Once again, we have experienced the agony of another school shooting, the 18th this year and the eighth in which the shooter injured or killed others.

Once again, our president and other leaders of our country express their prayers and sympathy for the victims and loved ones.

Once again, Congress will take little or no action.

Once again, the Second Amendment will be cited as the reason no action should be taken to stem this needless carnage.

Why is it that the U.S. has more shootings than other industrialized societies? Part of the answer must lie in our culture. Per capita, we have more firearms than any other industrial society. In Florida, an 18-year-old can legally purchase a firearm.

According to initial reports, Wednesday’s gunman had an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Second Amendment or not, why do we allow guns with ammunition clips to be legally sold? What is the purpose of a weapon that can fire multiple rounds?

Why is Congress so inept in addressing this issue? How much influence does the National Rifle Association have with Congress? A current piece of NRA-approved legislation, which has already passed the House, will allow an individual with a concealed-firearm permit issued by one state to carry a concealed weapon in any other state. The bill is now before the Senate.

Some argue that the solution lies in having more firearms. With so many firearms in this country already and so many shootings, logic would dictate that more firepower is not the answer. A good place to start would be the banning of semiautomatic weapons. To do this, we as a nation need to change our culture.

Thomas Flinn

Old Orchard Beach