The right to bear? Arms in America

Two women embrace while looking at a police officer in uptown Charlotte, NC during a protest of the police shooting of Keith Scott, in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. September 21, 2016. © Jason Miczek

In the United States, 30,000 people are fatally shot each year – 10 times the number of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The right to possess and carry a firearm was enshrined in the Second Amendment to the American Constitution in 1791. More than two centuries later, this right remains inalienable for the majority of the population, and firearms continue to proliferate throughout the country. Today, the count is at 300 million – almost one firearm for every citizen.

This free circulation of firearms, particularly assault rifles and weapons of war, facilitates terrorist acts and shootings committed by those who are psychologically unwell. Mass shootings regularly traumatize the country. Newtown in Connecticut, Aurora and Columbine in Colorado, or more recently San Bernardino in California and Roseburg in Oregon – each time these tragedies bring the firearm debate back under the spotlight and divide the American people more and more.

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