Kayla Brage11/18/17English 2HAmericaWhy America Isn’t The Greatest Country In The World America is often dubbed as the best country in the world by its own naive citizens. The country is plagued by serious issues that are rarely addressed by politicians and the government. Its citizens refuse to believe that America is anything but excellent and flawless. But like every country, it has its problems and flaws that dethrone it from its esteemed title of the greatest country in the world. The current administration running the country has further progressed these problems and have done nothing to assuage them. Americans may think they are living in the greatest country in the world due to the fact they have turned a blind eye to many pressing issues like relaxed gun laws, discrimination and intense poverty. Americans take immense pride in their liberties and their free will to exercise their rights. Among their favorite is the highly contested right to bear arms or the 2nd Amendment. This amendment gives Americans the right to purchase, own, and use a firearm. This was initially introduced to the bill of rights to protect a young and vulnerable America from foreign invaders, but modern military and police have made this amendment obsolete and it should be removed from the Bill of Rights. But Pro-gun citizens and organizations continue to speak out in support of the 2nd amendment and nothing has been resolved. The dangers of maintaining and preserving this amendment are becoming increasingly unavoidable and have led to the deaths of thousands. Just in 2015, there were 372 mass shootings killing 475 people and wounding 1,870 (BBC.com). Mentally unfit and dangerous people are able to acquire weapons easily and will continue to hurt thousands unless there is an immense policy change. One of the deadliest mass shooting committed in US history, the Pulse Nightclub Shooting, was committed by a man who had been investigated by the FBI for 10 months and was able to purchase a weapon legally (Latimes.com). A man that was investigated by the FBI for suspected terrorism should not have been able to pass a background check and purchase a dangerous firearm to use at his free will. The biggest mass shootings, Las Vegas and Orlando, have both been committed in the last two years and clearly show the urgent need to leave the 2nd amendment behind. (Telegraph.co) Not only can people use weapons against others with ill intent, they can also harm themselves if they have easy access to a gun. Two-thirds of the 33,000 annual gun deaths in America are suicides. Between 1991 and 2015, the gun-suicide rate rose in 21 states. (TheTrace.org). America is one of the only advanced democracies in the world that has not finally banned guns or placed stricter laws on who can get them. How many more people will have to suffer at the hands of relaxed gun control until major policy change comes about. One of the biggest challenges America is facing right now, especially under the new administration, is discrimination. Even though Americans pride themselves on living in such a diverse country, racism, xenophobia, and homophobia are still incredibly prevalent in America. Just this year, the Trump administration has worked tirelessly to pass a “Muslim ban”, ban transgender people from serving in the armed forces, and has even started to develop prototypes for a wall on the border between the US and Mexico. About 35% of Black and 26% of Hispanic people say they have experienced different types of racial discrimination like being denied housing, jobs, or being prevented from voting (KFF.org). Not only do Hispanic and Black US citizens face heavy discrimination, Muslim refugees and citizens have seen no end to it. 1 in 5 Muslims said they have been called offensive names, seen anti-muslim graffiti while six percent said they have been physically threatened or attacked. (Washingtonpost.com). Also in the last few years, a Black Lives Matter movement has erupted after several black men and women have been unfairly prosecuted and sometimes even killed by police. In fact, black people are three times more likely to be shot and killed by police than white people. (Mappingpoliceviolence.org). Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner are just some of the victims of police brutality and inherent racism. America’s intolerance doesn’t stop at race, it expands out to sexuality and gender identity. The LGBT community, especially LGBT youth face an extensive amount of ongoing discrimination in this country. LGB youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth (Trevor project.org). This is due to the hideous amount of homophobia that exists in some parts of the country. About 42% of LGBT youth say they live in a community that is not accepting of their sexuality(HRC.ORG). LGBT youth can are even kicked out of their homes and make up 42% of the 1.6 million homeless youth. Coming out to family and friends is life or death for a lot of LGBT people and even stepping outside has its dangers. Just this year the transgender community suffered 28 deaths due to being fatally shot or physically attacked, making 2017 the deadliest year for the transgender community (HRC.org). America is completely undeserving of the title of the greatest country in the world because of the overwhelming discrimination and hate that is often overlooked. Americans also find pleasure in the fact that they are living in the “economic powerhouse” of the world. But in reality, an ample amount of American have and are experiencing severe poverty. According to the United States Census Commission, 43.1 million Americans were impoverished in 2016 (Child Defense.org). These families struggle to pay burdensome bills and put food on the table with the unfair wages they are paid. America’s federal minimum wage was last changed in 2009 and was raised to $7.25, and has not kept up with inflation. If the federal minimum wage had kept up with inflation rates it would be an estimated $21.16 or higher (inequality.org). Because of this many minimum wage workers can’t provide for themselves, let alone a family. An estimated 15 million kids are struggling and are living below the poverty threshold (beliefnet.com). No child, especially in such a developed country like America, should have to face such inhumane living conditions and ultimately deserve better. The only person to blame for this is the greedy and power-hungry capitalists that run our country. Almost every economic policy passed is tailored to the rich and only the top 1% will benefit from it. In 2009 the average federal income tax rate of the 400 richest Americans was only 20%.(americanfortaxfairness.org) It’s time for American lawmakers and politicians to care more about it’s struggling citizens and have the best interest of the people at heart when making important decisions. Altogether, the statement that America is not the greatest country in the world can be supported by relaxed gun laws, minority discrimination, and widespread poverty. The intense and sometimes dangerous nationalism Americans feel is an ignorant way of dealing with all of the problems in the United States. Thousands die every year from loose gun laws, and not one preventable measure has been taken. Discrimination is plaguing this country and has turned America into a political war zone. And poverty is forcing citizens to struggle even though they live in the “land of opportunity”. If serious reform doesn’t come about, America very well may fall and collapse due to its own ignorance.