FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
It's a debate almost as old as the country itself: whether it's a good idea for private citizens to own guns.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/01/11/art.glock.jpg caption="A Glock 19 handgun."]
And when something like the Tucson massacre happens, the debate roars to life all over again.
It was remarkably easy for the shooter - Jared Lee Loughner - to get his hands on a gun in Arizona, which has some of the laxest gun laws in the country.
The 22-year-old passed an instant background check in a sporting goods store before purchasing a Glock 19 - a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. He also bought an oversized magazine that allowed him to fire 33 shots without reloading - instead of the standard 10. Some lawmakers want to ban these oversized magazines nationwide.
They're already outlawed in at least 6 states.
But not Arizona - where a recent law allows anyone over 21 to carry a gun without a permit. Guns are allowed almost everywhere in Arizona - including the state capitol, many public buildings, in places that serve alcohol and on school grounds.
Meanwhile, by many accounts, Loughner is being described as mentally unstable and someone who should have never been allowed to buy a weapon in the first place.
He failed the "drug screening process" for the military and was rejected. Loughner had five run-ins with his Community College police before he was kicked out of school for disruptive activity.
But instead of becoming stricter, the nation's gun laws have actually become more lax in recent years. Examples include the removal of Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban and an amendment to allow gun owners to carry concealed and loaded weapons in national parks.
Here’s my question to you: Should the Tucson tragedy be enough to change the nation's gun laws?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Stacy in Florida writes:
There are enough gun laws now that aren't enforced. Gun laws and gun stores are for hunters. The bad guys buy them in the alley. Laws don't mean anything in the alley.
Sarah in Florida writes:
We should take this as a wake-up call. A mentally unstable young man who was thrown out of community college for his frightening, erratic behavior and was rejected by the U.S. Army walked into a store and walked out with a gun. Put your agenda aside for two seconds and think about that. We should be ashamed of ourselves collectively as Americans for allowing this to happen.
David in North Carolina writes:
Our democracy ends when people lose their 2nd Amendment right to own and carry guns. As long as the people own and carry guns, the government is held in check. An unarmed population leads to tyranny and a dictatorship. The 2nd Amendment is in the Constitution to protect the people from our government and keep potential tyrants and dictators in check.
Cal in Denver writes:
Jack, Not going to happen either way. The 2nd Amendment will not be affected. Both sides of the discussion will fight tooth and nail to get what they want, but it will stalemate again in the Supreme Court if it gets that far. It is both a gift and a curse, but it was done with good intentions at the time. Just right now it allows the wrong people the right to bear arms.
B.J. in Illinois writes:
The only time that anything gets done or pushed through is when it affects someone important. So it is possible.
I think quite the reverse. If everyone had a gun at that event, I suspect that Loughner would have been full of holes after a couple of shots.
Lisa in Connecticut writes:
The Columbine tragedy should have been enough but the gun lobby is too powerful.