.

When will the madness end?

Enough is enough. We, as a nation, need to do better.

The last 48 hours has seen a horrible surge of sadness and anger from Americans all across the country.  Another mass shooting.  Another one committed by a young man.  One of the worst mass shootings in America, as if such rankings matter.  From Arizona to Colorado to Oregon to Connecticut, these mass murders will not end.

Innocent  children losing their lives.  In the wake of the unspeakable horror of children being killed while at school, isn’t it time for us to have an earnest national conversation on effective gun control laws?  Will the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut mark a tipping point for the American people to say enough is enough?  When are we going to have the responsibility to take care of each other?

It’s past time to face reality. This is a firearms issue. Can we finally have a rational discussion about the role of guns in our society … please?  The truth is that people with guns kill people. Sandy Hook is the sixth gun massacre this year.  How frequent do the massacres have to become before we can talk about serious gun control?  We, as a nation, need to do better.

For the same reason we are trying to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran’s arsenal, we should keep semi-automatic weapons out of individuals’ hands. Gun control doesn’t have to mean no guns.  Arguments can be made for shotguns and rifles for hunting and handguns for protection.  But it’s time to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The only purpose of a semi-automatic weapon is to kill numerous people as quickly as possible.  What role would a semi-automatic weapon have for hunting or self-defense?  Yes, mentally ill people kill other people, but the types of weapons they have access to will determine how many people they are able to kill.

The NRA, which objects to any kind of reasonable controls on gun ownership, is certainly part of the problem. Semiautomatic guns and large clips make for mass shootings that are almost impossible to defend against.  Owning or possessing automatic weapons should be illegal for anyone except the military and the police. Why does a hunter or anyone else need an assault rifle, except to kill people?  Outlawing automatic weapons can be done without disturbing the rights of individuals to have and carry pistols and long guns for personal protection and hunting.

While the Second Amendment was meant for protection, guns without regulations give way to nothing but widespread violence and tragedies.   As a country, we need to collectively reconsider the arguments of individual rights in light of the harm done to the thousands of innocent victims shot each year.  I support amending our Constitution to limit the types of weapons that one might bear.  Automatic weapons, with rapid-firing of many bullets, do not seem to be in the scope or spirit of the Constitution.  Your right to bear arms should not mean that you could carry a bazooka or a stinger missile; automatic weapons have no place in a civilized society.

Today I grieve for the families who are in mourning.  Today I grieve for an angry, violent society that has lost its way.

Enough … it is time to call for action.

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