Battleground America Essay

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In Jill Lepore’s essay “Battleground America” Lepore argues that the issue of gun control in the United States has been a very long, messy and complicated subject dating back to the earliest days of colonial America. According to Lepore, throughout history there have been countless debates over what guns can be carried, how guns can be carried, and where guns can be carried. The essay begins with the emotional story of T.J. Lane and the Chardon High School shooting, following up with facts regarding the amount of firearms owned in the U.S. Lepore states that there are almost three million guns that are owned privately in the country, essentially enough to arm every man, woman, and child. No other civilian population in the world is as armed as Americans. However, the majority of the Americans do not own guns because those who do usually have two or more. This raises concerns for Lepore as she delves deeper into the issue, revealing facts such as training, regulation, and background checks are are not entirely enforced. When Lepore visits the gun range, she writes that the environment allows for new gun owners to learn safety regulations and information about their weapons. However, it is at these gun ranges where new gun owners have training available to them that was once reserved solely for the police and military forces. This is another concern for Lepore, arguing that now just about anyone can be their own police. Throughout “Battleground America,” Lepore uses statistics, historical references, and personal experiences to reason her primary argument regarding the many complications, fluctuations, and standing issues of gun control. Some examples Lepore uses in her text are cases such as T.J. Lane, George Zimmerman, and Seung-Hui Cho, individuals who are able to obtain firearms, create distress for the public, and thus cause calls for more restrictive control over firearms. However, the use of the Constitution and the second amendment is also heavily...
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