1. I acknowledge that some people (hunters, farmers, etc.) may have a justifiable need for a weapon. I'm okay with that.
2. I agree that target shooting can be fun. I've only done it at a country fair with a fake gun, but I have no problem with target ranges and people developing that skill in a controlled environment.
3. Some crimes are crimes of opportunity; if there isn't a weapon easily to hand, the moment passes. It seems worthwhile, given that, to have fewer weapons easily to hand.
4. Almost anything can be a weapon, but a gun is likely to have a more deadly effect than a knife. Yes, a bomb is likely more deadly than a gun, but it's notably more difficult to create and use. On a daily basis, America's deaths from guns so outnumber our deaths from bombs that the comparison is just ludicrous.
5. People suffering from mental illness are under-served in America. No doubt. But I'm not at all sure that this type of homicidal impulse would even be visible to any psychologist in the general course of events. Refocusing this discussion on mental illness feels like it's addressing the wrong problem. (A real problem, but not the proximate cause of massacres.)
6. Part of the fault must lie with our culture of violence and hyper-masculinity. Almost all of the mass murderers in American history have been male. As a parent raising a son, when he is upset, depressed, enraged, I want him to instinctively reach for his words, rather than for a weapon. I don't know whether Kevin and I will be able to counter all of the messages he's going to get from our society, all the songs and tv shows and locker room conversations that will tell him that the correct response to sadness is violence.
7. At the same time, I play video games, and I go see adventure movies. I just saw The Hobbit last night, and it was full of killing orcs. I don't think watching it did anything to desensitize me to real, human pain and violence. Blaming media isn't the answer either.
There are more thoughts, but they're still muddled. These, for the moment, are clear.