A gripping podcast about America’s obsession with guns

The love affair between so many Americans and their guns – long a source of international fascination – appears to be getting more painfully intense. The greater the publicity over gun crime, the more Americans think they’d better acquire a firearm to keep themselves safe. There are now roughly 400 million guns in the US – but most citizens feel more unsafe than ever, and with some justification. Last year featured both the highest level of gun ownership in US history and the highest recorded number of mass shootings. This really is one to listen to in bed, in the pitch dark – even better, pretend you’re in a couchette

Why mass shootings won’t change Serbia’s gun culture

Two mass shootings in Serbia have left 17 people dead, many of them children, and there are protests on the streets of Belgrade. Demonstrators blame Serbia’s populist president, Aleksandar Vucic, and so Vucic has his own series of anti-gun rallies planned and has ordered a swift crackdown on gun ownership, a ‘practical disarmament’. But Vucic has his work cut out for him. Weapons are embedded in Serbia’s culture and it’s hard to imagine a significant number of Serbians simply handing them over. In Serbia, the gun is a way of life. ‘It’s part of our tradition; in villages they fire in the air to celebrate a wedding or a baby’

Is there a British version of America’s attachment to guns?

Now that the horror of the Uvalde school shooting in Texas has begun to ebb away, as it always does, it is easy to think that things have returned to normal. And in America, they certainly have returned to normal. That is to say, the mass shootings continue, at the rate of about 11 a week, with a total of around 300 so far this year. As things stand, America is on course for its deadliest year of gun violence ever (equalling last year). Here are a few details of just some of these slayings. At the beginning of this June, an angry patient in Tulsa, Oklahoma shot dead his

Welcome to the age of post-Covid nihilism

Washington, DC Amid the recent orgy of violence across America, it was the carjackings that finally got me. Lost amid all the mass shootings and gang slayings of late has been another wave of crime: vehicle thefts. In Washington DC, carjackings in 2021 were up by a third over 2019, while in nearby Alexandria a motorist made national news after he shot two boys at a gas station who were trying to lift his car. In Chicago, 1,900 vehicles were jacked just last year, which is eye-wateringly high even by that city’s grim standards. There is an inhumanity at work in this country that’s as stark as anything I’ve seen in

Lionel Shriver on mass shootings, gun control and American carnage

This is an edited transcript of a conversation between Freddy Gray and Lionel Shriver on The Spectator’s Americano podcast, which you can listen to here. Freddy Gray: Lionel, I feel a bit guilty asking you to talk about this, because I know you’ve become a kind of go-to person about mass shootings in America because you wrote a very significant novel – We Need to Talk About Kevin. You’ve written before about how awkward it is that every time there’s a mass shooting in America, people ask you to come on and talk about it. But in your book, the killer was using a bow, not a gun. So you don’t

How safe are cable cars?

Marrying in office It was announced Boris Johnson will marry his fiancée, Carrie Symonds, next year. This will be only the fourth time a serving prime minister has married while in office. — Robert Walpole married Maria Skerrett, daughter of a wealthy merchant, on 3 March 1738, following the death of his first wife. Sadly, Maria died in childbirth a year later. — In the 15 months the Duke of Grafton was prime minister he found time to divorce his first wife and marry his second, Elizabeth Wrottlesley, on 24 June 1769. — Lord Liverpool married Mary Chester, a friend of his deceased first wife, at Hampton Court on 24

Predictable, repetitive and exploitative: Run Hide Fight reviewed

In this line of business you receive many emails from PRs ‘reaching out’ about their particular film, which I really must see, as it wowed a festival in Bulgaria. But the other day, a PR reached out to boast excitedly about a film because it had been savaged, which was a first. ‘The film has absolutely enraged Hollywood critics,’ this person wrote, with obvious pride, before quoting the following from reviews: ‘insanely poor taste’, ‘wildly misjudged’, ‘tone deaf’, ‘gross’. What’s more, this person continued, while critics hate it — it has a critics’ score of 25 per cent at Rotten Tomatoes, the review- aggregator site — audiences are loving it