(Associated Press)

After this morning's shooting tragedy in Connecticut, the opinion team gathered to discuss how we should react to the news. We scratched our heads (figuratively) for while. This was horrific no doubt, and worthy of condemnation: 28 people, 18 of them children, dead. But what was left to say that we hadn't said in countless other editorials from countless mass shootings - from Columbine to Aurora and Virginia Tech to Gabby Giffords, and all of them in between?

We've called (and called and called) on our leaders to use the latest killing as an opportunity to start the discussion on changing our crazy gun culture. Here's what we said in an editorial after the Aurora, Col. movie house shooting:

"Since the murders last week in Aurora, Colo., it seems like everyone has a stand on gun control - everyone except politicians.

Is it too much to expect office-holders to lead a discussion about gun policy in an election year?

...

What's rare is politicians calling attention to pro-gun-restriction positions at a time when people might be listening.

That candidates don't want to rile Second Amendment absolutists right before an election is understandable, but their reticence in the wake of Aurora is not admirable."

That we find ourselves making the same points over and over -- well, that is the point. How many more mass killings will it take before serious discussions about preventing them actually happen? Maybe this was the one.

-- Opinion staff