I believe that civilians' possession of guns should be outlawed except in very restricted situations. In other words, our behavior and laws should be brought into harmony with most advanced countries. By doing so, we would gradually bring down violence and murder rates to levels consonant with civilized cultures.

I have lived abroad and have enjoyed being able to go out in public without the constant worry of being a handgun victim. While some right wing people may say having guns is our right and reflects freedom, in my experience it curtails freedom and even the right to life. And many of my fellow Democrats, especially those in power, have only paid lip service to gun control--they are afraid of the NRA, no doubt.

No other advanced country in the world has such a violent culture. We must ask ourselves why we are so removed from the norms of decency and peace. And we should do our utmost to stop the killing. A life is more important than a gun.