December 18: An absurd arsenal of military weaponry

Sir, Adam Lanza was armed with assault weapons from home including the Bushmaster .223 M4 automatic rifle used by the Czech and Korean special forces. Possession of this firearm was made illegal by Bill Clinton’s Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, but the 10-year bill has expired and the gun lobby has blocked any renewal.He also used a Sig Sauer, an immensely powerful, high-capacity Swiss service pistol used by the US Navy SEALs, German Spezialeinsatzkommandos and our own SAS.Finally he had a Glock, a highly lethal semi-automatic pistol pumping out dozens of rounds of ammunition without reloading and the weapon of choice for US criminals.Ironically, the first victim of the deranged killerwas the person who built up this absurd arsenal of military weaponry his mother.The pity is he did not stop there.Dr John Cameron.10 Howard Place,St Andrews. Time this was updatedSir, I was horrified and very upset by the senseless killing of those innocent children in Connecticut. But why is this continuing to happen in America?I hope that if any good can come out this tragedy it is that Americans can seriously rethink their gun laws. Following the tragedy in Dunblane the UK successfully changed gun laws making it almost illegal for any individual to own one. Why on earth can the same thing not be done in the USA?How many more tragedies have to happen before it changes its stance? The second amendment allowing citizens to bear arms was adopted in 1791. Surely it is time it was updated?Gordon Kennedy.117 Simpson Square,Perth. Ammunition control neededSir, The recent events in Newtown, Connecticut, are but the latest of many previous shooting incidents in the USA. The National Rifle Association claims that it is the constitutional right of every American to “bear arms”. This “right” was enshrined in the Declaration of Rights which became the Constitution of the USA. The “arms” referred to were flintlock muskets and pistols. Modern day weapons were quite unimagined.Let the American own as many weapons as he/she wishes. But exercise rigid control over ammunition. No ammo, no firing of weapons, at anyone or thing. Breach of “ammunition law” must be punishable by incarceration for as long as the seriousness of the illegal possession is deemed appropriate.This solution would address many of the concerns of those wishing to change the Constitution of the USA, which seems a remote likelihood.A T Geddie.68 Carleton Avenue,Glenrothes.Resorting to bullying?Sir, From what I have read in The Courier about the proposed strike by the RMT union, it was supported by only 25% of the members. Surely the appropriate way to proceed with the sacked employee’s case would have been for the RMT to take it to an industrial tribunal, claiming unfair dismissal?Perhaps the RMT thought that they did not have a case that would stand up so decided, as so often before, to try bullying tactics?John Dorward.89 Brechin Road,Arbroath.So grateful to young helpersSir, I would like to thank the boys and girls on the 10.07pm train to Dundee on Saturday from Waverley Station in Edinburgh. We (two OAPs) had just made a 10-hour train journey from Southampton and wanted to get home to North Queensferry.The train was packed but there was a small standing space in one carriage so, with four pieces of luggage, we got on board. At the door four or five boys with pushbikes helped us to get the luggage in and looked after us. One boy in particular was really helpful and organised the people standing at the door to pass out our luggage so we could head off quickly.So, thank you to all the boys and girls who made the final part of our journey as smooth as possible.One last detail, there were no station staff there to help sort out baggage and direct us to the main hall and there was a charge of £1 to get a trolley. How mean is that?Alan Hay.North Queensferry.Blackford fits the billSir, The improvement of the access road to Gleneagles is welcomed, however, it is of concern to the COBRA (Campaign to Open Blackford Railway station Again) committee that Perth & Kinross Council funds are being spent on a road that is not adopted at this time.Are we to assume the council will take over the maintenance of the Gleneagles station access road at council taxpayers’ expense?The cost of the road and station upgrade, without an upgrade of passenger services would seem a pointless expense. Railway station services today should ensure easy access for foot, cycle, car, disabled and pram but Gleneagles station layout will not deliver these things unless enormous amounts of money are spent.A re-opened Blackford station, however, would be ready to fulfil all the requirements of a safe, accessible station for a much reduced sum of money.Jennifer Gordon.Secretary, COBRA.