This is an interesting discussion, even better if it can stay away from name calling and defensiveness, we all have different opinions.
For what it's worth, I have never understood why people outside the States comment on what's happening inside, Americans are the only people who can affect what happens inside their own country, I have visited many many times and have some great friends over there but honestly, it always feels like a different planet rather than a different country!
That being said, it's a discussion so i will give my unasked for and uninteresting views! I have always felt that gun ownership is more about fear than anything else, fear of attack, fear of nature, fear of the guy walking down the street, it's all fear, I don't see power in any of it.
I also feel that there is so much emphasis placed on rights and not enough on what's right, if that makes sense. Sure it can be your constitutional right to have a gun but do people actually feel it's right to own a gun? It always seems to me like it comes back to fear. It doesn't help that the media always roll out clips of people who are the most extreme they can find, the view from the outside is that everyone is spitting, chewing tobacco, wearing checked shirts and oily baseball caps and proclaiming their god given right to own a bomb if they choose to, that's not the America I know but it is the America that is often portrayed.
I am lucky enough to have travelled more than most and have seen the world from a lot of different angles, in my opinion there are lots of issues that need to be addressed alongside gun control, kids that are stuck behind computers day in and day out, unhealthy from eating poorly, not developing their social skills because they rarely play, etc. etc. all these things are global rather than limited to the US but still, combine this with the apparent American way of promoting and positively reinforcing everyone and everything to the n'th degree is dangerous in my view. If you have been told your whole life that everything you do is awesome and you are fantastic then when you hit your teens and realise that actually you're just as average at most things as everyone else is, it can hit hard as you realise that you've been lied to all your life, surely?
I know my opinion is only valid for me but ultimately, I am sad when I read these stories of pointless killing but then I'm also happy that I'm not part of a culture where I'd be so scared of what was going on around me that i'd feel it necessary to exercise my rights and own a gun for protection, that would be the real tragedy.