The Source Of National Rifle Association Power Writing Sample

The article by Eric Lipton and Alexander Burns analyzes the true reason for the success of such an organization as the National Rifle Association (NRA). It is considered to be one of the most prosperous and influential non-profit companies in the US. It brings together the supporters of the Second Amendment, according to which people have the right to keep and carry firearms. Another factor about NRA is that despite the fact it presents itself as an apolitical organization, it openly supports the policies of the Republican Party and its presidential candidates.

One of the main points of the following article is that this organization successfully set its agenda on the issue of carrying and concealing weapons. According to researchers, because of NRA, gun owners have a “leeway to shoot in self-defense” (Lipton & Burns, 2018, para. 1). In addition, at some point in time, people were given more privacy when it came to their firearms since doctors were forbidden from asking their patients about them. All these policies make the reader assume that the National Rifle Association indeed has a significant amount of political power. For some reason, NRA’s opinion is so significant that the association can participate in law-making. As a consequence, many opponents of NRA question whether its power is valid to make such a strong influence.

There is no doubt that NRA has critics, including gun control activist groups and some politicians. It gets a substantial amount of criticism, especially after cases of gun massacres and school shootings. Nevertheless, even these incidents do not seem to lower the authority of this organization. The article also states that they believe the National Rifle Association acquired their political support illegally by buying it (Lipton & Burns, 2018). However, another main point of the article is that the source of NRA’s power is more complicated and goes beyond buying votes.

Even though there were several financial contributions to political facilities, including the House of Senates and federal offices, other companies offer more. The authors present Comcast and Pfizer as examples of organizations that made significant donations (Lipton & Burns, 2018). For this reason, it would be wrong to assume that NRA’s power comes solely from its money.

Another major argument against the financial source of the organization’s influence is the instances when pro-gun politicians have often received a public backlash. As the authors mention, openly supporting NRA is not easy because, “at times like this, it’s very easy to get stampeded by the media and the left” (Lipton & Burns, 2018, para. 15). For this reason, despite the company’s popularity and political impact, it does not guarantee that everyone supports it. John Feinblatt, the president of Everytown for Gun Safety, declared that the situation is reversed (Lipton & Burns, 2018). It means that during recent years the power of the National Rifle Association has been reduced.

As for my opinion, I believe that even though the right to carry firearms should not be declined altogether, it needs control. For this reason, such an organization as NRA, should not have a significant amount of political influence; otherwise, the result of the dispute over gun possession would not be fair. There is no doubt that the National Rifle Association will continue to participate actively in discussions, but it does not have to influence votes.

Reference

Lipton, E., & Burns, A. (2018). The True Source of the NRA’s Clout: Mobilization, Not Donations’. New York Times, 24.

Problems And Solutions In The Puppy Mills Industry

Recently, the United States House of Representatives passed the bill that united both Republicans and Democrats. The bill’s name is the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act that addressed the issues of cruelty and neglect among pets. Primarily, the law makes abuse of animals illegal on a national level (Campbell, 2019). The cruelty is defined by breaking, setting on fire, drowning, strangling, and stabbing. However, puppy mills, or extensive breeding operations, are not considered illegal by the PACT, which was regarded as controversial by the public. The problem that needs to be addressed is how to ensure puppy mills are following the legal regulations established by PACT, as many similar businesses have been accused of animal cruelty. Therefore, it is essential to fully comprehend the level of abuse by such organizations, find the significant obstacle within the issue, and propose a comprehensive solution.

Puppy Mills Cruelty

Puppy mills are industrial-scale breeding operations, where animals are repeatedly bred to produce as many puppies as possible. These are then sold to consumers or pet stores. Puppy mills operate like factories where maximizing output is the goal. As a result, the animals well being, health and temperament are not considered to save on costs (Campbell, 2019). The animals are kept in cramped, unsanitary conditions, to minimize costs to the mill.

Furthermore, puppy mills are relatively unregulated and understudied, although they are widespread in the United States. Some estimates put their number at 10000 in the United States, often operating in rural areas and selling online (Solotaroff, 2017). As many dogs end up unsold, mill operators will simply put them down. In the United States, roughly two million dogs are euthanized each year, a number that does not cover the dogs mill operators kill through overwork and mistreatment.

Major Obstacles

Puppy mills, large-scale puppy breeding business, are not limited by the PACT Act, which means many animals are still kept in poor, unsanitary conditions. Because of the high demand for puppies and no current legal restrictions or regulations, these mills remain open (Campbell, 2019). A lack of awareness among consumers is also to blame, as many do not know of conditions in puppy mills and are not aware that they should only buy from a reputable breeder (Solotaroff, 2017). Instead, many consumers go to pet stores that acquire their stock from puppy mills.

Furthermore, efforts to include banning or regulating puppy mills with the PACT Act are difficult, as the PACT Act is a revision of an older bill. Since the previous version of the Bill did not include laws covering puppy mills, the current PACT Act simply does not address them (Campbell, 2019). As it stands now, a puppy mill operator, if they sell directly to the buyer, either a consumer or a store, does not need any sort of license.

Proposal

My proposal consists of three vital details that can help government agencies ensure the proper well-being of animals kept in puppy mills.

First, puppy mills applicants must attend training on how to take care of dogs. Such mandatory training should include detailed instructions on appropriate animal care and treatment. This would require federal guidelines on minimal comfort levels for animals (Frasch, 2016). Puppy mill operators would have to be registered and receive a license to function.

Second, legal entities should check the organization to ensure that it is clean, has beds, and well-ventilated. A study done in Canada found that chicken farms could operate at the same long term costs while meeting animal comfort standards. It was only short-term costs that prevented some farms from complying (Robichaud et al., 2017). This could drive some puppy farms out of business and ensure that only ones that meet minimal comfort guidelines survive.

Third, a representative from the government has to perform random visits to puppy millers to ensure the dogs’ well-being. This would guarantee the continuation of the training’s positive effects, as the owners would always be in-check.

Who and What

There need to be changes in legislation regarding minimal comfort levels for animals at the Federal scale. The PACT Act can be expanded to cover more than just anti-cruelty and to set standards for Animal care nationwide. The PACT Act was drafted and passed by a bipartisan majority, indicating enough governmental support for animal rights legislation.

Furthermore, legislators and law enforcement agencies support the PACT Act (Eckerd, 2019). This would indicate that the additional steps outlined in my proposal would have some support. The enforcement of the actions in the project could be done by elements of law enforcement, who could simply carry out the random and scheduled checks in my proposal. This would have the additional benefit of communicating the seriousness of the government in enforcing anti-cruelty laws. Law enforcement agencies have stated a connection between cruelty towards animals and cruelty towards people (Eckerd, 2019). This could indicate the willingness of law enforcement agencies to expand their activities to include monitoring puppy mills for cruelty.

Benefits of the Proposal

The three steps of my proposal would act in tandem to, firstly, limit the growth of new puppy mills and, secondly, to ensure that only mills capable of meeting minimal comfort requirements survive. Forcing puppy mill operators to register and go through training would limit new puppy mills run by individuals with no regard for animal welfare. This change would also work retroactively, meaning that existing puppy mill operators would have to go through the application process.

Furthermore, governmental entities’ checks on the conditions in puppy mills would make sure the guidelines are followed. The first and second steps enhance each other, as mill operators whose business does not meet the requirements will not be able to claim that they were not informed of the requirements. Lastly, random checks would enforce the necessity to keep the mills operating within the parameters described by the minimum comfort requirements. This would help drive out of business the puppy mills not capable of caring for the animals properly.

Potential Problems and Solutions

The first potential problem is that the proposed regulations might take a long time to pass. Initially, when the U.S. House of Representatives passed PETA Act, the puppy millers were not affected by the new law because it is a product of revision of the bill that was proposed over ten years ago (Campbell, 2019). Therefore, some decisions, mainly connected to animals, take a longer time to be made.

The other obstacle is that puppy mills might go out of business, which might drastically change the contemporary animal market. The entire business model of puppy mills is based on the opportunity to breed animals on a large-scale. Such an approach assumes a certain level of neglect and exploitation involved in the process (Solotaroff, 2017). Therefore, proposing these regulations might lead to some puppy mills leaving the animal industry, which might affect pet stores and other animal facilities.

The last issue with the proposal is connected to the fact that the United States government might not have enough funds and human resources to implement the project entirely. The proposal’s essential part is focused on government intervention; thus, the lack of appropriate staff can be a significant obstacle to the plan.

The first solution is to focus on State and city level policymakers, as California and Maryland have various preventive laws against large-scale breeding (Campbell, 2019). Therefore, to attract the Federal government’s attention, it is efficient first to lobby the State government.

The solution to the other problem is to educate the public on the way many puppy mills are operating, which will encourage individuals to buy dogs from professional breeders or adopt from shelters. Thus, even if the industry will be reformed, there are various alternatives in the market.

Lastly, the solution to the issues is to introduce new public-sector jobs related to animal care, which will positively affect the economy long-term, as more people will be able to find employment.

Conclusion

The PACT Act has recently passed, which focused on the issues of animal abuse. However, puppy mills were not affected by the law, which led the public to question the United States government’s decision. The animals are regularly kept in unsanitary and uncomfortable conditions because the primary goal of puppy mills is to bread as many dogs as possible. Moreover, the lack of awareness among people also supports the industry because of the constant demand. The proposal to change the ongoing situation includes mandatory training, legal checks, and random visits from the responsible agency.

References

Campbell, L. (2019). Animal cruelty could soon become a federal crime-but why are puppy mills still allowed? Readers Digest

Eckerd, P. (2017). Senate unanimously passes PACT act against extreme animal cruelty. Jurist. 

Robichaud, M., Rushen, J., De Passillé, A. M., Vasseur, E., Haley, D., Orsel, K., & Pellerin, D. (2018). Is the profitability of Canadian freestall farms associated with their performance on an animal welfare assessment? Journal of Dairy Science, 101(3), 2350-2358. 

Solotaroff, P. (2017). The dog factory: Inside the sickening world of puppy mills. Rolling Stone

The Causes Of Water Pollution

Introduction

Water pollution is a significant decrease in water resources’ quality due to the ingress of various chemicals and solid waste into streams, rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans, or the multiplication of microscopic living organisms. The causes of water pollution are related to human activities. After observing the Drinking Water Supply and Quality Report 2018 and 2019, it has become clear that tap water in New York is considered one of the world’s highest quality. New York City receives drinking water from 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes, located in a watershed of almost 2,000 square miles (“NYC Environmental Protection,” 2018). This drainage basin is located 125 miles north of New York City, in the Hudson Valley and the Catskills (“NYC Environmental Protection,” 2018). Drinking water does not require cleaning; however, to comply with all sanitary standards, it still disinfects with chlorine and ultraviolet radiation.

Meanwhile, despite all positive features of the NYC water supply system, several issues exist, including the changes in water quality and the chemical substances found after investigation provided by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The specific reason for the difference in water condition is the closure for repairs of one of the two aqueducts through which water from the Catskill watershed enters New York. In October 2018, the reservoirs of Westchester and Dutchess counties were involved in the city’s uninterrupted supply (“NYC Environmental Protection,” 2019). The water in these reservoirs is saturated with minerals – particularly calcium and magnesium – and therefore has a characteristic smell and taste (Hoang et al., 2019). This water is considered moderately heavy and leaves a residue on dishes and can clog sewer pipes. Previously, the share of its use in the water supply in New York City did not exceed ten percent, after this, the figure is twenty to thirty percent. Most of the water is supplied to Manhattan and parts of the Bronx.

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released details on toxic chemicals present in water systems. Data from the EWG study materials show that drinking water in New York City does not meet health guidelines (“New York City System,” n.d). Six different pollutants associated with cancer have been found in the water (“New York City System,” n.d). Their level significantly exceeds the recommendations established by the health authorities but does not go beyond the legal norms. There are chemicals in the water, including chloroform, bromodichloromethane, and dichloroacetic acid (“New York City System,” n.d). Health authorities recommend that the amount of chloroform in water should not exceed the proportion of one in a billion. According to the EWG, it corresponds to one case of cancer in a million inhabitants, while New York City’s water level is 30.9 per billion (“New York City System,” n.d). Meanwhile, even this amount poses health risks to New Yorkers.

Impact on the Environment and Human Health

The contamination of potable water with chemicals turned out to be much worse than previously thought. The substances that are resistant to environmental degradation are known as perfluoroalkyl (PFAS) (Jayaswal et al., 2018). This factor leads to the overuse of chlorine; consequently, it has several adverse outcomes of its high content in water. In addition to reducing the species diversity of marine and river flora and fauna, as chlorine does not disappear from the water circulation, these substances also accumulate in organisms and circulate in food chains, destroying tissues and leading to infertility and genetic mutations.

Concerning human health, frequent drinking of chlorinate water can increase the number of cancer cases, liver damage, low birth weight in babies, and other health problems. Chlorine interacts with other substances to form trihalomethanes; the most dangerous of these is chloroform, which leads to liver cancer. Moreover, epidemiologists compared a map of the distribution of tumors of the bladder and intestines in the United States with a plan of water chlorination. It turned out that where people drink this water, tumor cases are wide-spread (Li & Wu, 2019). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has explored that water pollution could affect more than 110 million Americans (Li & Wu, 2019). If people live in a region where potable water has been contaminated, it will become impossible to avoid contact with chemicals.

Management Practices

Although the depletion and water pollution have been going on for years, an acceptable problem solution has not yet been found. Thus, the policy against water pollution prohibits the discharge of untreated wastewater into open water bodies, promotes natural self-purification processes, and creates clean water protection zones. The sequential wastewater treatment system, which is being implemented today in many modern enterprises, consists of two main stages. The first management practice is a mechanical process during which floating and rapidly settling substances are removed from the water. The second is biological management when the abatement with biologically degradable biologically active materials is carried out (Pires et al., 2017). Currently, the crucial way to combat pollution is wastewater treatment, but the fact is that up to 20 percent of the most persistent contamination remains in it (Alcamo, 2019). Finally, consumption and water pollution can be significantly reduced by introducing more closed cycles, such as reusing water in the same production cycle without discharging it into water bodies, restate wastewater, and switching to technologies based on lower consumption water.

Each person needs to master practical ways to conserve and improve water quality. The people’s ability to provide themselves with clean water for health and life consists of environmentally sound actions in everyday life. Citizens can support those public organizations that seek from the authorities’ concrete efforts to strengthen state control over discharges, reduce the burden on urban treatment facilities, and development of cleaner production.

References

Alcamo, J. (2019). Water quality and its interlinkages with the sustainable development goals. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 36, 126-140. Web.

Hoang, L., Mukundan, R., Moore, K. E., Owens, E. M., & Steenhuis, T. S. (2019). Phosphorus reduction in the New York City water supply system: A water-quality success story confirmed with data and modeling. Ecological Engineering, 135, 75-88. Web.

Jayaswal, K., Sahu, V., & Gurjar, B. R. (2018). Water pollution, human health, and remediation. In Water Remediation (pp. 11-27). Springer.

Li, P., & Wu, J. (2019). Drinking water quality and public health. Exposure and Health, 11(2), 73-79. Web.

New York City System. (n.d.). Environmental working group. Web.

NYC Environmental Protection. (2018). New York City: Drinking water supply and quality report. Web.

NYC Environmental Protection. (2019). New York City: Drinking water supply and quality report. Web.

Pires, A., Morato, J., Peixoto, H., Botero, V., Zuluaga, L., & Figueroa, A. (2017). Sustainability assessment of indicators for integrated water resources management. Science of the Total Environment, 578, 139-147. Web.

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