Views & Reviews Personal view

Life under liberty

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 16 August 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:349
  1. Robbie Foy, clinical senior lecturer in primary care, Newcastle University
  1. r.c.foy{at}

    A week after moving into our sunny, seaside, and safe apartment in west Los Angeles, we were stirred at midnight by shouts outside and then three sharp cracks. Sirens and helicopter searchlights followed. After a restless night, I got up early to check for any internet accounts of what might have happened. I wondered how to put a positive spin to my partner about the first story I'd found: “It was just a drive-by shooting; no one will specifically be after us . . . yet.” Fortunately, it turned out that Santa Monica's finest had shot dead an armed man fleeing past the front of our apartment.

    The dust eventually settled around this event, just as it seems to have mostly settled around another event last April. I was listening to the car radio when news broke that 32 people had been gunned down at Virginia Tech University shortly before …

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