Final my family until I reached high school

Final Paper: Liberalism

            An ideology toward government is a
set of ideas and concepts of the role of the government and its influence on
its citizens.  Based on the political
compass test, I am mostly moderate, but lean slightly liberal.  The textbook describes liberalism as: “one
who seeks to use the government to change the political, economic, and social
status quo and foster the development of equality and the well-being of
individuals” (O’Connor and Sabato 232).  These ideologies pass down in families, so children
are more likely to reflect what their parent’s ideologies are.  I used to agree with my family until I
reached high school and my parents stopped insisting me to go to church and
they stopped talking about politics as much. 
I think this allowed me to create my own beliefs about religion and the role
of government which changed my ideology. 
I think the government should help its citizens, decriminalize the use
of drugs, make it easier to obtain contraceptives and even abortions, and work
harder to decrease violent crimes.  However,
I also agree with other ideologies such as conservatism and the right to bear
arms, the right to private property, a capitalist economy, war on terror, and
against long-term welfare.   The
following paper will demonstrate how liberal authors reflect on the current
social issues of abortion, illegal drugs, and gun control and my response to
their claims.

            In the court case Roe v. Wade, the
Supreme Court found that women have the right to abortion under their right to
privacy.  Abortion is a widely debated
issue across America and Pro-Choice or Pro-Life and is an important topic among
legislators.  In the article “The Right Way
to Reduce Abortions” the authors state: “Simply put, there are two key ways to
reduce abortion – by making it less necessary or by making it less available.” (Arons and Saberstein).  The article goes on to say that the state or
federal governments can either make it illegal or so high on regulations that an
abortion is nearly impossible to receive. 
Or the government can provide proper education on contraceptives and abstinence,
help on receiving birth control and emergency contraceptives, and funding
programs that aim to stop domestic violence and promote family planning (Arons and

I agree with this, I think too often hardcore
Pro-Lifers seem to see it all as black and white: “If you have sex and you end-up
pregnant, you will face the consequences”, “you can put up for adoption”, “we
need to make abortion illegal to stop abortion”.  But these mostly conservative, Christian citizens
also refuse to educate our kids on anything other than abstinence.  Before going to public high school, all my
private education focused on abstinence and that sex is for marriage.  But that did not help me when I got to high
school and was completely clueless of the realities in life.  Making abortion illegal will not decrease the
amount of abortions.  Because there are
still going to be people who need abortions and without easy access, these women
are going to look for alternative more dangerous methods to terminate which could
result in hurting the mother or not being successful and resulting the birth of
a defected child.

            In the article “Needling for Change”,
Thomson-DeVeaux explores a homeless shelter named Insite in Vancouver, Canada.  Insite supplies needles and medical help from
real nurses and doctors to citizens in the area who have severe drug
problems.  They educate on the dangers of
HIV transfer from needles and encourage safer transmission of illegal drugs
such as heroin.  They also have a rehab
facility; Onsite, which works to build trust in the medical professionals and
to eventually help them lean off the hard drugs.  This shelter being the first and only location
in North America has decreased drug overdoses in the area by 30% and at the
same time decreasing the risks of needle-sharing and keeping illegal drug use off
the streets (Thomson-DeVeaux).

“despite the growing consensus that drug addiction is an
illness, rather than a failure of will or morality. “There’s a stereotype that
people who inject drugs are selfish and uncaring, just waiting for their next
hit,” says Laura Thomas, a deputy state director with the Drug Policy Alliance,
an organization that supports SIFs. “It makes it easier to dismiss those people
as criminals.” (Thomson-DeVeaux)

I have seen in both a private and public education, you
learn the negative effects of drugs and addiction and how it “takes over your
life.”  All this does for students is
create this idea that drug users are evil criminals who only care about getting
more drugs.  But that is not true, drug
users are just people who have some problems. 
Addiction is a disease, a reliance on a chemical, it does not mean these
people are hopeless and deserve to be sent to jail.  They need help and support; for too long the
government has thrown away these people instead of facing the problem at
hand.  The addiction.

I think the government should encourage these
needle exchanges if the primary focus is on the rehabilitation and reintegration
into society.  The decriminalization of
drugs needs to become more of a priority than legalization, which could
potentially lead to more overdoses and dangerous effects on children.  As for the legalization of marijuana, I see
no problem with this now; however, I predict that in the next generation, we may
find out that smoking marijuana could be just as dangerous as all the other
drugs we consume such as tobacco and alcohol. 
But the government needs to stop demonizing addiction and start creating
programs that work to decrease the number of Americans who have succumbed to a drug

Gun control is another hot
topic among Americans and legislators. 
Some Americans believe everyone should be allowed to buy guns as it is
their constitutional right, some believe we do not need guns in American and
would be better off without them, and some are in the middle who believes we
need regulations and restrictions on the process to obtain guns.  I have been in the middle because I have shot
guns all my life and enjoy doing so, but I do not think it is fair or even possible
for the government to take all our guns at this point.  I agree we need more regulations for getting
guns; I think there must be psychological tests and extremely extensive background
checks.  I also think the government
should have a list of all citizens with guns, this could be useful in domestic
violence calls to the police, so the police know what to expect.

“We also have a high rate of gun-related violence. There were
16,272 homicides in 2008. Of those, more than 58 percent—or 9,484—were
committed with a firearm. In 2005, guns were used in more than half of all
suicides, and that same year, nearly 800 people died in gun-related accidents.” (Bouie)

I think the argument that guns are responsible for “half of all
suicides” is kind of flimsy in comparison to other gun-related violence.  If an individual is going to kill themselves,
I do not think the presence of guns in the house is to blame for that.  I believe it is more of a result of the
stigma surrounding mental health and seeking treatment.  In the argument we have the “right to bear
arms,” from the constitution, is also weak.  The time-period in which the constitution was
written, is extremely different compared to today where we do not have to:
fight off wolves, or the British from entering our homes, or hunt our own food.  But I still believe that in the right hands, guns
have the potential of being a very useful tool for Americans for self-defense,
especially in a country where mass shootings are becoming the norm.  Will a mass American ban on guns stop mass
shootings? No, there are always people who are mentally unstable or have a
breakdown, who will be able to find a way to hurt massive amounts of people.  America needs to focus on the mental state of
people and the rehabilitation for those who are suffering from mental problems.

            In conclusion,
I have found more statistics and opinions of other like-minded individuals on
topics which are so important to everyday Americans and legislators.  I think I am agreeable on most topics and always
try to listen to both sides.  While this
may mean I am not the best suited person for political debates, this I think could
be good at trait finding a good compromise between two very divided sides.  I found from writing on these three topics
that a lot of the issues in our nation could be resolved with better mental
health in America.  I believe that to solve
these issues and make a better performing, happier country, we need to erase
the stigma and learn to accept and give help.