The land of the free really does have to rethink its gun laws after the abomination of Sandy Hook Primary School.
These deliberate or indiscriminate massacres cannot be allowed to keep happening.
The right to bear arms is enshrined in the American constitution, we keep being told, but the price is repellently high.
President Clinton introduced a moderate tightening of firearm laws during his time in office but it was allowed to lapse by his successor George W Bush. And in any case some of the weapons used in this Newtown atrocity by Adam Lanza were not covered by those restrictions anyway.
Perhaps if he hadn’t had an automatic assault rifle there would have been slightly fewer casualties, but a live bullet is a live bullet.
Columbine, the Batman cinema shootings, now the US’s answer to Dunblane, this horrific sequence can only continue remorselessly onwards if Americans keep burying their heads in the sand and putting this ridiculous right ahead of human lives.
Dunblane proved a turning point in UK gun law, doing much to limit the availability of weapons (personally I would outlaw airguns too but I am still far more comfortable living here than I would be over the Atlantic).
President Obama and even a couple of members of the usually hawkish pro-gun lobby in the US have been making the right noises about new restrictions (albeit in rather general terms).
No legislation can ever guarantee against another Lanza or Thomas Hamilton because there will always be firearms out there and there will always be a small minority of people disturbed enough to put them to their most horrific use.
But surely to God it must finally be getting through to Americans after Sandy Hook that their damned gun rights are going to carry on claiming countless more innocent lives if they don’t bring about a radical change in the law. Minimising firearm availability will reduce the chance of psychopaths getting hold of them.
Many folk won’t like it but only a wholesale amnesty of weapons will cure this American sickness.