Analytical Summary of Jill Lepore’s Battleground America





Analytical Summary of Jill Lepore’s Battleground America

Jill Lepore writes a compelling essay in which she examines various issues concerning gun use, ownership and control in America. The essay highlights different instances where people have used guns to kill and injure others for no reason. Working on the background of the Trayvon Martin incident and various school shootings, she shows how people can access and use guns easily. She examines the arguments made in favor of and against gun control. She also looks at the law and the constitution. She takes a perceptive look in history and notes how many Americans came to support gun ownership in the country. Jill argues that there is a need to reexamine the issue of gun control in a country where many innocent people have lost their lives because others have easy access to guns.

Lepore notes that American citizens have more firearms than any other country in the world. Whereas some people do not have guns, others have more than two different firearms in their homes. It is easy to access guns in the country. This is despite the fact that one has to undergo training on gun usage and obtain a permit before possessing a gun. In many of the shooting incidences highlighted, most people did not use their own individual guns to kill others. However, they were able to obtain the guns easily since the weapons were available in their homes. The fact that people can procure firearms at gun shows makes it easier for people to obtain the weapons. Those who chose to purchase guns from such shows do not need to show any form of training.

Lepore examines the provisions made under the second amendment of the constitution. Some people claim that gun control is unconstitutional since the second amendment gives them the right to have firearms. The provision was made in the early years, when the country was not fully established. However, many states began banning firearms from as early as 1813, less than twenty years after the adoption of the bill of rights. The states banned the manufacture, storage, and ownership of the weapons. Those who traveled to the states where carrying of firearms was banned were expected to leave their weapons with the authorities, such as the sheriff.

Lepore looks at the origin and purpose of the National Rifle Association, noting that it was initially concerned with sports and hunting. She notes that although the organization opposed some gun control measures, it also supported others, including the National Firearms Act and the Federal Firearms Act. The legislation supported gun control by requiring individuals to have permits, charging heavy taxes for private gun ownership, and creating a licensing system for firearm dealers. The organization focused on issues concerning firearm safety education, training, and shooting for recreational purposes in 1950s.

Lepore has made it clear that people should reexamine the gun control issue. She has presented arguments that demonstrate the importance of gun control. By going back in history, which she has done by focusing on the second amendment and the early years of the National Rifle Association, she has noted that many people were concerned with safety issues when handling firearms. The second amendment did not support the concealing of weapons, and neither did the organization. In addition, her decision to include many shooting incidences, especially those involving students, she has shown the importance of ensuring that the government makes it hard for people to obtain guns. This will reduce the number of people who can carry and conceal weapons, and it can help in reducing the number of innocent lives lost because someone had easy access to firearms.

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