The names of the towns and the tally of the victims change but the horrific mass shooting cycle of shock, unimaginable grief, calls for reform, followed by a return to the nothing-to-be-done status quo is all too familiar. The nightmare in Newtown, Connecticut -- made all the more sickening by the presence of 20 dead children -- is the third mass shooting since July and the fifth since President Obama took office. In the hours after the shooting, the president made a moving, emotional speech. Just as he did in the wake of Tucson. And Aurora. But calls for "meaningful action" and the lowering of flags to half-staff are no longer enough. What we need, in the words of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is "immediate action." Gun violence, turbo-charged by easy and legal access to deadly weapons, is a cancer eating away at the soul of America. We need emergency surgery.