The horrific shooting at the Newtown, Conn., elementary school that left 28 dead, including 20 children, has re-ignited a polarizing debate over gun control.
If nothing else, it's time to get very, very serious about discussing the issue.
Public figures immediately jumped in to offer condolences in the wake of the mass murder committed by Adam Lanza, while some called for new restrictions.
Plenty of others, while clearly sympathetic to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, defended gun rights and the 2nd Amendment.
President Barack Obama, who cried during a press conference regarding the shooting Friday, did not touch upon the controversial issue of gun control by name.
He did, though, sound a call to prevent further tragedies, regardless of politics.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was "shocked and saddened" by the tragic shooting. He said society should "unify" to "crack down on the guns."
N.Y. City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said "immediate action" was needed.
Mark Kelly, husband of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was gravely injured by a gunman in Tucson in 2011, wrote on Facebook:
"The children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all victims of gun violence deserve leaders who have the courage to participate in a meaningful discussion about gun laws."
"How can they be reformed and enforced to prevent violence and death in America?"
Many believe the CT school shooting tragedy is just the latest, preventable case of a bullied, disgrunted and/or mentally ill person taking lives that could've been saved.
Directly or indirectly, are guns too readily available to the perpetrators?
Fewer guns, tougher laws, fewer tragedies, right? Take away the availability and fewer weapons will fall into the wrong hands at the wrong times. Right?
Lots of people would agree with that theory, but not necessarily a majority.
The debate has been fast and furious in the past 24 hours, and not one-sided. Trending topics on Twitter included "2nd Amendment," "NRA" and "Columbine."
For every argument about the 2nd Amendment being antiquated is a counter-argument about its necessity, and its place in the foundation of American liberty.
Some gun rights advocates believe this tragedy epitomizes the need for gun rights, not gun control, as a means of protection against those who may act violently.
One Twitter user wrote, "The only gun reform we need is to allow people the ability to defend themselves, not provide nut jobs with easy targets #NRA."
Another posted, "Guns don't kill people people do! Practice the 2nd Amendment - keep your gun loaded with you at all times - the younger you are the better."
Philosophically, gun rights activists feel that gun control takes away another piece of our liberty, starting a slippery slope toward socialism and totalitarianism.
From a practical standpoint, they argue that criminals will always find a way to obtain guns, and that only law-abiding citizens would abide by regulations anyway.
Furthermore, they feel crimes are just as often prevented by the deterrent of gun possession, and a dangerous black market would develop in the event of tougher laws.
In light of recent events, and the arguments above, what do you think? Comment and vote below: Is it time to pass major gun control laws?