Republicans would be smart to actually lead the move to ban assault weapons and not just follow the Democrats. This would help repair the damage done to the GOP brand by the crazies who think President Obama was born somewhere outside of the United States and the zealots who think that abortion should always be illegal, even in the case of rape or incest. …

We don’t need any more long conversations about guns. By now, we all know the arguments. Now we need to pass laws that deal with assualt weapons. Laws that make sure civilians don’t get their hands on them, whether the NRA likes it or not.

And we also need to do something about mentally ill people who are well on their way to doing something truly horrible. And we need to do it fast. The nexus between semi-automatic weapons and mental illness is a scary one — and too often a deadly one.