The gunman in the Newtown, Conn., massacre fired 154 bullets from his Bushmaster military-style rifle in fewer than five minutes, killing 20 first-graders and six adults. He brought with him 10 large-capacity magazines, each holding up to 30 rounds, which allowed him to reload quickly. He also carried two semiautomatic handguns, one of which he used to take his own life.

Is this supposed to be the price of the Second Amendment? Is this the kind of America we want?

I know that realists have concluded there is little chance of getting an assault-weapons ban through Congress. I know that many gun-control advocates believe legislation mandating universal background checks, thought to have a reasonably good chance of being approved, can be even more valuable in preventing Newtown-style tragedies. I know that politics is the art of the possible.

But still it’s hard for me to accept that the…

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