Gun control in the U.S. has been a matter of debate for years. Many people have been killed by indiscriminate use of guns, the latest being the massacre of 20 children and six adults in Newtown. Easy accessibility of guns is the main issue, with the powerful gun lobby determined to make guns available to whoever wants it.

But one wonders why youngsters are allowed easy access to guns at home. Parents are expected to take care of their firearms responsibly.

D.B.N. Murthy,

Bangalore

The hidden iceberg of mental illness is said to be the largest contributor to disability worldwide. The Newtown incident should hopefully awaken the authorities to the dangers of this disability, which still has stigma attached to it, causing many affected persons to delay seeking medical guidance, and their immediate families to shield such persons from the outside world. This, combined with the lack of stringent gun laws in the U.S., makes for a potent mix.

Nithish T. Jacob,

Thrissur

While possessing guns has some historical reference — to the days when the British ruled America — carrying it today is deemed to be an act of freedom in the U.S. But such freedom in the hands of those who do not understand the value of human lives can only be disastrous.

The Connecticut incident is not reflective of a local problem — it points to a global issue. A microscopic minority of youngsters in any part of the world would be forced to the brink of frustration due to various factors like lack of parental love and affection, or unemployment. Add to this the economic recession. Weak minds become a fertile breeding ground for violent tendencies.

V.M. Vadivelu,

Coimbatore

The free availability of guns may not be the only reason for the Connecticut tragedy. Individualism, materialism, and lack of concern for others lead to the alienation of the youth. This is the big question that American schools and the government need to address more seriously. You may grow in America but America, too, grows on you.

N.G.R. Prasad,

Chennai

There are too many broken homes in the U.S. Too much freedom to children leads to their being uncared for. There is the unwanted freedom to citizens to own modern weapons.

Exposure to sex and violence is much more today, thanks to the media and mobile phones with Internet connections.

A. Natesan,

Tirunelveli

What should parents do to safeguard their children against such despicable incidents? There are reports of Adam Lanza being an awkward loner of an unsound mind. Social institutions like families should be taking care of such people.

Anupama,

Chandigarh

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