What have we created? We must stop this insanity.

WESTMINSTER WEST — I spent the better part of the weekend in shock and grief at the slaughter of innocents in Newtown, Conn. in the days following the shooting.

Shock and grief over the killing of children and dedicated teachers, yes, and at the fact that our culture, the country I call mine, has been unwilling to take any meaningful measures to stop the carnage that is repeatedly perpetrated on innocent and unsuspecting citizens, many of them children.

We as a nation have up to now been powerless - held hostage, in effect - to a lobby that consists of those who make a profit from the sale of weapons allied with those whose irrational fear causes them to fantasize about being safe from attackers if they have deadly firepower in their possession.

I am not against hunting. I am not against the need for self-defense. I am against private ownership of semi-automatic weaponry.

Every one of the horrific massacres perpetrated in recent years against our unsuspecting citizenry has involved semi-automatic weapons, the kind that shoot many bullets with one touch of the trigger. One touch, many bullets.

Each of those 20 kindergarteners was killed with a minimum of three automatic rifle rounds, with up to 11 high-powered bullets entering the body of each child.

Eleven blasts. That is why there were so few survivors.

What have we created? What are we unwilling to stop?

With this last shocking and near-to-home massacre, can we finally say no to those who profit from insanity?

Are we, as a nation, mature enough to actually protect our homeland?

Yes, other nations have had tragic school shootings, but other nations in the wake of those shootings have put stricter gun-control measures in place so that high-powered weapons are not easily obtainable by the momentarily insane, emotionally disturbed young men who are inevitably the killers of innocents.

We must stop this insanity. We must ban semi-automatic weapons.

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