Scary stuff: ‘Fear on top of fear’: Why anti- gun Americans joined the wave of new gun owners (Washington Post)

As an Aussie, reading stuff like this is terrifying. America is seriously messed up. This passage sums it up perfectly:

Shakima Thomas, a social worker in Newark, had always thought of guns as loud and dangerous — nothing she wanted anything to do with.

She grew up around firearms; her grandmother carried a handgun in her purse, and several close relatives had served in the military and owned guns. But Thomas, 39, never considered buying one for herself until Donald Trump’s presidency. Trump’s boast that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any of his support made Thomas fear that some Americans might be emboldened to express their rage violently.

A lifelong Democrat, she got a gun permit early in the Trump administration but didn’t buy her first gun until last summer, when the killing of Floyd and the protests that spread across the nation made Thomas feel like the country was spiraling out of control, “like the world was in an apocalypse.”

She walked into RTSP — a gun store whose name stands for Right to Self Protect — and bought an AR-15 assault rifle. Months later, she added a handgun.

Her very first gun was an AR-15! Talk about jumping right into the deep end!! The mental gymnastics required to go from guns are dangerous, mmmkay to I need an assault rifle are immense.

Too many Americans have seen too many movies. It’s really not that easy to look down the sights at another human being and pull the trigger.