In Britain we shake our heads in disbelief at yet another American mass-shooting, asking incredulously how in a developed democracy, teenagers can walk into a supermarket and buy a gun specifically designed to kill human beings. But, it is high time we buttoned our lips and understood. American gun laws are derived from the ‘democratic will of the people’. This is sacrosanct and must not be challenged. The facts point up that more than 11,000 Americans are killed with guns each year against ten by Islamic extremists. But that truth counts for little against the feeling that owning a gun gives you better control over your life and enables you to protect yourself and your family. The comparable ‘will of the people’ currently shredding Britain is our leaving the European Union. The facts point to Brexit leading to a lowering of living standards and bringing hardship that could lead to anything from a revival of war in Northern Ireland to more deaths in understaffed hospitals. The supposed Brexit upside is vague because there is no clarity as to what control we are taking back and a trade deal with Albania or even India is not going to address to restlessness and resentment that led to the Brexit vote. Added to that we have obligations by the basketful that dilute our sovereign control with NATO, the UN, WTO and a myriad of bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements and our money and cyber-lives run mainly through the US while our imports come China and the developing world. All of that reliance diminishes our control. In America, the gun-owning upside is equally fantasical in that any US government agency could knock out a gun-owner with his weapons cache in seconds if it wished – as many Iraqi and Afghan families have discovered. In both cases, voters have been mislead by propaganda and falsehoods to win them round. One conclusion, therefore, is that in America, thousands of gun killings a year and in Britain social divisions and increased poverty are acceptable prices to pay to enjoy the ‘peoples’ democratic will’, even when votes are cast against a canvas of false information. Another could be to re-examine our democratic mechanisms to make sure they’re working properly. Right now, I have a dismal feeling that they are not.