Paper 2: Gun Control Reform


In the United States, passing gun control measures over the past twenty years has proven very difficult. Yet, in a similar time frame, both the U.K. and Australia enacted significant gun control reforms. Why has it been so much harder to pass gun control legislation in the U.S. than other countries?

Please write a five-page essay in which you make and defend an argument about why gun control reforms have proven more difficult to pass in the United States than in other countries. Analyze both the politics and policy options surrounding gun control reforms.

In the conclusion of your essay, explain the implications of your argument for gun control advocates. Specifically, what would you advise gun control advocates to do differently in order to enact stronger gun control in the United States? This analysis should include a discussion of both political strategy and specific policy proposals.

Note: In this essay, we will be doing a peer review. Prepare a full draft of your essay before class session 13, and print out a copy to bring to class. Your TA will collect your essay, and bring it to recitation for a peer edit. Once you've received peer feedback, revise your essay before handing it in at class session 14.

Student Examples

The examples below appear courtesy of MIT students and are used with permission. Examples are published anonymously unless otherwise requested.

The Difficulty of Passing Gun Control in the United States (PDF)

Gun Control Reform in the United States (PDF)