Rights and arms

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I am left astonished by the ­reported increase in the sales of assault weapons in America ­following the tragic deaths of the teachers and children in ­Connecticut (your report, 21 ­December).

How can people in a progressive society act in this way? There is the strongest evidence that increased gun ownership is one of the major factors – if not the main one – that leads to gun crime. How can ordinary Americans not see this plain fact?
Here we have personal choice or liberty set against what is best for society, shown in its worst light. When we emphasise “rights”, and diminish our emphasis on “responsibilities”, this is the kind of culture we see develop, and it is unpleasant and self-centred.

God forbid that we, in Scotland, go further down this same route, where personal wants and rights seem to trump anything else.

While it is important that the vital rights of every human being are upheld, and everyone is treated fairly and with equal respect, when it becomes clear that someone’s rights limit the good of ­society, then that personal “right” must be questioned strongly, and resisted.

As human beings, surely we are here not primarily to serve ourselves; rather we are here to serve others in whatever way possible, using the gifts God has given us, even if that means we have to do without what we want.

If we lived with that in view, then our nation would be a much better place.

And, after all, is that not what “living out Christmas (and Christianity) is really about – a giving of ourselves for the sake of others?
I do pray that all Americans will recognise this.

Alasdair Fyfe