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A host of sensible laws have been proposed over the years that would make it harder for dangerous people to obtain guns, or which would ban the kind of guns that are good only for mass killing. For example: The federal government could close the gun-show loophole, which allows unlicensed dealers to sell used guns without conducting background checks on buyers. It could enhance the background-check system to search more thoroughly for evidence of mental illness. It could ban assault weapons, or weapons with large magazines that are only useful if one intends to kill a lot of human beings very quickly (the Connecticut gunman used two such large-magazine weapons, a Glock pistol and a Bushmaster .223 M4 carbine rifle). We would favor passage of any or all of these laws, which would do nothing to prevent responsible gun owners from protecting themselves or hunting.
Gun-rights proponents argue that these laws would be ineffective because anyone depraved enough to plan mass murder wouldn't hesitate to break the law to obtain a gun. Maybe, maybe not. But in any case, that's no reason to make it so easy for them. One can't help but be struck by the fact that on the same day as the Newtown massacre, a deranged man in China, where guns are very hard to obtain, slashed 22 children with a knife outside an elementary school. None of them died. My guests were Thelma Taormina, Richelieu Richardson, Glenn Burgess Sr., and Jonathan Maxwell
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