Lionel Shriver: US citizens feel need to 'counterbalance state'
17 December 2012 Last updated at 23:53 GMT
Two pro-gun US senators have called for changes to firearm laws, as the first victims of the Newtown school shootings were buried in Connecticut.
Democrats Mark Warner and Joe Manchin, who have "A" ratings from the National Rifle Association (NRA), now say action is needed after the massacre.
Lionel Shriver wrote the novel 'We Need to Talk about Kevin' about a massacre at an American school.
Speaking to Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight, she said there is an element in US society that believes "the citizen needs to be armed in order to counterbalance the power of the state".