There are however, stars with a *known* age older than the 13.8 billion year estimate for a big bang universe. The one I know off the top of my head is: Wikipedia, HD_140283
The real reason the US has such a larger percentage of people violently using firearms is economic disparity. Other nations with similar firearm laws, but have a more equitable society, do not have these same problems. Other nations that have (had in this case) similar firearm rights but also had economic disparity, had issues as well. Any of those examples have had those rights curtailed.
Now this part is purely speculation. You say firearms are not a keystone of a modern free democracy (and I do agree with you,) I would imagine that after a financial collapse that firearms would regain some of their necessity. Regardless of my prior statement, and as you allude to in your post, and as it has been since the beginning of time, freedom of information will still be much more important than an access to weapons for any democracy.
The ACLU filed amicus for the prosecution on Heller v. DC and McDonald v. Chicago.
Breaking that down for you--the ACLU was on the same side as the NRA for only two cases to reach the Supreme Court (of the US) since 1939.
Any resemblance that the guesses may bear to the future events involving the GCHQ & Whitehall, either directly or indirectly, are purely coincidental..
Snowden gave the trove of files to The Guardian at least. The specific leaks, after the initial ones, are decided by Glenn Greenwald and not Snowden.
Whether Greenwald gave some stuff to the Independent or Snowden did that earlier is unknown.
But my guess would be the whole episode of the UK Gov't detaining Mr. Miranda and forcing The Guarding to shred some systems seriously pissed off the British Press. Releasing UK-specific material is most likely payback. Spreading it around to other papers is most likely a signal that "threaten the Guardian with prior restraint, you better be ready to shut down every paper in the UK".
GCHQ and Whitehall fucked up royally with that and they are now going to pay for threatening a major newspaper.
Just a guess, mind you.
You can play semantics and insult people, but it only lowers your own credibility.
Personally, I see the side that has launched the least logical fallacies in any debate the "winner."
"The Congress shall have power... to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries."
Patents are very constitutional-- however this whole "corporations are people" thing is a complete perversion of the 14th amendment.