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opinion | derrick z. jackson

Start the conversation on guns

After the 2011 Tucson massacre that left six people dead and 13 wounded, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, President Obama called for a “common sense” discussion “to prevent future bloodshed.” Can we have that discussion now, in the wake of the Aurora, Colo., massacre at a movie theater that has taken 12 more lives and left 58 more people wounded?

Conventional wisdom in most of the news coverage and reaction from politicians would indicate not. But the national conversation needs to start, and it needs to be led by the presidential candidates. This may be difficult because Obama now allows guns in national parks, and presidential challenger Mitt Romney has fled from his Massachusetts record on gun control. But once upon a time, they could have been political allies on this issue.

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