Now we can see it’s not just the terrorists, the mentally ill, the criminal, the gangster or the abuser who can use lethal firearm violence on their fellow citizens. We are witnessing appallingly frequent mass shootings all across the country. From the Texas Tower massacre to Sandy Hook, gun regulation has been an obvious goal of a concerned public, obstructed by a paid-for Congress.

The National Rifle Association has cruelly distorted the argument, abetted by politicians it has supported. Common-sense gun regulation remains undone.

A wealthy person living in a retirement community, Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas mass murderer, had absolutely no predictors of violent intent, other than checking into a ritzy Las Vegas hotel with at least 10 suitcases filled with high-powered rifles and assault-style weapons. The latest gunman, Devin Kelley, who shot up the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church in Texas, had a history of felony domestic abuse convictions and had received a bad-conduct discharge from the military. He still had access to an assault-style rifle.

These events prove the need to pass federal legislation outlawing the sale and use of weapons of war to the civilian public. This includes high-volume magazines (as well as hand grenades, howitzers, tanks and nuclear bombs, which currently are forbidden). None of these should be available to the public.

Since semi-automatic weapons can be made to function as fully automatic ones, these assault-style weapons should also be banned.

It’s time for Congress to pass common-sense gun regulations, including a reinstated assault weapons ban, and make an innocent public safe from the evil created by these instruments of terror.

Peter K. Shaw, M.D.