But this urgent need to talk is not an excuse for a reckless discussion. Sadly, that is where we're headed, with pundits hysterical, naive or both.
Predictably most in the media went straight to the Left's Alpha and Omega: blaming excessive "access" to guns. It was also an excuse to open fire on the National Rifle Association. For example, author Joyce Carol Oates spewed on Twitter, "If sizable numbers of NRA members become gun-victims themselves, maybe hope for legislation of firearms?" Actress Marg Helgenberger, semi-famous for playing a cop on "CSI," concurred, "One can only hope, but sadly I don't think anything would change."
One professor at the University of Rhode Island found violence as the answer to violence. Erik Loomis tweeted "I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders. Now I want [NRA VP] Wayne LaPierre's head on a stick." After an uproar, Loomis claimed, "I don't want to see Wayne LaPierre dead. I want to see him in prison for the rest of his life" for "NRA terrorism."
Let us agree that every liberal - such as Loomis, Helgenberger, and Oates -- has cause for outrage. So too does every conservative. No one enjoys a monopoly and the jockeying must stop.
By the same token, let's be serious. Lanza did not get violent because of guns. He used guns because he was violent. The proper place for guns in a violent society is something we should discuss.
But if you want to solve the problem, you discuss the culture of violence in a nation enamored of death. Ours is a society imploding under an avalanche of violent video games, music, TV and movies. Surely, a serious "national conversation' should go there.
But so far, ABC and CBS and NBC aren't doing stories about the violent content on their TV shows. Nor are they discussing violent movies on ABC (Disney) and NBC (Universal), or viciously violent dramas on the pay cable channel Showtime (owned by CBS). Fox News isn't talking about Seth MacFarlane's shoot-em-up Sunday night cartoons on Fox, and Rupert Murdoch pushed Obama on Twitter for "bold leadership action" on guns, but hasn't tweeted a word about his own violent Hollywood sleaze.