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EDITORIAL

Why We Must Act: Firearms Carnage Continues

1,541 More Deaths: Since Newtown, many more Americans have been gunned down

6:53 PM EST, February 4, 2013

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The Newtown murders of Dec. 14 started a national conversation about guns, one we hope will lead to sensible and constitutional measures aimed at keeping them out of the wrong hands. As a short survey of last week's news indicates, the problem has not gone away. Consider:

Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old honor student and majorette who performed with her high school band at President Barack Obama's recent inauguration festivities, was shot to death about a mile from the president's Chicago home. She was hanging out with friends when shot in the back, apparently an unintended victim.

In Midland City, Ala., a 65-year-old man climbed aboard a school bus, shot and killed the driver, abducted a 5-year-old boy and took him to an underground bunker. The boy is now safe and his abductor is dead.

In Price Middle School in Atlanta, a 14-year-old boy was shot in the neck and wounded by a fellow student.

Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, a renowned military sniper and author, and fellow veteran Chad Littlefield were gunned down on Saturday on the grounds of a gun range in Glen Rose, Texas. A vet troubled with PTSD has been taken into custody.

The circumstances of each shooting are different, their only connection being that they were done by those who shouldn't have had guns. And these shootings are a drop in the blood bucket; since the Newtown killings, at least 1,541 people in this country have been killed by guns, according to Slate magazine.

Maybe society's hardest challenge is to not become inured to this insanity. That means pushing legislators to pass strong state and federal legislation to keep guns away from kids, criminals and mentally disturbed people. Or the carnage will continue.