Obama faces a battle over guns

The US president will face great resistance in his plan to cut down the number of privately held guns, a reader says. Other topics: sustainability, cladding and learning English through drama.

Obama begins major crackdown on guns (January 17) is welcome news. Without efforts to curb the contagion of private gun ownership, the United States is heading down a dangerous path.

While there are reasons for some civilians - farmers being the most obvious ones - to have guns, the idea that ownership of assault rifles should be widespread in urban and suburban America is simply crazy.

All the available evidence points to the simple fact that more guns means more deaths. No other comparable country - that is, a developed nation that is not at war - has anywhere near the gun-death rate of the US.

However, the gun lobby corralled by the National Rifle Association is very powerful, and Mr Obama will have an extremely difficult time pushing through any meaningful and effective reform.

It pains me that so-called "truthers" are disputing the facts of the Sandy Hook school tragedy, going so far as to harass people in that community.

It is evidence of how delusional, or deliberately blind, some Americans have become on a critical issue that will shape that nation's future.

J Ryan, Dubai

No sympathy for Sim-card queuers

I am writing in reference to Hundreds rush to beat Sim card deadline (January 16).

This is what happens when people are lazy and wait until the last moment to get important things done.

Fatima Suhail, Dubai

Questions over cladding safety

I was interested to read New safety rules for towers with flammable cladding (January 16).

I wonder if the phrase "restore to its former condition" really means replacing only the burnt cladding and leaving the highly flammable cladding on the rest of the building, as well as the two adjoining towers in the same cluster.

I hope that the residents will finally be paid what they were promised by the insurance company for temporary accommodation - after all, it's been more than eight weeks since the fire was put out and all Tamweel Tower families became homeless.

For a clear-cut case involving relatively minor compensation on humane and practical grounds, that is far too long.

Baseem Fakhry, Dubai

A greener future starts in the UAE

I enjoyed reading World gathers to plan brighter future (January 16).

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed's call for greenhouse gas emission targets and energy technology are welcome, and I believe this world gathering will encourage a green revolution in the future.

The initiative taken by the Abu Dhabi government to hold this summit should be applauded.

K Ragavan, India

Spoil the boy, risk ruining the man

I agree with Rym Ghazal's article, An overindulged son turns into an over-aggressive man (January 17).

I have often expressed my astonishment at some of the outrageous actions my teacher friends have had to put up with at boys' schools.

However, I have been told that the boys' lessons will take hold one day when they are 18 or 19, and they will know what is right and wrong.

But I don't think that it works that way. As Rym has noted, what happens is that overindulged, spoiled boys grow up to be overindulged, spoiled men.

T Adams, Abu Dhabi

What's in a name for a golf game?

I am writing in reference to Els the entertainer (January 15), about the South African golfer Ernie Els.

I'm a traditionalist, and there is no golf tournament called the British Open. It's the Open Championship.

A Hague, UK

The play's the thing for English lessons

Full marks for your story Lessons full of sound and fury (January 17) - and its clever headline.

If you want to learn how to speak English with confidence, Shakespeare is an excellent place to start. And there is no doubt that Macbeth has all the ingredients that will engage young male students.

While performing a play may not ultimately be a substitute for poring over grammar books and sitting examinations, it certainly is a fantastic way to bring a foreign language to life.

I wish everybody involved in the performance further success with their studies.

Ken Douglas, Abu Dhabi