Resurfaced photo of man carrying assault rifle in Starbucks divides the internet

Marianne Eloise@marianne_eloise
Friday 09 August 2019 08:00
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Living in the UK, it can be surreal to imagine having to fear that someone could open fire anytime you’re in a public place.

But for many Americans, that’s a very real threat, and with last weekend’s mass shootings, debates have again been sparked over the necessity of gun ownership.

On Twitter, Charlie Sykes posted a photo of a man with an assault rifle strapped to his back in a Starbucks, asking his audience: “Serious question: You walk into a business and see this —> do you 1. Leave 2. Feel Safer 3. Don’t Care”.

The image is from 2013, but as many pointed out, the fact that it’s ever-relevant is a grim reality for Americans.

The photo was as divisive as the gun control debate itself, with many pro-gun Twitter users saying it would make them feel safe or that it wouldn’t matter anyway, because they would have a gun.

Some slightly more worrying responses claimed that worrying he might be violent because he’s a white man is “racist”, while many more held the reasonable opinion that it’d probably be best to walk out if you were trying to buy a venti Frap and a man was toting a weapon of mass murder in front of you in the line.

There was heated discussion from both sides in the hundreds of replies, but the debate that it sparked is indicative of just how divisive this discussion is – and how much more seriously it needs to be taken.

More: Could gun buybacks end the horror of US shootings?

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