To the Editor:

After the last anti-gun rant from the Spectrum editors, it seems you've neither improved your moral callousness in exploiting a tragedy, nor did you educate yourselves on guns in general or the ideological underpinnings of the 2nd Amendment in particular.

This is not a gun debate. I repeat: The tragedy at Newtown is not about guns.

Only those without the intellectual horsepower to elevate the conversation are making this about guns, including the ridiculous rhetoric coming from the NRA, whose latest press conference was an epic failure.

The hypocrisy that the editors "support the Second Amendment," while calling for the legislative taking of legally owned personal property, is beyond the pale.

It demonstrates the editors clearly have no grasp of constitutional law, nor the enduring spirit in which it was written. James Madison is looking down on you in shock and horror.

First, let's address the obvious.

A new "assault weapon" ban would be completely ineffective because Connecticut already has one.

The rifle purportedly used by Adam Lanza was not an assault weapon, although the fully-automatic Colt M4 rifles carried by the State Police who poured into the school after are indeed assault weapons.

The rifle carried by Adam Lanza was a semi-automatic that functions like every other sporting rifle on the planet. It just happened to be an evil black color and looks military style.

We already have an effective ban on how a rifle can function in this state, vis-à-vis the current assault weapon ban. Are we so terrified of how something looks that we're going to start banning things by style and color?

Would the conversation be different if Adam Lanza had chosen a Ruger Ranch rifle? It functions the same, shoots the same cartridge, but just happens to have a wooden stock -- is that more palatable to your sense of styling?

The tragic result wouldn't have been any different. It's ridiculous we should ban something because of how it looks. What about the deranged man who walked into a school in China and stabbed 22 children on the same day as Newtown?

Does it matter if it's a butcher knife or a steak knife?

This is not about gun control. As Col. Dave Grossman said in a speech: This is about denial. Denial this can even happen and denial we can pass any legislation that can prevent it from happening again.

It will happen again, and we can't prevent it by indiscriminately banning inanimate objects. We need to accept these facts and elevate the conversation above guns to meaningful ways we can protect our children and train our teachers for these scenarios.

As Col. Grossman suggests, how many children have died in a school fire in the last 50 years? I believe it's zero, because we have policies, procedures, drills and training in place to address the threat of a school fire.

Why haven't we done the same to address the threat of violent criminals intent on harming our children?

David Kelly

New Milford