Connecticut School Shooting Proves Gun Control Is Long Overdue

The tragic shooting in an elementary school in Connecticut proves we can no longer ignore the issue of gun control.

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Parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

There was a tragic shooting today at an elementary school in Connecticut today that killed at least 27 people, among them at least 18 children. These shootings echoed the tragic deaths of high school students in Columbine, Colo.

After the murders in Tucson, Ariz. during the attack on Rep. Gabby Giffords, President Obama said we need to have a "new discussion of how we can keep America safe for all our people." Since the president spoke, we've had killings in a movie theater in Colorado, the murders at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and now in an elementary school in Connecticut. When will someone do something to end these senseless tragedies?

Almost two years after the tragedy in Tucson that discussion is long overdue. The president did not speak much about gun control during his re-election campaign. It's time for the president to step up to the plate and use the powers of the presidency to raise the issue again. Even if Congress fails to act, the president can at least keep the issue on the front burner. Unfortunately, the shelf life of the debate about gun control is over three days after the burial ceremonies.

[See a collection of political cartoons on gun control and gun rights.]

After the murders in the movie theater in Aurora, I heard one pro-gun guy say that the tragedy would have not occurred if the patrons had been armed. I'm just waiting for some gun nut to say the kids in Connecticut would have survived if they had been armed.

I don't think the Second Amendment will be of consolation to the parents who lost children today. If the National Rifle Association had its way, these kids in Connecticut would be buried with a copy of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment to the Constitution reads, "A well regulated militia being necessary being necessary to a free state, the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." To my knowledge none of the men who murdered these people were on active duty in their state militia or what we call the National Guard these days.

[Read the U.S. News Debate: Should People Be Allowed to Carry Guns Openly?]

If the National Rifle Association is a classic example of a special interest group that puts its self interest over the national interest. With its power and money, the NRA has stopped any attempts to limit the purchase of weapons.

We could end much of this carnage just by renewing the federal ban on automatic weapons that was in place before the NRA used its muscle and money to kill the law. There's no reason for any civilian to own an automatic weapon.  When I was a kid, I played soldier and used a tree branch as a gun. That was fun but I don't see any reason for adults to play with the real thing. It's time for people to grow up.

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