Free Political Associations in Alexis de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America".

Essay by wmb2College, UndergraduateA, April 2003

download word file, 4 pages 3.7

Alexis de Tocqueville holds political associations, an important part of any political party, responsible for many of the decisions that they make. Political associations undoubtedly influence parties in a multitude of ways. The long arm of many political associations reaches to alter or remove current legislation, and sometimes works to pass new legislation. More often than not, political associations are successful in achieving the lofty goals such as these.

One such association, which is no exception to this generalization, is the National Rifle Association. Established in 1975, it has indeed become one of the main political associations attempting to protect the rights of American citizens, with just over 4.2 million members. Through the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, great majorities of the members write letters to pass or reform current state-level gun control laws, and the association's voice makes its' thoughts and wishes very apparent through lobbying (NRA website).

The relentless pursuit of every American's Second Amendment rights through legislation-reform is a direct reflection from Democracy in America. Tocqueville's idea that they do not necessarily have Constitutional rights to pass laws, "...but they have the power to attack the one that exists and to formulate in advance the one that should exist." is a trademark of the National Rifle Association (p. 182).

Tocqueville also formulates that, despite the fact that associations like the National Rifle Association often comprise a very small portion of the population (less than 2% in this case), political associations often do very well making reforms that may be undesirable to the majority. All too often, the majority make use of its tyranny in our democracy, passing or mindlessly shooting down useful legislation. The National Rifle Association does very well to moderate the effect of the massive amounts of gun-control requests and laws that...