Like most, I've spent the morning watching the horrifying news out of Newtown, Conn. come in. And, like most, I'm left speechless, tearful and heartbroken. What kind of deranged soul shoots up an elementary school, killing 20 children? What kind of country allows repeated acts of such senseless violence to persist? What kind of culture have we created where things like this can happen - and so frequently do?
The White House, in expressing its condolences for those touched by this tragedy, has said today isn't the day to discuss gun control in our country.
The White House is probably right. The conversation should have happened yesterday - or sooner.
This tragedy shouldn't have happened. It didn't have to happen. As a country, we've got to put a stop to it.
Nowhere in the Constitution does it guarantee a person the right to shoot up an elementary school. While it's may be factually accurate to say the shooter - preliminarily identified as Ryan Lanza - was responsible for the massacre, and not the gun(s) he carried, that logic defies the reality of the situation in our country.
The reality is guns are too easy to get and it's long past time we did something about it.
The reality is guns are easier to get than mental health treatment, and it's long past time we did something about it.
The reality is our American culture is obsessed with violence, and it's long past time we did something about it.
We have to. We're obligated to. There is no good argument to the contrary.
It's unfortunate that it once again took the senseless murder of school children to bring this conversation to the forefront. But that's exactly what happened.
At a loss for how to cope, how to express the immense sadness that has blanketed our nation this morning, all I can think to do is go home, take my daughter out of school, and hug her tightly.
And then try to do something about this terrible, gun-crazed society we've created.
The time is now.