The unspeakable horror of last week's mass shooting of 20 innocent children and the educators who tried to protect them has triggered both national mourning and a renewed call for gun control.
As a nation, we must find a way to reform gun laws without jeopardizing our 2nd amendment right to bear arms. No one needs a semi-automatic assault weapon with a large capacity magazine to hunt with or protect their property....even an avid gun user would agree with that. But as a nation, we must also improve awareness of and access to treatment for mental health issues.
What we don't know in these tragic situations is what motivates a person to slaughter complete strangers....what we do know is that most mass murderers suffer from mental illness. There is no way to predict the behavior of someone who is deranged, but we sure can make it harder for that individual to obtain a weapon of this magnitude.
We simply can't remain polarized and paralyzed in this situation...there is ample room to compromise. Banning assault weapons is a start, but improving states' use and updating of the National Instant Check system will also help keep guns out of the hands of people who should be banned due to mental illness.