EDITORIAL: It’s time for a dialog on gun safety

We join the nation in trying to absorb the magnitude of the tragedy that happened in Las Vegas. We agree with President Donald Trump that this is an example of pure evil and that love will help us get through this.

We pray that victims of this senseless act achieve some notion of peace after an incident that forever tarnishes all that it has touched.

But we would be remiss in not noting that these sentiments overtake us each time our country has a mass shooting — and each mass shooting seems to bring a more dastardly and clever way to increase the carnage and establish it as the worst in modern U.S. history.

We are mindful of the concerns that are raised by having factions politicize such tragedy. But we must all declare that enough is enough.

This is not a call for gun control, although we should not shy away from the topic. This is not a call for the unmitigated preservation of the Second Amendment, although our constitutional rights must be part of any discussion.

This is a call for leadership.

Since the millennium, there have been almost 60 mass shootings involving nearly 1,400 casualties, including nearly 500 deaths, according to a comprehensive database by Mother Jones magazine.

Such numbers suggest this country has a problem.

Yet, as unfathomable as the notion of at least 58 more deaths and more than 500 wounded or injured after Sunday’s open air concert in Las Vegas, the more unfathomable notion is that we, as a nation, cannot engage in any civil discourse about this problem.

We need to get beyond this public policy paralysis. We need to get beyond the notion that a discussion about gun control equates to the obliteration of the Second Amendment.

Just as President Trump has engaged our country about the appropriateness of NFL players and coaches taking a knee during the National Anthem without any threat to the First Amendment, we as a nation must begin a dialog about gun safety with the full knowledge that such a discussion does not spell the end of the Second Amendment.

We commend President Trump for forcefully condemning this latest act of mass violence and we hope during his visit Wednesday to Las Vegas that he offers more than just condolences to the victims and their families. We hope he brings a plan to present to our nation to begin dealing with this issue.

We call on President Trump to not allow this pattern of mass shootings, condemnation and inaction that plagued his predecessors to plague him, as well.

We also call on Congress — which has had several missed chances over the past decade — to engage in a meaningful discussion on gun laws, as well.

Our Constitution guarantees Americans the right to live in a land safe from harm from foreign invaders, and from each other.

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