Common sense finally won a round this week in the continuing fight over gun control. It happened when the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a 1986 amendment to the Gun Control Act that bars the possession or sale of machine guns.

This particular door should have been slammed much sooner. As it is, the new ruling still leaves machine guns in the hands of an estimated 100,000 Americans who obtained them before 1986.Meanwhile, imagine what might have happened if the viewpoint of the National Rifle Association had prevailed in this case instead of losing. The NRA insists that private ownership of machine guns is a logical extension of the constitutional right to bear arms.

Great! Down that road would be a nation in which ordinary citizens have howitzers, bombs, and tanks stashed in the family garage.

It's hard to believe that the Founding Fathers, in fashioning the Bill of Rights, contemplated letting the average citizens get the kind of weapons capable of killing scores or even hundreds of people in a minute or so. The new Supreme Court ruling is a victory for public safety as well as for common sense.