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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Mass shootings are modern America's greatest tragedy

Readers discuss Texas, Syria, Indian politics and Star Wars

A candlelight vigil in Santa Fe, Texas for the victims of the mass shooting on May 18, 2018. Daniel Kramer / AFP
A candlelight vigil in Santa Fe, Texas for the victims of the mass shooting on May 18, 2018. Daniel Kramer / AFP

I write in reference to your online article Texas high school shooting: 10 killed, 10 injured (May 19): the most recent US school shooting, which has tragically ended 10 innocent young lives and wounded just as many has rightly attracted broad condemnation both within the US and far beyond. It is a tragedy of modern America that the country is today known for mass shootings. The motive for this deadly attack, like many before it, is unknown. In spite of many large-scale protests across the US against gun violence and the inertia of policymakers, little has changed. That is tremendously sad.

The administration of US President Donald Trump should do its utmost to find a permanent solution to this crisis and the violent culture that underpins it.

We must hope that something can be done to save innocent young students. Time will tell whether or not Mr Trump heeds this call.

K Ragavan, Denver

Superpowers are using Syria as a testing ground

I write in reference to your article Bashar Al Assad travels to Russia to meet with Vladimir Putin (May 17): Perhaps Mr Putin will put some sense into the head of Mr Al Assad. This worthless war must come to an end to save innocent lives. Mr Al Assad is to blame for its continuation. Superpowers are using Syria as a testing ground for their weapons. Human beings are deserving of sympathy and love.

Name withheld by request

Morality and values keep eroding in Indian politics

Please refer to your article India’s BJP wins most seats in Karnataka state elections (May 15): the Governor of Karnataka invited the BJP to form a government after it won 104 seats, despite the fact that the Congress and a regional party, JD(S), formed a joint front that won 116 seats. Now the BJP chief minister has been given 24 hours to prove his majority by the Supreme Court.

Personally, I find the scramble to form a majority by encouraging opponents to switch sides to be rather unsavoury. Leaders are elected on the basis of party affiliation; how can they simply alter their priorities?

Fifty years ago, I wrote a letter to The Times of India, arguing against post-poll defections and pleading for laws against it. Back then I argued that leaders who switch sides expose their weakness and should be viewed as political liabilities. It is indeed lamentable that over the last 50 years, values appear to have eroded further in India.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Poor casting ruined our cinema viewing

Please refer to your film review Why Solo: A Star Wars Story is a disappointment (May 19): why they didn’t choose Anthony Ingruber to play Han Solo is beyond me. He has acted as a young Harrison Ford before and looks and sounds like him.

Miltiadas Kyvernitis, Dubai

Connections matter more than talent in Hollywood today.

Saif Al Suwaidi, Nova Scotia