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Debating guns, post-Newtown

The same old arguments won't work

In the wake of Newtown, I'm reminded of a saying common in 12-Step recovery circles.

Doing same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

Hearteningly enough, the reaction to our latest American massacre does seem different, perhaps because so many small-town Connecticut kids now must be laid to rest the week before Christmas. A prairie fire of grief and outrage on social media quickly overwhelmed the notion that "this is not the right time" to talk about ammo and arsenals.

The time is now. And while President Obama didn't mention the g-word in his eloquent speech at Sunday's memorial service, he did set the tone of gravity, civility and shared responsibility that's essential if we're ever going to get a different result than what happened at Sandy Hook elementary.

Let's forget fantasies about confiscation of firearms, which makes even less sense than rounding up every 20-something white male who spends too much time online.

Neither of these apocalyptic scenarios will, or should, happen.

Instead, let's have a grown-up discussion about how to balance the rights of law-abiding gun owners and every other law-abider in the land.

To quote another 12-Step aphorism: If nothing changes, nothing changes.