I understand that gun laws are a big deal in the US, so I hope not to step on anyone's toes here.
It's one of those issues that many people outside the US find it incredibly difficult to understand. Other developed countries look at your situation with a resounding 'WTF'?
I certainly don't speak for everyone beyond your shores, but I'm one of hundreds of millions of people who just don't get the whole gun thing at all:
- we don't understand why you see owning a gun as being an essential part of freedom. There are many, many countries where democracy is just as highly prized as in the US, but where gun ownership is severely restricted. Their citizens do not feel that their civil liberties are taken away.
- we don't understand why you look for every possible solution to these slayings (e.g. treating the mentally ill differently, as if that is really going to make any difference) except the obvious one. It just looks to outsiders like denial - anything to keep the guns.
- above all, we don't understand why some Americans think that the solution to having school killing sprees is to have guns readily available in the school, or armed police/guards. People in my own school, both staff and students, just thought that idea was crazy. I mean, literally crazy. (you can see the reaction here (NSFW)
in the politically neutral satire paper 'The Daily Mash' (some might find it offensive).
I guess it's something that you need to be born over there to understand. It's really hard for an outsider to see why it's a left vs right thing, an 'agenda', or a political issue at all.