Philosophy Required in High School  Essay

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Obama endorsed an Illinois handgun ban while he was serving in the Illinois state legislature and also supports a ban on semi-automatic weapons. However, the current President professed his support for the Second Amendment, stating that he supports restrictions to keep guns out of the wrong hands, not a full prohibition. In Illinois he co-sponsored a 2000 to limit consumer purchases of firearms to one gun per month -- although he also supported 'conceal carry' laws for retired police officers ("Gun control," on the Issues, 2008).

The spike in gun sales has more to do with political posturing than reality: gun owners wish to demonstrate their opposition to Obama's system of values, as conceptualized in the red-blue divide that currently exists in the United States. In this polarized media positioning, Obama represents urban elitism and government control, despite his actual policies. The NRA and the gun industry has used this fear that individuals will not be able to 'defend themselves' against faceless threats, crime, and even the government itself to stimulate gun ownership and fear -- with potentially grave consequences for those who use their expanded stores of munitions to take the law into their own hands.

Question 3: Embryonic stem cell research

Quite simply, embryonic stem cell research holds the promise of hope for millions of Americans affected with chronic diseases. "Embryonic stem cells are thought by most scientists and researchers to hold potential cures for spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, hundreds of rare immune system and genetic disorders and much more"
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(White, 2010, p.1). Opposition to embryonic stem cell research has been concentrated in the pro-life community: using the cells of a days-old human embryo extracted during an abortion is viewed as complicity in murder. Although abortion is allowed, according to the law of the land, pro-life activists feel that condoning stem cell research will seem like an implicit validation of the morality of abortion.

However, to permit abortion yet to oppose federal funding for stem-cell research seems like a blatant legal contraction, as well as a moral one. Federal funds should be targeted towards the type of research which the mainstream scientific community believes offers the most hope to save human life. Because they are not "categorized or programmed by the body, and can be prompted to generate any of the 220 human cell types" embryonic cells are more "flexible" and more useful for potential research (White 2010, p.1).

As a final note, even during the Bush Administration, states were allowed to fund such research within their borders: only a ban upon federal funding was enforced. The ban was thus always more symbolic, even when Obama Administration's Republican predecessor was in office. Obama lifted the ban upon federal funding on March 9, 2010, during his first months in office (White 2010, p.1).

Works Cited

"Gun control." On the issues. 2008. June 5, 2010.

http://www.ontheissues.org/gun_control.htm

Kinzie, Susan. "GWU adds ethical focus to business school." The Washington Post.

September 15, 2008. June 5, 2010. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/15/AR2008091502975.html

White, Deborah. "Pros and cons of embryonic stem cell research." About.com. June 5, 2010.

http://usliberals.about.com/od/stemcellresearch/i/StemCell1.htm

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

"Gun control." On the issues. 2008. June 5, 2010.

http://www.ontheissues.org/gun_control.htm

Kinzie, Susan. "GWU adds ethical focus to business school." The Washington Post.

September 15, 2008. June 5, 2010. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/15/AR2008091502975.html

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