I'm one who has been saying the culture has to change, or more like the problems we see are the result of our culture.
Before the gun manufacturers got control of the NRA and started to put so much emphasis on their interpretation of the Second Amendment (which has changed, in terms of SC rulings, over time) I wouldn't say we had such a big culture problem. In small-town Wisconsin we always had lots of hunters, and that's a whole different gun culture from this stay-armed-all-the-time stuff we have now. I think the gun manufacturers' lobby is a big cause of this culture change.
Guns for defense in the midwest used to be a shotgun behind the door in a rural farmhouse. Now it's totally different, and it's not just the availability of different technology. It's like deciding to grow all your own food or go off the grid, only this time people are deciding to go it alone in a different and much more dangerous realm where decisions are unreviewed and irrevocable.
Since crime rates over time have been trending downward with regard to many types of crime, the defensiveness and even paranoia isn't correlated with more crime overall. It's more attitudinal, or cultural, or even political.
If you can change a culture in one direction, it stands to reason you can change it in another. Part but far from all the change can be either driven or measured (depending on how you want to look at it) by legislative changes. We've seen how legislation changed the culture in Florida (look back at that Tampa Bay Trib article several of us linked earlier). Actions that once were crimes are no longer. That's not my opinion, that's what DAs and elected officials in FL are saying. And they aren't happy about it.
Other ways of changing a culture start with awareness of where we're at now and organizing people around a symbol of a cause. If MADD can change the drunk-driving culture in Wisconsin (and believe me, it has changed 180 degrees over the past 40 years), perhaps Trayvon Martin's mother can help organize women around attitudes about race and violence. Women are a strong social force and if you can get enough women (mothers) on your side, you win a significant emotional advantage in a larger and much longer struggle.
Another way of raising awareness is looking at how other countries deal with the same issue (health care, guns, whatever), seeing their results, and asking if this is the way we want to go or not. And another way of bringing about cultural change is simply waiting for demographics to catch up, the way it did with gay marriage once enough younger people got of voting age. The very powerful decision for gays to quit buying into the dominant culture disapproval and start coming out was, I think, the point at which the haters started to lose. All the rest stemmed from that process, which put a face on what was previously anonymous and hidden. Perhaps we'll similarly become more aware of the faces and identities of gun violence victims as they get closer to home.
Do culture changes always have to be driven by money and business interests? MADD wasn't. Gay marriage wasn't. I don't know if the legalization of marijuana is or not, but if enough states are run out of money for pot enforcement it'll drive legalization further and further.
So yes, I think there are ways to purposely bring about culture change. The gun lobby did it in one direction, building on forces already present in our society but not yet dominant. Change is gradual and is never complete. Today we still have drunk drivers and gay-haters, but they aren't as widely accepted and glorified any more. Looking at the positive changes we've already accomplished in other areas, I think the record shows we can make progress on this one as well and move guns toward a safer, more reasonable, less glorified position.
I'll let others take the lead on what legislative changes might be good places to start, because this is already too long and I'm saying legislation isn't the whole story. Right now the discussion is focused on the stand your ground laws due to the Martin/Zimmerman case, as the judge acknowledged in her instructions to the jury. So that's an available place to start.