What truly makes something what it is? Is there a specific right answer for what definite characteristic makes an apple an apple or a computer a computer? In the article by Marc Tracy, “NFL Rule Changes: When is football no longer football?” he asks this question as well. Tracy discusses the recent rule changes involving the Pro-Bowl and how they affect the future of the American national sport.
Football Kick Off
Tracy questions whether the elimination of kick offs and new regulations regarding helmets pose to undermine the sport of Football in its entirety. After exploring defining characteristics, he ends his point by writing, the “NFL needs to decide what Football is”: its rules, its traditions, and its future. What Tracy hints at is called a constitutive rule, or a regulation that helps makes something what it is, that when broken, says you are no longer engaged in that activity.
Edmond Burke argued that tradition is a great thing and that traditions cannot be disrupted or a nation will fail. He argues that once tradition is eliminated, people no longer know which direction to take. Some traditions should be maintained in the United States such as the basic ideals of freedom and equality. However some traditions have dated since the passing of laws in the late 1700’s. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” While this law was effective years ago, there doesn’t seem to be the traditional need to carry weapons as the United States, has thankfully not fought a war on our soil in over a century.
Sure modifying this amendment would confuse some citizens as Burke suggests change would however I believe that this nation is capable and mostly willing to adapt to not being able to purchase semi-automatic weapons. These have been responsible for the Newtown School Shooting, Columbine and the tragic event at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. I am not suggesting that all weapons be eliminated because being a free nation and citizens having the right to protect them is important. However I don’t believe that automatic assault weapons need to be in the hands of the average American citizen. We pay taxes in order for our military to protect us from enemies that capable to need these weapons.
Throughout my Political Science 101 class, students have dissected Live and Learn by Louis Menand. Most people compare colleges, or their college experience, with whichever of Menand’s theories they find most applicable. However, I would like to look at Menand’s three theories and compare them to my high school experience because I feel most people are yet to realize the similarities
Menand discussed three theories in his article Live and Learn. Menand’s first theory suggests that college is a sorting process, setting a value on graduates; students with the highest value, or merit, are the best. His second theory is that people should try to become well-rounded because once they are working they will be forced to specialize. Menand’s third, and final theory is that an education should offer specialized knowledge in order to prepare for future employment. In my opinion, all three of these theories could be translated to describe high school.