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Commentary: When will we wake up?

I wrote this the day of the horror but every word still stands.

Is it going to take another nut case to kill another two dozen kids before lawmakers and the National Rifle Association finally wake up?

Or is it going to take a different kind of mindless fiend to march into the offices of the NRA and open up with an assault rifle?

What is it going to take before the knucklehead hardliners in this country finally glimpse that we are no longer living in 1776?

When are they going to get the simple fact that it’s 2012 and all the wrong people are walking around with military grade combat weapons?

I’m not talking about just the gangs and the gangbangers. I’m talking about hundreds of thousands of seemingly ordinary people packing guns.

People who you would never think might turn their guns on innocent people – yet they do. With horrifying regularity. One headline after another.

Why do they do it? At this point, who cares? They usually kill themselves, as well, and we may never know.

The point is that they kill.

And they are dreadful cowards.

Tragically, our children are often their prey.

I’m not going to dwell on the obvious, what we already know. Getting a gun permit in America is almost a joke. The proof is the characters who pass the test.

Forty percent of Americans are armed, many of them with single-fire (modified) assault weapons (however, I am told that semi-automatics can be re-tooled back to automatic, or bought without too much trouble on the black market).

So why is it a surprise when some of these people turn out to be psychotic, or just enjoy killing people?

And why are we astonished when almost all our children have easy access from birth to a steady diet of gory violence and vicious hate in video games, movies and on TV? Nonstop video violence and dark-minded kids can be a dangerous mix.

The ones who grow up to be real-life mass murderers are mostly young, male and troubled. But we hear, too, about older guys who snap and open up on coworkers, family members or perfect strangers.

After Newtown, in my opinion no one can ever make the case again that every American has the right to own a gun. Some people should not be allowed to have any weapons whatsoever — even if it means the NRA, one of Washington’s most powerful lobbies, will be very unhappy.

Roughly 150,000 people own fully automatic weapons in America. Millions more own normal, lethal handguns and rifles.

Access to guns is as easy as opening a drawer or reaching into a closet.

Gun ownership should be the exception, not the norm. Guns should be a lot harder to come by. This will not stop crazy people from random murder. This will not stop all the heartache and pain. It may be too late for that, because the black market is alive and well and even with tougher legislation, too many guns are already in circulation.

But it could be the beginning of the end of our national recurring nightmare of burying our slaughtered innocents, most particularly our beloved children.

I think we should all be mad as hell. Federal government can be part of the solution.

Among other things, we’ve got to email, write, or call our representatives in DC and demand much tougher new laws to try to put an end to the bloodletting. That’s a start. The NRA doesn’t want that. But most of the rest of America does. Most Americans can’t understand why a mentally troubled kid can easily get his hands on lethal weapons that can take out a whole classroom of kindergarten children in just a few seconds.

That said, we all have to do something about it. We have to do whatever it takes to get rid of private ownership of military grade assault weapons, and to stand up together to condemn the execrably violent trash that has taken our entire culture hostage.

The NRA will tell you guns don’t kill, people do. Of course guns kill. If that wing-nut in Newtown had just a knife, he wouldn’t have been able to blow his way into the school and maybe all those beautiful kids would still be alive.

We have to make our voices heard – before another idiot wannabe and copycat killer, some pathetic loser with an assault rifle or 9 m.m. handgun with special flesh-exploding rounds, walks into our classrooms and shoots our children and grandchildren in the head.

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