Robert Chesshyre

Living at the End of a Barrel

Another Day in the Death of America

By Gary Younge

Guardian Faber 306pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

When Barack Obama was asked what had been the principal frustration of his time in the Oval Office, his instant reply was that he had been utterly stymied on gun control. Amid the carnage (most shootings, aside from those with multiple victims, go unreported), 2,500 children and teenagers die in America every year in incidents involving guns, a number unimaginable in any other Western country. Legislators are in thrall to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and even the president is powerless. Gary Younge, in this trenchant, well-argued and very sad book, takes one day, 23 November 2013, at random to study the problem. On that day, ten boys under twenty died in the USA. They were victims of mistaken identity, accident, revenge killing, random murder. Alongside the stories of the killings, Younge examines the reasons – guns and social conditions – behind the bloodshed. It is powerful stuff.

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