To comment on a few points i dont have a problems with a "cooling off period" or more checks to get these rifles. However i do feel that you have to be pretty f-ed in the head to do something like this and i dont know that cooling off is going to change that.
I hate the sanctimonious bs, about "saving one life" making it worth it, there are a whole list of things that could be done to "save one life", but who wants to live in a box? Obviously there are alot of people that believe their freedoms are more important to them, freedom is the essence of being an american. I want to have the same freedoms my grandparents had and for my grandchilderen to enjoy those same freedoms, not to have them slowly whittled away. Many, many american lives have been spent to save our freedoms, i dont want legislatures taking away what soldiers fought to keep.
I absolutely hate hearing about these tradgities and they make me sick inside when i do hear about them, i dont desire for people to be carelessly killed. I do however feel that people that want to do this will find a way, but currently the gun is the "envogue" way to do it these days. I dont however believe the conspiracy theories that the government had this done to push through gun regulation. Its pretty damn easy to find out how to build a bomb to use for mass killings.
How many people here live in fear daily because of guns? That is probably the last fear that crosses my mind. Most of my daily "fears" have to do with other drivers that dont know what they are doing not wondering if im going to get shot when i get gas.
I've said this before: if we want to keep our freedoms, "we" have to find a way to use our freedoms responsibly. This means every nut job, too. If there are citizens that are not capable of using their freedoms responsibly, then we should be putting way more effort into helping these individuals. Asking the government to fix problems for us is the easy and lazy way out, and also the one that could ultimately take away a freedom in the end. If we don't want government to step in and fix it, then we need to fix it ourselves. I think it means being a lot more vigilant about mental health issues, and vigilent about noticing who is buying lots of guns, etc. Some academic person smarter than me needs to do a study where cases like this were thwarted (because I know there are many examples) and see what we can learn from them. How were they thwarted? What was the key variable or two? If we can identify that, then we would need a campaign to educate the whole population. Just one suggestion. Granted, this is a very difficult thing to do, and would take a sustained effort. How badly do you want to keep your freedom?
I think it could be done. I don't think we will ever totally eliminate these incidents, but I think we could reduce them by quite a bit.