Obviously without easy access to guns there wouldn't be such high levels of gun crime, but the availability of guns doesn't immediately and necessarily make violence a reality. It just makes it easier for someone who intends violence to carry it out. Removing easy access to guns would definitely make crimes like this rarer and harder to stage (and some might say that's really all that's required), but the underlying pressures and tensions that contribute to high rates of violent crime need to be dealt with too, and I worry that those pressures and tensions in American society aren't
going to be dealt with or examined with any degree of interest, because it's going to become another gun debate. And, again, I agree that such a discussion absolutely needs to take place, and if positive changes in that area come about in the near future I'll be very happy, but I wouldn't want it to close off any other avenues for confronting factors that contribute to the high rate of gun crime in the US.
And I don't mean the tired old fallacies commentators are trotting out about violence in video games, etc. That's just another example of how people fall back into comfort zones and easy arguments rather than challenging anything. And, yes, for certain ideological groups it's a convenient scapegoat for having to confront the gun control question. They don't want to touch that because many of their supporters would be alienated, so they settle on video games as the demon. But I think the gun control question isn't that far removed itself from being, if not a scapegoat, then another means by which American society (and apparently the rest of us too) distracts itself from tackling the deeper social issues that plague any large nation.
Of course the easy availability of guns in the US is significant and contributes to the ease and frequency of crimes like this, but when some people argue that it's not about guns, they mean that it's always preferrable to dig out the roots of the weed rather than just cut off the stalk and then aggressively monitor it so it doesn't grow back.