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Barbara McCarthy: 'I love America - but its attitude to guns is terrifying'

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'More Americans love guns than Americans who don't' Stock image: PA

'More Americans love guns than Americans who don't' Stock image: PA

'More Americans love guns than Americans who don't' Stock image: PA

When I was in a liquor store not far from Thousand Oaks, California, a few months back, a guy came up to the counter with his shirt half over his head and what I perceived as a gun protruding underneath it. I'm slightly (insanely) paranoid, so I ran out with my daughter in her pram, leaving my purchases on the counter, and legged it across the street. My daughter was wondering why we didn't get her apple juice, and I was vexed I didn't have my Mexican beers after my ordeal.

You can't but be jumpy. There are up to a billion guns in the US, 400 to 500 million are owned by civilians. Most of them for 'personal protection from the enemy' who also has a gun. No matter how many mass shootings there are, around 310 so far this year, 13,000 homicides and 22,000 suicides by guns, there's a cognitive dissonance among Americans. I know many Americans are virulently against guns, so this isn't about them.


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