I am an American citizen (who, incidentally was born and raised in Kailua) now living in Germany as an English teacher and writer.

[The] shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, has left the nation reeling in sadness and despair. Especially in the wake of the shootings in the theater in Colorado and the mall in Oregon–to say nothing of the shadow of Columbine–Americans are demanding an end to this violence; the means by which to do this are singular: Effective gun-control laws must be passed through Congress.

Now is the time to do this, and it would be an extraordinary legacy of [the President’s] time in office; just think of the thousands of lives that would be saved. As with gay marriage, the pendulum has swung to the left on this issue. True, the Constitution protects one’s rights to bear arms–but it also enshrined racism and misogyny. I implore [President Obama] to act with political courage and harness the momentum from [his] recent victory in the election. Enact gun control now.

Mark Olival Germany