Did you know that you can work on gun control policies with a criminal justice degree? Many students study criminal justice because criminal activity affected them in one way or another. Some students lost a parent or close friend to murder, and others watched drugs destroy someone they loved. If you have experience with gun control, or you want to change policies in America, you can do so with a criminal justice degree.
What are Gun Control Policies?
Gun control policies are any policies used to police the selling or possession of guns in the United States. When many people think of these policies, they immediately think of the Brady Bill. Formerly known as the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, it requires that those selling handguns do an extensive background check on a potential purchaser first. Those convicted of certain crimes cannot own or buy a handgun. There are also waiting period laws that make it mandatory for buyers to wait at least seven days before purchasing a gun. Recent policy changes also made it illegal for those convicted of sexual crimes and other felonies to own a gun.
Getting a Criminal Justice Degree
Getting an undergraduate criminal justice degree gives you a basic introduction to the criminal justice system. Most programs have a general education component that asks you to take courses in English, science, psychology, math and other subjects. A bachelor’s degree usually requires the completion of 120 credit hours of general courses and specialized criminal justice courses. Some schools also offer internships that let you work with policy advocates to see how their field operates before you graduate.
Using Your Degree as an Advocate
You can advocate for gun control policies with a criminal justice degree in several different ways. If you are a strong public speaker, you might consider working with an organization that gives speeches at conventions and other events. If you suffered a loss due to guns, you might travel the country and give talks at colleges and high schools to warn others of the problems with gun control. You can also use your knowledge of the criminal justice system to explain to others the different types of policies currently in place and why those policies need updating. Some graduates even operate blogs and websites that cover topics relating to gun control policies.
Other Jobs for Criminal Justice Majors
While advocacy is a popular career for some criminal justice graduates, you can also use your degree in other ways. As a law enforcement teacher, you can teach students more about these policies and get them excited about changing the world themselves. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for law enforcement and criminal justice teachers is more than $56,000. You can also use your degree to enter the police academy and work as a police officer. This lets you see the issues with gun control for yourself and stop others from violating the laws and policies currently in place.
Gun control advocates force the public to pay attention to the gun control laws and policies in the country. They help introduce new potential laws and get those laws passed. You can advocate for gun control policies with a criminal justice degree or use your degree to work as a teacher or a police officer.