TODAY'S METRO section is a grim yearbook, a compendium of 175 local tragedies with a single cause of death: guns. The statistics alone would be bad enough, but here the numbers are turned into faces, names and events in our own back yards -- where bullets are flying and people die once every 50 hours. Those gun-worshippers who still blather about how people, not guns, kill people might well consider whether they themselves aren't accessories -- because their campaign to keep those guns and bullets coming is clearly endangering lives. As their bleat goes on, the gun traffic flows and the lives keep ending. Are they not responsible?

Their hope, as always, is that the current furor over gun deaths will fade away, leaving things the way they have been -- in the hands of those who profit from the sales of almost anything that fires a bullet, no matter whether it has the slightest sporting use. With money and bluff, the gun industry lobbyists have been putting enough members of Congress in their pockets to blow how away an effective gun control legislative, without regard to what Americans in increasing numbers may think should be done to curb the firearms market.

By the time Congress gets its new act together for the coming year, those members who march to the tune of the National Rifle (and Handgun, to be accurate) Association should have little problem burying and attempts at sensible gun control legislation. Sure, every now and then some constituents may send along copies of roundups such as today's to their representatives in Congress; but until the members react seriously to these everyday deaths instead of giving lip service to "senseless killings" whenever a celebrity is murdered, guns -- made, sold, stolen and shot by people -- will keep on killing people.