I'll put my position out there for discussion.
Every unnatural death is a tragedy. Shootings of all kinds are an extremely serious issue in our society, and we absolutely need to take action to address it. But "we need to do something" isn't an argument, and the low-hanging fruit of firearm regulations is not the right direction to go.
7 truths which need to be remembered when having discussions about shootings:
1. A firearm is an inanimate object, and cannot cause a person to use it to kill other people. This is true of all other objects which have been used to kill (vehicles, knives, fists, explosives, etc.).
2. There are an estimated 300-600 million firearms in private possession in the U.S.
3. No law has ever stopped a person determined to kill others. A person willing to break a law which says they cannot kill another person, is going to be willing to break a law that says they cannot have a gun if they want to use one to kill another person. Laws which limit or eliminate innocent and law abiding individuals' freedom to own/carry firearms in any aspect have no effect at all on such a person.
4. Every shooting is stopped by one of four things: the shooter runs out of potential victims; the shooter runs out of ammunition or their firearm malfunctions; the shooter kills themselves when authorities arrive, usually several minutes after the shooting began; or a good guy intervenes and stops them (often with a firearm).
5. The 2nd Amendment protects the individual's Right to keep and bear arms. Laws which limit or eliminate innocent and law abiding individuals' freedom to own/carry firearms in any aspect are a violation of this Amendment.
6. The 14th Amendment protects the individual's Right to due process. Laws which limit or eliminate innocent and law abiding individuals' freedom to own/carry firearms in any aspect are a violation of this Amendment.
7. English common law (the foundation of the U.S. legal system) includes the presumption of innocence. No individual can be punished for something they have not done. Laws which limit or eliminate innocent and law abiding individuals' freedom to own/carry firearms in any aspect are a violation of this principle.
Bearing all of that in mind, how do we move forward?
I believe the first step needs to be securing schools, churches, and other "soft targets" to the best of our ability. It should be done by states, cities, and local communities, which identify the specific needs of each location and implement them. Allowing, and even encouraging, faculty and other employees at schools to be armed and trained should be part of the equation. Individuals who are law abiding should take responsibility for securing themselves, their homes, and their communities by being well trained and armed - exercising their own Right to self preservation. This step will have the greatest effect in reducing the number of people killed in these tragedies.
Along with that, a number of things need to happen - among them:
The beginning of a long and hard discussion about the social pathologies driving individuals to commit these atrocities. We need to deal with the evil present in each situation with open eyes and a willingness to call it what it is. Mental illness and how we as a society deal with those who are a threat to themselves and others as a consequence is part of this discussion. As are: the epidemic of broken and single parent homes which cause young people (men especially) to not become socialized as they grow up; the terrible unwillingness of parents and teachers to actually discipline children who misbehave; and a serious reevaluation of the nihilistic post-modern culture epidemic in the U.S., and in media and education especially.
The education of U.S. citizens as to the realities of firearms. What they are, how they work, what they are not and cannot do, etc. The largest road block to actually starting the aforementioned cultural discussion is the immense scope of misinformation and propaganda about firearms, firearm owners, and the preposterous idea that the firearm is somehow responsible for the attacker's actions. The fact that a firearm was used to kill people rather than some other tool should be a footnote relative to the actions and motives of the perpetrator.
These discussions need to happen at times when emotions are not running high in the wake of a tragedy, and should be conducted with an honest, objective, and sober mindset.
I think I'll leave it there and see what others think.