Tight gun control in Singapore, but vigilance still needed

America is a nation where the possession of firearms is legally enshrined in the Constitution.

Legalising arms possession, nevertheless, does not bode well for the Americans. There is now a palpable sense of disquiet among Americans, whose lives seem to have been threatened as a result of increasing crime and terrorism that have beset the entire nation.

In an attempt to make America a safer place, President Barack Obama has repeatedly addressed the need for stricter gun control. He brought up this issue again in the face of the nation's worst mass shooting where 49 people were killed and 53 wounded in a Florida nightclub ("Obama renews push for gun control"; June 18). He bemoaned the fact that stricter gun control measures have not been imposed so far.

Opinions on stricter gun control measures are divided in America, but there seems to be more people who are against gun control than those who are in favour of such measures.

Americans who are against stricter gun control measures say they need the weapons for self-defence, hunting, sporting activities and security against tyranny. In confronting wild animals in remote places, the use of a gun is the best protection, they add.

Americans who are strongly against the possession of firearms say that such possession inevitably gives rise to increasing crime and terrorism in America.

Their worries have not been totally unfounded as there have been many shooting incidents in schools, universities and other places.

What is even more unsettling now is that the availability of firearms enables terrorists to carry out more attacks in America.

Crime rates are low in Singapore, compared with America, as it is illegal for anyone, except security forces, to bear arms. Furthermore, strict laws against guns make it difficult for terrorists to bring in or use such weapons to launch an attack in Singapore.

However, the threat of terrorism still abounds here. Singapore, therefore, should not let its guard down.

Bobby Yeo Chek Hong