NEW YORK - The New York Times used space on its front page to call for greater gun regulation in the wake of recent deadly mass shootings.
Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said the newspaper ran its first Page One editorial since 1920 to "deliver a strong and visible statement of frustration and anguish about our country's inability to come to terms with the scourge of guns."
The Times editorial, which was published in Saturday's editions, suggested drastically reducing the number of firearms and even "eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition."
It said it was "a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency."
While the editorial acknowledged gun-control opponents' observation that killers have gotten weapons illegally in places such as France, England, and Norway that have strict gun laws, it said "at least those countries are trying. The United States is not."
The editorial comes after 14 people were killed Wednesday in a shooting later at a social services center in San Bernardino, Calif., and three people were fatally shot at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., less than a week earlier.
In June, nine people were killed at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C. A shooting in October left nine dead and nine injured at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
"Motives," the editorial said, "do not matter to the dead in California, nor did they in Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut and far too many other places.
Analysts say the parade of violence has hardened feelings on both sides in the battle over gun control.
Gun-control advocates say the shootings underline the need to get guns off the streets; gun-rights advocates say they show the need for Americans to be armed for protection.
The Times editorial called on lawmakers and owners of some kinds of guns to act, to show "that our nation has retained its sense of decency."