From Smallpox to Singapore: Why a Gun Ban Won't Work in the U.S.

I find it highly distasteful to engage in the debate about gun control at this time first because I think gun control advocates are using an incomprehensible tragedy for political gain and I don’t want to play into their hands; second, because I am still sick about what happened in Newtown–I cannot stop thinking about it and I really want to; and third, and most important, because the gun control debate detracts from the real issue in this case:  society and mental illness.*  Many rampage killings occur in the U.S., but also in countries with strict gun control and all over the world by means other than guns.  Why do people kill like this? And is there anything we can do about it?
Despite my personal preference to focus on other issues, the gun debate has been reignited once again and I do have some thoughts to share on the subject.
Gun control is a two-part debate: (1) will stricter gun control or more liberal gun rights result in greater day-to-day safety, and (2) regardless of the answer to the first question, isn’t it necessary to have an effectively armed citizenry in order to deter governmental tyranny?
I usually skip the first question because regardless of the answer to that one, the second one is decisive in my opinion. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Mussolini and Pol Pot among them killed over 100,000,000 of their own, mostly disarmed, citizens in the twentieth century. No matter how many