encyclopedia, marijuana is defined as "a mixture of leaves, stems, and flowering tops of the Indian hemp plant Cannabis...

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