You are correct to be concerned that a vivid event can stampede folks into bad decisions. We don't have to just look at the gun world for such.
It is currently the case that there is a strong buffer for gun rights that might stop a stampede for draconian new laws.
Even strongly antigun bastions like the NY Times have op-eds (by some, I note) that argue that the 2nd is fundamental and SD is fundamental. Of course, the official Times position is to ban all but ducky-wucky O/U shotguns. However, the position of the legitimacy of the 2nd Amend. has been expressed.
I think the country wouldn't be stampeded anymore as happened with the AWB.
Of course, things could change with a vivid incident again but I don't think the risk is that great.
In fact, the every reintroduction of AWB, mag bans by the usual suspects just makes them get ignored - except by their little groups.