The time for the repeal of the Second Amendment has arrived.

This country of ours can no longer tolerate the continual, idiotic bowing and kow-towing to the National Rifle Association, which will, any moment now, weigh in to tell us in solemn tones how the latest tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has nothing whatsoever to do with Americans' access to guns but has everything to do with deranged people. This is such cant, such garbage, such utterly insupportable nonsense, yet it is inexorably unraveling in the U.S., dead body by dead body.

This most recent tragedy is of a kind that virtually never takes place in countries like Canada or the United Kingdom. Is it that we in the U.S. have a monopoly on deranged people? Is it that there are no homicidal maniacs in other countries? Of course not. It's that we in the U.S. have this incredibly easy and fluid access to guns, and that the operatives in the NRA aid and abet this access endlessly. And they do so as they recite to us the words of the Second Amendment.

Let's effectively shut down the gun manufacturers, put them out of business, put an end to the manufacture and possession of guns. The response of the NRA -- utterly irrational, utter garbage -- will be that "then, only criminals will have guns." But this is of course a non sequitur: if there are no guns, no one will have guns.

The thing that bothers me the most is that we frequently read how our elected officials are frightened, intimidated by the NRA.


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They fear the NRA, they quake in their boots over the NRA, worried that, were they to come out in favor of even modest restrictions of handguns, then the NRA will support candidates to run against them, will lavishly fund such candidates and, thus, they might lose their seats. This is probably a legitimate fear but, sometimes, stands have to be taken, lines have to be drawn in the sand.

It's time for Americans of good will, Americans of intelligence and kindness and decency, to stake out a position. This utter trash, which Wayne LaPierre and his NRA endlessly foster, about how we already have sufficient laws on the books, about how guns aren't really the killers of people, has to have a stake put through its heart, has to be stopped, has to be refuted, has to be ended. Right here and now, and in draconian fashion.

Join me in my outrage and write, call, e-mail your congressional representatives to tell them as much, to tell them that this has got to stop. Now.

In 1933, we repealed the social experiment of the 18th Amendment, a Constitutional mistake if there ever was one. We can repeal the Second, another social experiment that was a mistake, in this decade of the 21st century, so that no parent ever again has to retrieve the body of his or her dead child who has been murdered by guns.

CHARLES MATTINA

Lenox