So we will get the wrong answers. It is simply not logical to assume that access to 'assault-type' firearms, which have been in civilian hands for over fifty years are suddenly responsible for the spate of senseless and motiveless spree killings we are witnessing on an almost daily basis.
In the 1970s, over 50% of households owned a firearm. That has dropped to just over 30% today. More guns are not the problem, yet something must be. Firearms are not killing our children. OUR CHILDREN are killing our children.
It is certainly believable that once in a generation someone will kill his parent and go on a shooting spree. Charles Whitman did at the Texas Tower at U/T Austin. But he had a massive brain tumor.
These events are becoming an almost daily occurrence and they all seem very similar. They are SO similar that there must be a connection in addition to a particular type of firearm. The shooters don't leave notes for the most part, which is strange in itself. They typically kill a parent; take whatever weaponry is available; go to a 'no gun zone' and kill everyone they can before taking their own life. No rhyme or reason. But things don't happen without reasons.
Suppose then, as we must, that there is a reason. But maybe we aren't looking for it in the right place. I think it is quite likely that every one of these people had been taking at least one psychotropic medication – quite likely a prescription medication. Or more than one.
Suppose all of them had been taking the SAME medication, or one chemically similar, or a combination of similar medications. Toxicology would show that, but I have not seen any comparisons of the toxicology results from any of these people. It is likely they were not tested for psychiatric drugs or the results, as 'medical information' is being held in confidence by the Pathologist.
I believe those results ought to be compared. Suppose we are unintentionally giving our children psychiatric medications that could harm them while we think we are helping them. Then the issue suddenly becomes a 'big pharma' problem.
In fact, we have no idea how most of these medications affect different individuals. So there could be thousands of people just like Adam Lanza, taking his medicine like he is supposed to, but developing a very different result that it was prescribed for.
I have no problems with increased background checks and many of the other ideas out there, but they would not have stopped any of these events. We need to do some basic forensic science and find the problem at it's source.