Act now to curb gun violence

Published: December 19, 2012
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We should mourn, but we should be angry.

The horror in Newtown, Conn., should shake us out of the cowardice, the fear, the evasion and the opportunism that prevent our political system from acting to curb gun violence.

How often must we note that no other developed country has such massacres on a regular basis because no other comparable nation allows such easy access to guns? And on no subject other than ungodly episodes involving guns are those who respond logically by demanding solutions accused of “politicizing tragedy.”

It is time to insist that such craven propaganda will no longer be taken seriously. If Congress does not act this time, we can deem it as totally bought and paid for by the representatives of gun manufacturers, gun dealers and their very well-compensated apologists. ...

After mass shootings, it's always said we must improve our mental health system and the treatment of those who may be prone to violence. Of course we should. But this noble sentiment is too often part of a strategy to evade any action on guns themselves.

Not this time. Americans are not the only people in the world who confront mental health problems. We are the only country that regularly experiences horrors of this sort. The difference, as the writer Garry Wills has said, is that the United States treats the gun as a secular god, immune to rational analysis and human intervention.

We must depose the false deity. We must act now to curb gun violence, or we never will.

— Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, writing Monday