Seeking an answer to the question of mass shootings

JoAnne Allen hugs her son, Alex Allen, 17, after a school shooting on December 13, 2013 at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo. Two students were injured by a lone gunman, who later died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound.  Chris Schneider/Getty Images

(CBS News)  In the days after Newtown, many people said, "If the cold blooded murders of 20 first-graders and six of their teachers is not enough to make it harder for the mentally ill to get guns, then what is?"

A year and a day later, I have no answer to that question.

All I know is what has happened since Newtown.

Since then, nearly 200 children have been killed by gunfire.

Since Newtown, there have been 28 school shootings on U.S. schoolgrounds during school hours -- that's one almost every other week -- and they have taken the lives of 17 children. 

In Colorado, a 17-year-old girl injured in Friday's shooting remains in critical condition.

Since Newtown, 112 people have died in what the FBI calls mass shootings -- incidents that took the lives of at least four people. Some of those victims died at the Navy Yard in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol.

For all the talk and good intentions, the deranged are still finding the powerful weapons they  need to carry out their deadly plans.

After the Navy Yard shooting, the President said, "Once more our hearts are broken. Once more we ask, why?"

But in our heart of hearts, don't we know why? It's not an easy question, because if we admit we do know, then good conscience forces us to do something about it.

  • Bob Schieffer On Twitter»

    Bob Schieffer is CBS News' chief Washington correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation.

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