Major social issues throughout the United States in the 2010s include gun laws, marijuana, same-sex marriages, abortion and obesity, notes Marie Claire. America's dependence on oil is also of concern, as is the rising debt and the ways the government provides financial aid during a crisis.
With the rate of gun violence 16 times that of Germany, seven times that of Sweden and six times that of Canada, America's problem is unusual and alarming. In 2007, the United States had the highest amount of civilian-owned firearms (88.8 guns per 100 people), followed by Yemen (54.8 guns per 100 people). While Americans comprise 4.43 percent of the world's population, its citizens own 42 percent of all privately obtained firearms, though most of the guns are in the hands of a minority of people.
While Pew Research Center studies show that the majority of people in the United States support measures to control gun ownership, such efforts rarely become laws because Americans also favor the overall view that people should have the right to own guns. Between citizens who are passionate about the right to own firearms to the immensely powerful National Rifle Association, politics in the United States is largely defined by gun rights advocates.
By 2013, 17 states had legalized medicinal marijuana and three states had allowed it for recreational use. In 2015, it remains a hotly debated topic as people argue whether the substance should be regulated, much like alcohol, or banned altogether.
First Lady Michelle Obama brought significant attention to the plight of obesity in America, identifying it as a national security threat. Professionals meet regularly to discuss ways to reduce childhood obesity.