Senate Shuts Down Background Check Gun Legislation: A Lesson in VOICE

Greetings, fellow GP’ers!

Today’s Tip of the Day is written in honor of the Sandy Hook shooting victims and in the name of democracy…


Give your students a lesson in the American spirit and in the essence of what GP is all about…having a VOICE.

Chances are, if you’ve been keeping up with current events this year, you’ve probably had a conversation or two with your classes about the 2nd Amendment.  Today, the Senate shut down a bill to expand background checks for gun ownership.  As a writing exercise and as an exercise in the freedom of speech/expression, have your students write a letter to our representatives…

How does this decision affect them as students, as citizens?  Do they agree or disagree with the vote, and what concrete support do they have to confirm these beliefs?  What would they like to see in the future when it comes to this “long road” of debate?

Have them do a little bit of research on this topic if they haven’t already.  Check out iDebate/Debatepedia.  Talk about bipartisanship (here’s also an interesting article from CNN about ‘when bipartisanship goes wrong,’ just to be fair!) and the gridlock in Washington, D.C.

Be objective when presenting this assignment.  Welcome all opinions, of course, and perhaps consider sending the final product to Florida Senate representatives.  You could ask your kids to present the letter discursively at first, but ultimately take a stand on the issue at the end OR write the essay persuasively with clear counter-arguments embedded in the discussion to show a well-researched, open mind on the issue during judgment.

Related Prompts:

  • In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of democracy? (May/June 2010, Paper 11)
  • ‘Elections are meaningless as many voters have no real knowledge of national or international issues.’ Discuss. (May/June 2012)
  • How successfully is crime being tackled in your society?  (May/June 2010, Paper 12)
  • Is it democratically acceptable not to vote in elections?  (May/June 2012, Paper 11)
  • To what extent does your country ‘s constitution uphold and promote human rights? (May/June 2012, Paper 12)

Collaboratively Yours,



Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of democracy…

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