Thursday 30 March 2017

Why Europe is the true land of the free

The US remains gripped by fear and misinformation, writes Bryony Gordon

Three balloons in the colors of the Belgian flag fly as people mourn for the victims of the bombings at the Place de la Bourse in the center of Brussels Photo: AP
Three balloons in the colors of the Belgian flag fly as people mourn for the victims of the bombings at the Place de la Bourse in the center of Brussels Photo: AP

Bryony Gordon

Last Monday night I arrived in New York and was relieved to find that, unlike the last time I came, a portion of the city wasn't in lock-down because of a shooting at a major transport hub.

 Four months ago, I queued for an hour in the customs hall at JFK as the televisions announced that a gunman was on the loose after shooting dead one person and wounding two others at Penn Station, in the midtown of the city.    "Oh dear," I said to the cab driver once I had cleared the nightmare that is US immigration. "It's no biggie," he said, as if this kind of thing happened every day, which, this being America, it did.

This time I was confronted with some security personnel cradling firearms as if they were babies. The exchange with the immigration officer went something like this:

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