Re. “Cause for alarm? Australia has more guns, but they’re less dangerous” (Wednesday). As federal member for Fraser Andrew Leigh pointed out (comments, yesterday) this paragraph was not accurate:

“Research by Philip Alpers from the University of Sydney made headlines this week when it was revealed Australians imported more than 1 million guns since the 1996 shooting tragedy that resulted in a massive gun buy-back scheme and a halving of gun-related deaths in the years since.”

In fact, Australians imported more than 1 million guns since gun amnesties began in 1988. The story has been amended online.

Obama kids need armed guards

Moira Smith writes: Re. “Candelight vigils guide Obama’s unlikely new gun laws” (yesterday).Regarding the use of Obama’s children in the pro-gun ad, my understanding is that Obama and his family get so many death threats each day that it’s just not publicised. I wonder how many of the families involved in the latest home town USA massacre received daily death threats? Therefore in my honest opinion, as children of a high profile family hated by so many (and just count ’em) Obama’s children need a bodyguard. That shouldn’t be true of little Johnny going to school in a small American town.

Climate change reporting

Keith Thomas writes: Re: “What you won’t read in The Australian on climate change” (Wednesday). Cathy Alexander ends with the too familiar line “the impacts of climate change may be more severe, and happening more quickly, than previously predicted.” The usual assumption drawn by those most concerned about climate change is that the scientists are telling us it’s bad and here’s further evidence — we told you so.

But look at it another way. How can it be that scientists are repeatedly underestimating the magnitude and the range of impacts of climate change? Is it because the IPCC reports are sanitised in a final edit by governments? Is it because some scientists are downplaying the likely impacts so as not to scare us into despair? Or is it, more seriously, that the mainstream model of climate change causation is incomplete, even faulty?

The sins of Lance Armstrong

John Richardson writes: Re. “People will say at least Lance had the ball to come clean” (yesterday). Yes, call it like it is … well, maybe. Toby Ralph correctly identified that Lance Armstrong’s “sin” wasn’t to scam millions from over-willing sponsors; nor to indulge in drug-taking or to bring the world of cycling into disrepute, but simply to get caught.

Surely, at the end of the day, Armstrong is no different to the legions of sinners from all quarters who pop along for forgiveness from their confessor-of-choice each week, before embarking on a fresh round of inappropriate behaviour? Be it politicians, police, judges, priests, bankers, CEOs, jockeys or journalists, or even high profile sports stars, they’re all part of the same game of clipping the punters tickets in some way or another, with fessing up when caught simply being the neatest way of getting accepted back into the game.

Peter Fray

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