gun culture in the us

Gun Culture in America

 
 

Vocabulary

armed memory estimated
tribe per capita rule of law
distant lobby (2) distant second
citizen careful law-abiding
suicide homicide shoot/shot/shot
add accident punctuate (2)
civilian required assassination
settler violence guarantee
own weapon constitution
hunter maintain Native Americans
group regulate take up arms
declare right (4) Bill of Rights
bill (3) security reflect (2)
series overlook dramatically
reform infringe subject (4)
ruling landmark Supreme Court
limit collective sweeping (2)
legal authority association
mourn modest enthusiast
proof bear (2) candidate
elect overturn gun control
court defense second (2)
unique ordinary is by no means
alone gruesome attachment

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Video

 
 
 
 

Transcript

There are an estimated 270 million guns in the hands of civilians in the United States, making Americans the most heavily armed people in the world, per capita.

Yemen, a tribal nation with no history of strong central government or the rule of law comes in a distant second.

Most guns are in the hands of careful and law-abiding citizens — but not all. By one estimate, guns shoot more than a hundred thousand (100,000) people a year in the US, when the number of homicides, suicides and accidents are all added together.

America’s collective memory, of the Wild West of the eighteen hundreds, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King half-a-century ago, is punctuated by gun violence.

In fact there were guns in America before America was even born. Early settlers in several states were required by law to own and maintain weapons as a collective defense.

By the time the US was established, its citizens had taken up arms, not only against their Native American neighbors, but the army of their own king.

The new constitution reflected that in its Bill of Rights, declaring that

“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.”

For more than two centuries, that remained an important, but overlooked guarantee, subjected to a modest series of controls.

But in 2008 and 2010, landmark Supreme Court rulings gave that constitutional right sweeping new powers, dramatically limiting government authority in gun ownership.

As legal reforms helped guns, so did one, increasingly powerful lobby.

The National Rifle Association, once a relatively modest organization of gun enthusiasts and hunters, has become one of the most powerful political groups in the country.

It helps elect candidates to Congress and works to overturn gun control laws in courts.

Norway is still mourning a mass murder that killed seventy-seven people, most of them teens — proof that America is by no means unique.

But America does seem to be the place the whole world thinks of when ordinary people use guns for gruesome acts of violence.

America stands alone in its historical and cultural attachment to guns.

America stands armed.

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Questions

1. Guns are rare in the United States. True or false? Are gun fatalities and injuries a major problem?

2. Everyone who owns a gun in the US is a criminal or gangster. Is this right or wrong?

3. What do people think or associate with guns in America?

4. Is gun culture a recent phenomenon in the US?

5. Do US laws legalize gun ownership, or gun control?

6. What is the NRA?

7. There is a strong gun culture in the United States. Is this correct or incorrect?

8. Do you think the report and reporter are pro-gun, anti-gun, neutral, both, in the middle?

 
 

A. Do all, many, some, a few or no one own guns in your country?

B. What do you think about gun ownership? Should guns be completely banned, there ought to be restrictions or there should be complete freedom in gun purchasing and ownership?

C. What are the pros and cons of gun ownership?

D. Why are many Americans and others passionate or obsessed about guns?

E. What will happen in the future?

 
 
 
 

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