The ‘right to bear arms’

 

Sir, – In light of the latest gun outrage in the US and the inexplicable adherence of a portion of the population to the second amendment “right to bear arms”, as enshrined in the US constitution, surely it prompts the question as to the legitimacy of this “right” in light of the absolute evidence to the more fundamental right to life. The enormous grip the gun lobby has over the elected representatives through intensive lobbying and scaremongering is frightening, and the absolute refusal to countenance a more rational system of control is truly abhorrent in the face of the mounting evidence of routine carnage. How relevant is a 200-year-old written set of rules for political and social engagement in 21st-century society? This question also has resonance in Ireland, where the Constitution has fallen into redundancy due to the evolution of social, political and religious thought. It is well beyond time to revisit these archaic rules, especially in the US when they have more relevance to wild west cowboys in the frontier than a modern civilised society. – Yours, etc,

TOM FINN,

Ballinasloe, Co Galway.

Sir, – From my understanding it would appear that the Las Vegas killer broke no US laws right up until the moment when he broke the windows in his hotel suite. Appalling. – Yours, etc,

MIKE SCOTT,

Trim, Co Meath.

Sir, – Being allowed to own 43 guns is a symptom of an individual and a society that have gone insane. The right to bear arms can be discussed and agreed on but there should be no right to have a truck-load of military-grade weapons. – Yours, etc,

DENNIS FITZGERALD,

Melbourne, Australia.