Recent mass shootings have moved the New York Times to put an editorial on its front page for the first time in nearly a century, calling it a "moral outrage and a national disgrace" that civilians "can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency." The blistering editorial calls such firearms "weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection" and urges Americans to direct their anger at the leaders are supposed to keep them safe but "place more importance on the money and political power of an industry dedicated to profiting from the unfettered spread of ever more powerful firearms."
The Times says that instead of just stopping the spread of firearms, it is time to talk about "eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition," like the "slightly modified combat rifles" used in the San Bernardino shootings. "It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way," the Times writes, "and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens." The Guardian reports that this is the first front-page Times editorial since 1920, when it expressed "astonishment and dismay" at the nomination of Warren G. Harding for president. Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., says the paper wanted to show "frustration and anguish about our country’s inability to come to terms with the scourge of guns.”