I’ll state my position plainly. I don’t believe that the Second Amendment should be read as allowing Americans to own assault weapons. The Founding Fathers never envisioned the kind of arms that Americans possess today. Criminal gangs have more firepower than law enforcement.
That said, here is an excerpt from what Adam Gopnik of the New Yorker had to say about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I agree with every word of it.
[L]et’s state the plain facts one more time, so that they can’t be mistaken: Gun massacres have happened many times in many countries, and in every other country, gun laws have been tightened to reflect the tragedy and the tragic knowledge of its citizens afterward. In every other country, gun massacres have subsequently become rare. In America alone, gun massacres, most often of children, happen with hideous regularity, and they happen with hideous regularity because guns are hideously and regularly available.
The people who fight and lobby and legislate to make guns regularly available are complicit in the murder of those children. They have made a clear moral choice: that the comfort and emotional reassurance they take from the possession of guns, placed in the balance even against the routine murder of innocent children, is of supreme value. Whatever satisfaction gun owners take from their guns—we know for certain that there is no prudential value in them—is more important than children’s lives. Give them credit: life is making moral choices, and that’s a moral choice, clearly made.