Brad Pitt says US politicians should ignore calls to outlaw firearms following the Colorado cinema massacre.
The Fight Club star owned his first weapon - an air gun - when he was just a small child, and he's adamant politicians in his native country should not bow to public pressure to rescind its constitutional right to bear arms.
The actor is also certain violent movies should not be censored, saying it's vital to show the reality of tragedies such as the shooting rampage at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises near Denver in July that left 12 dead and dozens more injured.
"I absolutely don't believe you can put sanctions or shackles on what is made," Pitt told British magazine Live. "Nor do I want to pretend the world is different than what we witnessed that night ...
"America is a country founded on guns. It's in our DNA. It's very strange but I feel better having a gun. I really do. I don't feel safe, I don't feel the house is completely safe, if I don't have one hidden somewhere. That's my thinking, right or wrong.
"I got my first BB (air) gun when I was in nursery school. I got my first shotgun by first grade. I had shot a handgun by third grade and I grew up in a pretty sane environment. I was in the UK when the shootings happened and I did hear the discussion about gun control start again, and as far as I know it petered out as it always does.
"It's just something with us. To turn around and ask us to give up our guns ... I don't know, we're too afraid that we're going to give up ours and the bad guys are still going to get theirs. It's just in our thinking. I'm telling you, we don't know America without guns."