The ban on semiautomatic rifles didn't work then and won't work now.
A gunman whose name we do not need to memorialize took advantage of our gun-control laws to slaughter 20 children and six adults in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.
OUR VIEW: An imperative for action
In addition to the gunman, blood is on the hands of members of Congress and the Connecticut legislators who voted to ban guns from all schools in Connecticut (and most other states). They are the ones who made it illegal to defend oneself with a gun in a school when that is the only effective way of resisting a gunman.
What a lethal, false security are the "gun-free zone" laws. Virtually all mass murders in the past 20 years have occurred in gun-free zones. The two people murdered several days earlier in a shopping center in Oregon were also killed in a gun-free zone.
Hopefully, the Connecticut tragedy will be the tipping point after which a rising chorus of Americans will demand elimination of the gun-free zone laws that are in fact criminal-safe zones.
One measure of insanity is repeating the same failure time after time, hoping that the next time the failure will turn out to be a success. Gun-free zones are a lethal insanity.
Israel finally came to grips with this in the early 1970s and have decisively stopped these attacks after a busload of children was massacred by Muslim terrorists. When I was there in the late 1990s, if you saw a busload of students, you saw at least one young teacher with a machine gun protecting the groups of students.
The Israelis have decisively stopped these school-related attacks and proved they want to live. Do we?
During the decade of the Clinton ban on semiautomatic rifles (the so-called assault weapons) and high-capacity magazines, crime did not go down. Reinstating it would simply be another example of repeating the same failed policy and being surprised with the same failed result.
We must tell our elected officials that they are acting as the criminals' friends as long as they continue to support legislation that protects only criminals, not decent people.
Oh, and we must also insist that these criminal-friendly elected officials not even try to blame gun owners and our "gun culture" for what a criminal did.
Had a few of us been available with guns at the Newtown school, most of the victims might still be alive.
Larry Pratt is executive director of Gun Owners of America.