What would happen if drinks that were more than 16- ounces were to be banned in Texas? Kind of hard to imagine, but have no fear Texans! The ban was not proposed for Texas, but for New York. The reason for this ban was to help the obesity rate in New York to go down. Obesity is a big issue in the United States considering about 68.8% of the
population is obese. Although this ban did not pass, the possibilities of what could have happened if this ban did pass are endless. The economic problems that could have risen from this ban could have been bad.
In our class, we learned about the difference between a want and a need. A need is something that is necessary for survival. A want is something that is not necessary for survival. It’s obvious that large, sugary drinks are wants. Who needs these huge drinks to survive? This is part of the reason why this ban was made in the first place. These large drinks are not needed for survival. If these large drinks were to be banned, then the obesity rate might go down and then maybe the medical problems associated with obesity would go down as well. This ban was made with the idea that it could help save lives.
The ban would have forbid sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces in restaurants, movie theaters and other food establishments. If this ban had passed, there would have been a few trade offs. One trade off would have been that in order for the obesity rate to go down, restaurants would have to just accept that the money they would have made with these large drinks are now gone. The money made from these drink that are more than 16-ounces, where the drinks could have been banned, could have helped the establishment.
When the mayor proposed this ban, he basically had the size of people’s waistbands in his mind. While his idea was not that bad because he cared about people’s health, the mayor could have approached this issue of obesity in a different way. Banning these large, sugary drinks means that money that could have been made will now not be made. That money could have helped the economy. Back in our class when we were studying about the government, we had to come up with possible solutions that could help solve the fiscal cliff. In my group we discussed the possibility of taxing the food and drinks that are sugary. Basically, taxing all the junk food and drinks. To solve the problem of obesity, the government could tax the junk food and sugary drinks. Some people may not want to buy the food and drinks if there was a tax on them. Then again there might be some people who don’t care about the tax and just decide to buy the junk food and sugary drinks. So whenever these people buy these products, they can help the economy. This solution can help with obesity and the economy. It’s like killing two birds with one stone.
Election, lobbying, court, grassroots mobilization, and cultural change pathways are what make America a democracy. All five pathways allow citizens, of any age, to participate in America’s political system. While learning each pathway, the cultural change pathway seemed to stay with me. Cultural change pathway is when a person tries to change citizen’s mind about a certain topic. This approach is an indirect way in influencing the government.
When we were learning about the five pathways, I wanted to find an example that exemplified the cultural change pathway. On October 9, 2012, I didn’t expect to find my example, but I did. I also found a hero that day. A fifteen-year-old activist named Malala Yousufzai changed my life. Malala was an activist who lived in Swat Valley, Pakistan. She fought the Taliban for the right for girls to earn an education. Malala had a blog where she described the hardships of not going to school. She wanted to be something in life and she needed an education do it. Through out the world, people started to read her blog. Her blog caught the attention of so many girls. Most importantly, she caught the attention of the people in her hometown. Once people started listening to what Malala had to say about girls and education, many families in Swat Valley decided that it was worth it to fight the Taliban in order to give their girls a better life. Ton of girls started to protest for the right to go to school and that’s when the Taliban decided they had enough. The Taliban went to Malala’s school and shot her in front of her friends.This young girl changed the view of education for girls throughout the world. Her goal was to just change the minds of the citizens in her hometown, yet she it went much farther than that. This story is an amazing example of the cultural change pathway. Before Malala started to voice out her opinions, the people of Swat Valley were just content to let the Taliban control everything. Now the people are ready to fight for education. Cultural change is when a person changes people’s opinions to try to indirectly influence the government. Malala succeeded in the political pathway.
These pathways give citizens a voice in politics. The citizens of the United States should be lucky that these pathways are given to them. In other countries, people don’t have a voice. Learning about these pathways made me want to make a difference in the political world. I never thought, as a young person, that we could make a difference. I mean, what can a teenager do in the political system? Malala really changed my opinion about these pathways. If a fifteen year old can change the lives of many, who’s to say young people can’t change lives?
All of the pathways are important, but I believe that the cultural change pathway is the best pathway. Instead of going straight to the government, this pathway allows individuals to convince other people to listen to their side. This pathway is a great way to get the governments attention. If a person were able to change the opinions of a lot of people, then maybe the government would take notice. So, I learned that we have to take advantage of these pathways. Even though we are young, these pathways allow are voices to be heard.
As the months go by, the memories of the young lives lost in Newtown, Connecticut, will forever haunt America. There were multiple school shootings before this one, but since they were such young children being robbed of their lives it hit President Obama hard. While the rest of America was dealing with the aftermath of the shooting, President Obama was working hard to figure out how to stop this shooting from ever happening again. What can be the only solution to stop this traumatic problem? Strict gun control laws. As I read the articles pouring in from almost all news outlets, I couldn’t help but be conflicted. Maybe stricter gun control laws are the way to stop lives from ending too soon before their intended time. But then again maybe these laws are just useless. Two months and a couple of articles later, I have made up my mind. Strict gun controls law will do nothing to stop mass murder.
President Obama proposed background searches as a way to stop certain people from having guns. While this may seem like a good idea to people who have seen the outcome of gun violence, I think that this idea won’t help. Background searches may stop bad guys from buying guns, but what about the good guys? A background search may deem a person sane enough to buy a gun, but what happens when that person actually has it in their hands? We don’t know if that person might have a mental breakdown and start to shoot others around them. Others might argue back with the story about Chris Kyle. Chris Kyle was a retired Navy SEAL sniper who was killed by a mentally ill veteran. Chris Kyle and the veteran had gone to go shoot guns to try to help the veteran. Kyle’s niceness fired back on him. The veteran shot and killed him. If the veteran had gone through a background check then maybe this shooting would have never happened. The background check would have showed that the veteran had a mental illness and that would stop the veteran from ever having a gun. Maybe in this situation having the background check would be good, but in other situations it can’t help. A person with an amazing background check could still act like a person with a horrible background check. They both could shoot people for no reason.
A person holding a gun can do anything. They can shoot animals. They can protect people. They can kill people. The truth behind the trigger is the person. The person can either be a sane one or an ill one. Background checks can’t stop a person from having a gun. There are illegal ways to obtain one. In the constitution, in the second amendment, people are allowed to bear arms. People are allowed to have guns. By having background checks, are we not going against the constitution? In CNN’s blog, Political Ticker, Kevin Bohn says that the NRA has “seen its membership rise to record levels as the gun control debate has raged since the Newtown school massacre in December.” Many people are against gun control laws. The school shooting brought out the issues of guns full force. If people could do background checks on the people who buy a gun, then maybe this tragedy could have been avoided. Then the shooting of Chris Kyle brought out the reason why people should do background checks. Every single shooting will leave people wishing that guns didn’t exist or that there be laws prohibiting certain people from ever having a gun in the first place, but the reality is that we can’t stop these shootings.