The appeal of guns for personal protection is hardly unique to America. Consider gun ownership in South Africa, Britain, India, and Mexico. All these societies are dealing with inequality exacerbated by economic austerity and eroding public services, which breeds fear about insecurity.
When ex-cop Christopher Dorner pursued his fatal vendetta against Los Angeles Police Department, his cause resonated with some in the black community. Why has the old rift between police and minorities been so hard to heal?
From storms to politics, the year was a wild ride. What are the most meaningful US stories of 2012? Here's the Monitor's list, in roughly chronological order.