Debate is once again raging in the United States about gun control, after 17 people were shot and killed in a Florida school.
Gun owner Jon Green lives in rural Iowa, and says many people in his neighbourhood are angry, and in some cases xenophobic and racist.
Here he describes their reaction as part of a wider national debate on restricting gun sales and the right to bear arms – and shares his worry that any change will "only be pretend":
I own two revolvers and two long guns. Some years ago I also owned two semi-automatic pistols which I bought when I traded in my pick-up.
I understand the pleasure in them, the same as I understand the pleasure in a cigarette. I also understand the cost, and I am not at all convinced either is a good bargain.
I was in my neighbourhood tavern last year when the news of the shooting at a church in Texas reached me. I was morose but certainly unsurprised. We immediately retreated to our familiar roles. Nothing meaningful will change.
But I felt gratitude, too – for Stephen Willeford and Johnnie Langendorff, who saved lives when they chased down and stopped the gunman by shooting him.
I wonder why they were put in that position in the first place?
Their actions were heroic; that they were necessary is farce and tragedy. A tragedy that will repeat, because I am certain all arguments are moot.
There may be some tweaking at the margins; if the stars align, perhaps there will be some action on bump stock attachments. But it is only pretend, so we can say we did something.
Nihilism is not an effective reaction, but it has been the one that's grabbed me. All of the trend lines appear to be heading in the wrong direction, and they have been for some time.
Nearly a year before the US presidential election I was confident Trump was likely to win, an idea that sickened and terrified me.
The feeling here in rural Iowa, and in my time in Wyoming, made plain that many folks are deeply frustrated, angry, fearful, and in some cases, xenophobic, racist, and misogynist.
Now, many of these same people are leering at the rest of the country, the "other".
Dark forces are at work, and I dread that a significant portion of the venom has yet to be excised before we might appeal to our better angels.
Regardless of what happens on the Rio Grande, make no mistake: the walls are already going up.
In a less cockeyed world, I would happily support a host of gun regulations, in the spirit of the Second Amendment's words of a "well regulated" right.
But in our world, attempting to restrict guns that are already out there seems an impossible goal, unless we decide we are prepared to suffer casualties that make the already depressing day-to-day gun death statistics look like a rounding error.
As much as I detest the b******, I will at least give Bill O'Reilly credit for having the gumption to say out loud what the cynical logic behind the present situation is: many people will continue to die by guns in this country, as tribute to fetish.
But that is only part of it.
The unspooling of shared political narrative and of agreed-upon fact, the rise of patriotism for tribe rather than nation, of fear of government and an adolescent fantasy the violence of the state can be met.
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The walls are already going up, and walls need defending.
Just like those damned Marlboros, guns are a hard poison to give up.