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Time to take on the Second Amendment

Nothing new has happened. It's been repeated over and over again. A deranged individual, armed with ammunition guaranteed to wreak the most possible carnage, has successfully carried out a mission utilizing his Constitutional rights. And as usual, the nation mourns. How the nation sobs, weeps for these precious, innocent babes and their guardians. Twenty-six in all, not counting the families/parents who, though still walking, have also died.

That's this week. Next week we'll have other worries: fiscal cliffs, film and TV awards, etc., etc. Interestingly, not far off from that number is what I consider to have become another equally bloody twenty-seven words — one sentence — comprising the Second Amendment. It is spoken with reverence, a God-given (OK, NRA…same thing) right as it were, though for the life of me, I cannot see how it can be interpreted as anything other than a right to form a militia. And though I would defy anyone to ascribe to founders the intent of allowing every citizen to possess a veritable killing machine, I have been searching for some convincing data, a statistical study of 1) how many lives have been saved by gun-owners against intruders and 2) how many lives have been lost in accidental misuse in these homes.

Talk of better mental health facilities, more aid to beleaguered parents, safer schools (not prisons!) is certainly justified, but something must be done about the enormous, bellicose, wild elephant in the room, the thus-far unassailable, troublesome Second Amendment, feared so by the most powerful it is to be referred to in hushed tones and never cited in any negative way.

I have to believe that this week, the week of tiny coffins, there must be some good people who would be more than willing to give up semi-automatic weapons if only in the hope it will save one life: one college child, one high schooler, one 5-year-old and next, one of my…your loved ones.

Vivian D. Braun, Baltimore

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