The brutal slaying of 19 pupils and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas is just the latest mass shooting event to occur in America, a nation in which such horrors have become simply routine.
Amid the outpouring of grief and the usual calls for more stringent controls on who can and cannot access firearms was the predictable reply from the American right wing that guns are not the problem and that such shootings are the acts perpetrated by evil wrongdoers.
Although the majority of Americans favour restrictions on the sale of firearms such as background checks and a ban on sale of certain firearms, they are powerless in the face of the nation’s gun lobby which has successfully kept at bay any attempts to alter the Second Amendment, a law passed in the time of muskets and not automatic machine guns.
But this is not simply a case of access to firearms. Canada has broadly similar gun ownership laws but almost zero mass shootings.
In virtually all cases American mass shootings are perpetrated by people suffering mental health difficulties.
This toxic mixture of allowing unstable individuals access to deadly weapons is one that could be tackled by a nation willing and able to protect its citizens ahead of so called rights.
Meanwhile we can take comfort that our own stringent gun laws mean shootings are rare, while grieving for those caught up in this latest deadly rampage.