On gun control, how times have changed.

Not so long ago, the lament was: Why’s it take a campus massacre like Columbine to get any action on gun control? Today, the lament is just the opposite: Why, even after a campus massacre like Virginia Tech, is there no action on gun control?

This is not exactly a rerun of Profiles in Courage. In the wake of the mass murder at Virginia Tech, not one Democratic presidential candidate has talked about gun control. Not one. Nor have but a handful of Democrats in Congress.

And here’s what’s really sad: They’re not ducking the issue because they don’t believe in it. They’re ducking the issue because they think it’s bad politics. They buy the NRA’s spin that gun control cost Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreAl Gore: 'This experiment with Trumpism is not going well' Protecting democracy requires action from all of us Poll: Democrat Bredesen leads GOP's Blackburn by 5 points in Tennessee Senate race MORE the White House in 2000 — and they don’t want to take any political chances in 2008. Even for liberals, gun control has become the new third rail of American politics.

How cowardly. And how wrong.

First of all, Al Gore didn’t lose the election in 2000. He won. Remember? But the election was stolen from him by the Supreme Court. Second, if Al Gore didn’t get enough votes to win by a landslide, it wasn’t because he was a supporter of sensible gun control. It’s because he ran a lousy campaign. Remember?

If there’s one thing we learned this week, it’s that gun laws in most states are a joke. You can buy a handgun in Virginia, for example, as easily as you can buy a vacuum cleaner.

After what happened at Virginia Tech, now’s the time to change the law — and make it more difficult for a madman like Cho Seung-Hui to buy a handgun. Yes, now’s the time. If only there were enough Democrats with the backbone to try.