Need ideas for topics to put into a research paper


February 23, 2011, 11:37 PM
I am writing a research paper for a college ethics class that I am taking this quarter. I am looking for topics to put into the paper. Here is my thesis:

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution is being swept under the rug by politicians and anti-gun groups at an alarming rate.

I have a few ideas to put into the paper but what would you put into it if you were to write it. In return I will post it on here when I am finished.


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February 24, 2011, 12:42 AM
Perhaps a mention that Chicago is now saying that semi-autos aren't covered by the recent SCOTUS ruling in McDonald v Chicago? Also, that even though the above ruling was made, Chicago still has ridiculous hoops to jump through in order to own a handgun within the home. forums are a good place to get links to this stuff.

I would think you could do several pages just on Chicago actually.

February 24, 2011, 09:25 AM
Yup, Heller and McDonald could be enough for a 50 page thesis.

You could compare the latest SCOTUS rulings on 2A to some of the laws/ bans that have happened in the past, like the NFA, Clinton era ban, and call into question their constitutionality.

February 24, 2011, 11:48 AM
I would research the Clinton/Brady law since it prohibited so-called assault rifles and big clip magazines for about 10 years and has now expired for about the same time.

It was a big failure and is a classic case for a lively discussion on gun rights.

If your professor is a gun-grabber, pick another topic. ...these people are close-minded and do not listen to rationale arguments.

February 24, 2011, 12:09 PM
The way I read the Second Amendment is like this:

It was written by a group of men who had just completed the violent overthrow of an oppressive government using force and arms. I believe the phrase, "being necessary to the security of a free State" means just exactly that....

The citizen must remain armed in order to protect the freedom of the State. Since "the State" is referenced and State is capitolized, it is referring to the nation - not to individual states. Our Declaration of Indepence says that the citizen has the right to overthrow any government that becomes destructive of unalienable rights.

So, to me, considering who wrote the second amendment, and coupled with the Declaration of Indepence, the second amendment means that the citizen MUST have the right to keep and bear arms, to a sufficient extent to protect the freedom of the state, not only from outside forces, but from their own government as well.

When viewed this way, government regulation of the citizen's right to keep and bear arms completely undermines the purpose for the protection of that right - to fight the government, if necessary, to preserve the freedom of the State.

Government does not regulate firearms to protect the citizens from each other - government regulates firearms to protect itself from the citizen - an act which is completely contrary to the conditions stated in the Declaration of Independence.

February 24, 2011, 03:08 PM
Perhaps a mention that Chicago is now saying that semi-autos aren't covered by the recent SCOTUS ruling in McDonald v Chicago? .


I'm a Chicago resident and hadn't heard about this. Where did you hear this? Do you have a cite by chance? This would be very frustrating as I just bought a Glock 17 and actually submitted the paperwork to get it registered earlier this week.

February 24, 2011, 03:50 PM
I'm not sure where the "eithics" fits in with these gun topics.

So it is not eithical for governments to wrongly interpret the Second Amendment and to restrict gun ownership? If yes, this is a dumb thesis and you will not receive a satisfactory grade.

Instead, consider a paper on the eithical behaviour of executives who manipulate financial reporting to enhance thier personal wealth. Backdating the issuance of stock options has been a favorite scheme in recent years and the failure of auditing firms to identify these abuses is laughable.

Odd Job
February 24, 2011, 04:24 PM
WhiteMikeCN, whilst it is admirable to explore the 2A topic, you gotta ask yourself a few questions:

1) Who is your target "readership?"
2) How well does your topic fit in with what they are expecting for this type of paper?
3) Who really benefits from the paper (other than you, in your academic endeavour)?
4) What is the general "flavour" of your course?

You might get more bang for your buck by tackling something which has a better chance of eliciting reader "buy-in" such as healthcare or similar issues.

Your topic could be about opt-out vs opt-in for organ donations, for example. It is a more neutral topic with easily-obtainable statistics and yet it has enough "bite" to elicit genuine contemplation of the ethics issue by the reader.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
February 24, 2011, 04:34 PM
Gloabal Cooling.

February 24, 2011, 04:34 PM
How about the eithical issues involved with the taking of organs from prisoners in communist China and selling them to needy westerners with deep pockets? Didn't Steve Job of Apple computer buy his way to the top of the liver transplant list? Since he is an important rich guy, I suppose this is OK; right?

February 24, 2011, 04:41 PM
I'm not sure where the "eithics" fits in with these gun topics.

rajb123 does make a good point.

–plural noun
1. ( used with a singular or plural verb ) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.
2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.
3. moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.
4. ( usually used with a singular verb ) that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.

Based on those definitions, gun control (or other firearms related topics) seems like a stretch for a thesis. Although, you could go with the ethics of the use of lethal force in self defense.

For an ethics paper, why not focus more on the poor ethical behavior of key figures in American culture. Charles Rangel comes to mind if you want to focus on lawmakers. And from there you could tie in questionable ethics of gun control laws.

February 24, 2011, 04:53 PM
Perhaps an interesting subject (and I'm not trying to start a debate here) would be the ethical quandry somehow justified by individuals who support abortion but oppose capital punishment, or vice versa.

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