IN her excellent article ("Americans' right to bear arms is such a relic", The Herald, December 17), Rosemary Goring hits the nail firmly on the head when she writes that the sign of a civilised nation is not one which insists on the fundamental right to own a gun but, rather, that such a nation is "profoundly and alarmingly primitive".

Well put.

As many experts in socio-economic history and politics have observed, historically, America is an adolescent country when considered against the more mature longevity of many others and, to extend the metaphor, we all know the emotional instability and volatility of the average adolescent. Much of America's brief history on the world stage is a litany of knee-jerk miscalculation, error and a blinkered, interventionist mentality that sees the American way as, often, the only way.

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To those who would argue that the world is a safer place because of the US, the sad irony is, if they're right, it is because America has the biggest guns.

G McCulloch,

47 Moffat Wynd.

Saltcoats.

Horrifying though the events in Newtown, Connecticut, were, let no-one be under any illusion that this will lead to a change in the guns laws in the US. The right to bear arms is far too deeply ingrained in the American psyche, as anyone who has wandered round a supermarket in the US can testify. There you can pick up a bag of spuds, some toothpaste and a gun plus ammunition in your weekly shopping.

The home of the brave and land of the free is truly the venue for the slaughter of the innocents.

Sheila Duffy,

3 Hamilton Drive,

Glasgow.