If there is some good news to come out of the Newtown tragedies, it is that there is agreement across the political spectrum about mental-health treatment. We welcome that discussion, although we should always note that making services available to those who need them and cannot afford them will require a discussion of money.
Where there isn’t yet agreement is on the issue of controlling the proliferation of high-powered weapons that have no legitimate hunting use. We hope that lawmakers will look with open minds at the so-called “assault weapons” ban that was dropped in 2004.
Many gun enthusiasts called it “imperfect,” but its renewal was supported by law enforcement and President George W. Bush. We supported its renewal at that time, and could support a new-and-improved version.
There is no legitimacy in having easy access to 30-round clips and military weapons in civilian hands. And there is no legitimate argument, as the U.S. Supreme Court has said, that the Second Amendment to the Constitution rules out common-sense restrictions on weapons that help criminals outgun local police across this country.