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12:07 PM Fri, Dec. 14th

How many gun deaths will be enough? (Column)

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If the slaughter of 20 six-year-old school children, or the bloodbath of 49 adults gunned down in a nightclub, or the 302,000 people killed by gun violence (only 71 of those killed by terrorists) over the past decade or so cannot sway the Republicans to pass some common-sense gun laws, what will it take?

Perhaps, if the Republicans were in the chamber and a terrorist (whether foreign or domestic) managed to make their way into that chamber, armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle with an extended clip, and opened fire, then those politicians would be experiencing the same panic, fear and pain that so many others have suffered over the years.

Perhaps, seeing their colleagues mercilessly gunned down, those who survived such an attack would finally understand the agonizing result of their stagnation on gun control. After such an attack, they would continually hear the deafening sounds of gunshots and screams, and repeatedly envision that horrific scene - it would be etched permanently in their memories, to be relived over and over for the rest of their lives.

They would forever recoil at the sound of a car backfiring, be suspicious of everyone they pass on the street, and be fearful of even leaving the safety of their homes. To be traumatized and forever scarred by such an attack, perhaps they would then understand what real fear feels like and decide to put their safety above the demands of the NRA.

For whatever reason, the Republicans feel justified in disregarding what the majority of Americans want - common-sense gun laws - such as No Fly-No Buy, ending Internet and gun-show background check loopholes on all gun sales, and most importantly, a ban on assault rifles and extended clips.

As for the hypothetical attack mentioned above, perhaps it truly has to hit home and touch their own lives before Republicans can understand the need for the passage of common-sense gun laws. Our lives depend on the Republicans finally listening to the American people, rather than the NRA, and protecting our right to live in a society free of mass murder.