After Pearl Harbor, my family and the country wept. The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought retribution by declaring war.

After 9/11, my family and the country cried again, and the president began two wars.

After Newtown and now the massacre of the Emanuel 9, we wept again and still grieve for those lost and their families. Our president came to Charleston.

After Newtown, I saw President Obama cry, but here in Charleston, I think he was beyond sad — he was angry that such a tragedy could occur in a church. He stated that places like churches, schools, theaters, military bases and college campuses should be safe for everyone.

Who or what is to blame for all of these recent mass killings? Many reasons have been postulated, including mental illness, hate, drug addictions, suicidal tendencies, racism, brainwashing by ISIS and others.

There is much doubt as to what we as a society can do to prevent the next disaster, but there is no doubt about the common denominator: guns.

The same politicians who failed to bring down the Confederate flag in the past did not utter a word about the weapon. We have heard from those who would seem to propose that everyone carry a handgun in his pocket. After Newtown, President Obama said that if one law was passed to preserve one life it would be worth it, but the U.S. Congress has done nothing.

The NRA and thousands of gun dealers feed the Congress so there is little hope for change. Gun restrictions are clearly needed. A Glock .45 and an AR15 should belong to the police and the military and only them.

All of us, black and white, red and blue and especially those of us who have experienced mass shootings in our own cities, must rally and demand change. Guns were made for one purpose, to kill living things. Planes and bombs do the same.

We have the ability to control and limit weapons of mass destruction. The Second Amendment allowed guns for hunting and a militia to fight foreign aggressors, but shotguns and muzzle loaders could never produce the mass killings we are seeing today.

It is time for all of us, Congress, the NRA and gun dealers, to take responsibility and limit access to guns that have led to senseless and tragic losses all over our country. If we do not do something to prevent gun-related deaths, the blood is on us.

Enough is enough, and surely none of us wants to say there was something we could have done and we did not do it.

Richard Marks Jr., M.D.

Live Oak Drive

Mount Pleasant