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Arming America - The Second Amendment

            America is the most well armed nation in the world, with "American citizens owning about 270 million of the world's 875 million firearms" (MacInnis). Indeed, this is more than a quarter of the world's registered firearms. The reason why Americans own so many guns is because of the Second Amendment, which 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." (Rauch) This amendment guarantees U.S. citizens the right to have firearms. Since this amendment is relatively vague, it is up for interpretation, and is often used by gun advocates to argue for lenient gun laws. Hence, gun control is a frequently discussed controversial topic in American politics. .
             Although the Second Amendment prevents the federal government from completely banning guns in America, limited restrictions are allowed on the distribution and possession of firearms. Certain groups of people such as criminals, the mentally unstable, and soldiers dishonorably discharged from the military are prohibited from possessing or interacting with firearms. These restrictions are enforced by background checks in some states on both a state and federal level. However, gun laws vary from state to state and are often not thorough enough; the background checks are flawed due to lack of information and misinformation, and guns can easily end up in the hands of criminals and malevolent individuals. The ease of obtaining a firearm in America fosters crime and a dangerous environment. Hence, the Second Amendment should be reinterpreted so that stricter gun laws can be implemented because modern citizens do not require guns, current background checks are flawed, gun accessibility has been abused by foreign and domestic criminals, and Americans cannot handle guns responsibly. .
             Unlike the colonists of the 1700's, the modern citizen simply has no need for firearms.

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