Way of halting gun death 
toll in the US

Have your say

From: Godfrey Bloom, UKIP MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, Wressle, Selby.

I WAS in the United States in the summer when the dreadful Colorado shootings took place.

I appeared on US and UK radio with a solution which would protect citizens’ rights to bear arms under their constitution. Remember in the UK we have had outrages in Dunblane and Hungerford.

My solution would almost certainly prevent such deaths. It is simple. In order to own firearms, a certificate must be granted by the local police who would ensure that 20 householders plus the applicant’s GP sponsor the certificate and it must be reviewed annually.

Any purchases above two firearms must be notified to the sponsors. Any psychological medical changes must be reported to the police.

This would heavily curtail the deranged from access to firearms, those who become unstable would lose the support of their sponsors, moreover it would carry the support of the all-powerful National Rifle Association in the US.

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield, East Yorkshire.

THE tragedy in America where so many innocent lives were snuffed out by a disturbed youth can be put down to two reasons.

The ready availability of guns without proper checks and the violent video games that are now freely available. Anyone who is a citizen of the US can buy guns of any kind over the counter. They do not have to have a reason to hold a weapon as they have a right to bear arms.

What a nonsensical law is that? Violent video games played by young people create a blurring of reality. Teenagers have difficulty in separating fact from fiction and the video games of today are bloodthirsty to the extreme. Until control of weapons and violent video games is enforced we shall no doubt see more of these tragedies. Alas, the powerful gun lobby of the US will hold sway over the more sensible approach.

From: Allan Ramsay, Radcliffe Moor Road, Manchester.

FIGHTING back tears, with his voice cracking, Robbie Parker, father of one of the children killed in the Connecticut school massacre, has asked that the tragedy “not turn into something that defines us, but something that inspires us to be better, to be more compassionate and more humble people”.

Maybe one day we’ll see road death – 1.3 million a year globally; 35 a week in the UK – as senseless slaughter. We can never guard against extremists and psychopaths. Aren’t 99 per cent of drivers rational and compassionate human beings?

From: Louis Shawcross, Inns Court, Hillsborough, County Down.

“MEANINGFUL action” would require the CIA to halt its drone bombing campaign in northern Pakistan where mass killings of civilians happens on a regular basis.

If only President Obama had the same “overwhelming grief” for those children and mothers killed in these state-planned operations, by pilots in US air force bases in Nevada and Virginia using computers, video feeds and a joystick.

But the debate won’t encompass the US military having to disarm or pull back from foreign operations because the overwhelming grief felt by Pakistani civilians doesn’t register in the hearts and minds of US military personnel and US politicians.

From: Paul Emsley, Hellifield.

WHAT is the difference between 20 children killed in Connecticut, slaughtered by an American; and 33 children killed in the Gaza Strip, slaughtered by an Israeli? The answer is nothing, except innocent victims have again resulted from political ineptitude.

The real issue is that both these societies have uncontrolled gun cultures, extenuated by adults who derive and benefit from the use and power that carrying a weapon gives to them.

The perpetrators of such slaughter are predominately male and predominantly men who can find no other way of expressing themselves in a way that people will take them seriously – except by killing.

In both cases, I feel deeply sad that women and children have again been caused to suffer, because of the inadequate mentalities of men. The sooner that the male member of the species comes to understand that violence only perpetrates violence the better. They should try to talk and listen and understand that there are other ways of getting on with their fellow humans without resorting to murder and killing and that talking is not an affront to their masculinity, nor their sense of inadequacy, within the human race.

Funding imbalance

From: David Gray, Buttershaw Lane, Liversedge.

I THINK that the letter from Maxwell Laurie (Yorkshire Post, December 14) cannot be unchallenged.

It may be that heart services cannot be sustained in both Leeds and Newcastle, but if that is so the case must still be for Leeds to be the centre where they are maintained.

According to the statistics from the schedules of funding of PCTs for 2012-2013 the North East area services 2.6 million people whereas the Yorkshire and Humber area services 5.5 million people (slightly more people than the population of Scotland according to its latest census). Thus twice as many would have to travel to Newcastle as would have to travel from Newcastle.

There has been reference that the Newcastle facilities are slightly better than those in Leeds but that is not surprising when the average recurring funding is £1,861 per person per year in the Newcastle area, but only £1,650 per person per year in the Leeds area.

If the Newcastle area was on the same funding as the Leeds area, they would have a budget of £55m less to provide their services. In fact, the Newcastle-based area receives more than the London-based area.

The issues raised by David Harbourne (Yorkshire Post, December 12) also highlight the funding differences to which there seems to be no intention 
to redress.