Whenever something like this happens I always feel it is the first time and we should have been able to prevent it. I hear people calling for more and more gun control which has proven to be an utter failure in places like Chicago. A friend of mine mentioned to me today an incident in which a man blew up an elementary school here in the US - I was shocked I had never heard this. The media only reports and sensationalizes recent incidents to their own political ends. I have refused to watch any news today, my heart is broken for those who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook Elementary. However - it is not an excuse to deprive me of my rights, that I have fought and sacrificed for.
Timothy McVeigh - did not use a gun to mass murder children
Andrew Kehoe - did not use a gun to kill 38 school children
Here is an interesting read
The History of Nearly 250 Years of School Shootings in America[link]
A semi-automatic gun is any gun that can be shot as fast as you can pull the trigger, an assault rifle is a fully automatic weapon - fires so long as you hold the trigger down. Banning anything with the category semi-automatic in short covers anything that is magazine fed including revolvers - handguns and rifles. That leaves you with pump action and over/under shotguns, and bolt action rifles.
Assume you ban semi-automatic rifles what are you going to do about people like Charles Whitman who used a bolt action rifle to kill 13 people including an unborn child, and wounding 32 others from a tower at the university of texas 8/1/1966
You are better served by putting metal detectors in schools along with an armed gaurd, as well as on college campuses, and even requiring random psych testing for those who own or buy guns. Assuming this will have any affect on school shootings. Having armed police at Columbine did nothing to quell the length of or reduce the fatalities.
The US is NOT the only country that has issues with this type of violence
here is a short list of other countries with the same issue
There are many more.
If people are determined to commit evil acts, they will find a way.