Unlike past tragedies, such as the Virginia Tech shootings, the events in Arizona stayed squarely on the news agenda thanks to the prominence of Rep. Giffords and the many political angles; the visit by China's premier ran a distant second.
The public remains divided -- and deeply so along party lines -- on the issue of gun control and gun rights. Most Americans say tragic events like the shooting are just the isolated acts of troubled individuals, and not a reflection of broader problems in American society.
Schools and colleges across the country do not report violent incidents on campus consistently or accurately -- in many cases because they are not required to, according to safety experts and a new report by 27 state attorneys general.
Six-in-ten Americans say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 32% give priority to protecting Americans' right to own guns. But a 55% majority opposes a ban on the sale of handguns.
The rampage at the Blacksburg, Va., campus touched a nerve over gun safety on college campuses, including among Virginia lawmakers who had recently sparred over a firearms ban.