Craig, I did not say, did not even imply, that guns have no place in the discussion. Of course the issue of gun control/gun availability has an important place in the discussion. Jason Alexander (yes, the actor) wrote a wonderful piece about the insanity of allowing pretty much anyone access to assault style weapons. It's a great, reasoned piece, I agree with it wholeheartedly.
But it's problematic, IMO, when the discussion never gets much beyond gun control/gun availability, which is most often the case, as this thread shows. There are deeper issues at play that need to be part of the discussion - just as much as guns, if not moreso.
An interesting tidbit from an article I read this morning: "There are countries with gun ownership rates nearly as high as our own and much less gun violence. ... There are also countries with many fewer guns than the United States, but with even higher homicide by firearm rates. They are all countries poorer and less equal than the United States. Social democracy might actually be a better deterrent to gun violence than gun control."
So, yes, the gun control/gun availability debate needs to happen (of course, it would be more beneficial if it happened without the usual vitriol and hyperbole from both sides), but, again IMO, it shouldn't dominate the discussion about these tragedies. There is so much more at play.