The NRA and its allies are so determined to let this happen, they have staunchly opposed having gun dealers report when an individual purchases multiple assault rifles within a five-day period.

City mayors are also begging for the federal government to crack down on the porous gun market. Boston's Tom Menino and New York's Michael Bloomberg head a group of 600 mayors who have repeatedly petitioned Congress and the White House, and even ran a TV ad during this year's Super Bowl.

Their pleas will fall on deaf ears if Romney becomes president. He might not sign off on some of the crazier legislation sponsored by congressional Republicans, but he surely won't do anything to slow the insane arming of America.

We are not surprised that Romney, the ultimate opportunistic shape-shifter, has toed the line on guns to win the Republican presidential nomination — at the expense of victims like those listed above.

But we are also disappointed that Barack Obama and congressional Democrats have failed to lead on the issue.

After campaigning as a gun-control advocate, and despite a solid legislative record, Obama has done almost nothing as the problem has worsened since he took office.

Not even the horrific shooting of US Representative Gabrielle Giffords a year ago prompted the administration to offer anything beyond rhetoric.

There is probably sound political reasoning behind the inaction. Pushing for legislation, or unleashing the Department of Justice, could hurt Obama's re-election chances in key swing states — including New Hampshire.

Progressives need to push Obama harder on guns, as they have when he has disappointed on issues of civil rights.

But even more important, they must prevent Romney from taking the gun lobby's agenda to the Oval Office.

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