Originally Posted By: MrB
But why the mass shootings now, when it is hard to get legal weapons when for decades is was easy but not so many publicized shootings? Is it the attitude of the populace?

While I disagree that it's hard to get legal weapons these days, the underlying question is a good one -- definitely part of the problem is societal. My take on this is that back when you and I were going to school, massacring people by the room-full was unheard of -- so far out of our experience as to not even be an option we could consider. Not that the world was necessarily a less-violent place back then, but a vast majority of Americans were blissfully ignorant of such violence, even if only conceptually.

By contrast, in 2012 not only are such things part of our daily lives -- via TV, movies, the interweb, etc. -- but they are positively tolerated. And I can't help but think that our failure as a society to react concretely to such events since Columbine* has only added legitimacy to their being seen by disturbed minds as valid forms of expression. Not that disturbed minds wouldn't imagine such things regardless, but that we have basically done nothing to make killing large numbers of people in a short period of time more difficult certainly makes that kind of thinking more likely.

Drugs are also a problem, but in a vastly different way. Or maybe I've missed the coverage of theater-goers being violently assaulted with dime-bags of weed ;-)

*I use Columbine as the starting point since it was the first such event to really spark a national sense of outrage, if for only a little while, that I can think of.