A friend emailed me the link below and suggested we are not paying enough attention to the mental health aspects of the problem. My response:
Gun control and mental health are two different issues but there is no doubt that both meet at the intersection of these mindless shootings. Trying to deal with gun control collapses on the rocks of our inbred gun culture and the insane political power of the NRA; trying to deal with mental illness runs up against privacy issues and the possible harm done to individuals who may have such problems who might be irrevocably harmed by the revelation of same.
I used to be for banning guns entirely, but realize that is impossible; it should (obviously, I think) be possible to ban assault weapons and guns meant only to kill other human beings–we in fact did that during the Clinton administration but that law had to be renewed and neither the Bush or Obama administrations have even attempted to do that to date.
This particular case is especially murky since the killer did not buy the guns himself, his mother did and she was the first victim. That latter point sort of wipes our the silly “if everybody had a gun, we would all be safe” argument. She had guns; she was killed with one of them.