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OPINION

Edit: Guns, and guns, and more guns

York Dispatch

It's been three years since a mentally troubled young man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 first-graders and six educators before killing himself as police arrived.

Three years ago, people around the country spoke the same message: We have to do something about the proliferation of guns.

And yet three years later, with the number of mass shootings mounting, we can't even say nothing has been done. Instead, many things have been done to make it easier for people to buy guns.

After the elementary school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, the National Rifle Association brought out its thought on the matter, saying the country needed more "good guys with guns."

That message seems to have gotten through loud and clear.

According to a study by the Associated Press, dozens of new state laws since 2012 have made it easier for people to buy guns and carry them in public places, even government buildings. Some states have beefed up the presence of police in schools; others now allow concealed-carry weapons in public places including bars and churches.

On Black Friday, more than 185,000 federal background checks were initiated by people who wanted to buy guns, the most in the 17 years that the background checks have been in place. Between 2007 and 2014, the number of concealed-carry handgun permits rose from 4.7 million to 12.8 million.

Congress has, of course, gotten in on the action. Last week, in the wake of the Dec. 2 shooting in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 and wounded 21, Democrats tried to push legislation that would bar anyone suspected of being a violent extremist from buying a gun, possibly using the Transportation Security Administration's "no-fly list" as a guide.

Rep. Scott Perry, R-York County, got into the debate there, saying Democrats were on a "fool's errand" of their push for a gun control vote, according to Fox News.

"They have no idea what it takes to get on the no-fly list," Perry said, according to Fox. He said the list is maintained by "the same administration that persecutes its citizens" with the Internal Revenue Service. The legislation didn't go through.

We're all for the Second Amendment, and all the other provisions in the Constitution that allow for such things as free speech and due process. Americans have a right to bear arms.

But there is also a point at which we have to take a hard look at the number of guns in the country (310 million, in a country housing 330 million people) and say, enough is enough.

In the meantime, the mass shootings continue, in Newtown, in Colorado Springs, in San Bernardino, in Charleston, South Carolina, near Roseburg, Oregon ...

FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2013, file photo, white roses with the faces of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting are attached to a telephone pole near the school in Newtown, Conn. The massacre in which a mentally troubled young man killed 26 children and teachers, served as a rallying cry for gun-control advocates across the nation. But in the three years since, many states have moved in the opposite direction, embracing the National Rifle Association’s axiom that more “good guys with guns” are needed to deter mass shootings. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)