After Uvalde, I pray with the grieving — and for bold action on guns

We don’t have enough information to know whether this type of law would have prevented the Uvalde murders. But it seems possible that a bullied, socially isolated dropout with increasingly erratic and violent behavior and a disturbing social media presence could have been noticed as a threat.

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Honestly, I don’t know how effective any of these three ideas — reducing the permissible age for gun sales, strengthening background checks and passing a national red-flag law — would be in the prevention of mass shootings. But I know that none of them are remotely unconstitutional. And I know that a healthy legislative process would pass these laws, closely monitor their effectiveness, consider improvements to strengthen them, and then examine other promising ideas that emerge and pass other legislation.

This process would certainly be more useful and humane than placing impossible burdens on parents (left to consider faddish foolishness such as bulletproof backpacks) and children (subjected to terrifying active-shooter drills in which flashing sneakers are supposed to attract deadly attention). What we face is a public policy problem. It demands originality, boldness and perseverance from legislators. And they are currently being watched and judged.

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