US gun terror: 'Since 2009… 274 shootings, 1,536 killed,' says US group
A mass shooting in Texas on Tuesday that killed 19 kids intensified pressure on US lawmakers to act on the widespread availability of firearms, but it also raised the bleak prospect of little or no change.
According to the Everytown gun control group, it was the ninth mass shooting this year, and it occurred 10 days after another 18-year-old slaughtered 10 African Americans at a supermarket in New York.
However, limitations on gun purchases and ownership have remained mostly unchanged nearly ten years after a gunman massacred 20 children and six others at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, and four years after 17 people were killed at a Florida high school.
"I had hoped, when I became president, I would not have to do this, again," a distraught President Joe Biden said as he led national mourning, vowing to overcome the US gun lobby and find a way to tighten gun ownership laws.
"Another massacre... an elementary school. Beautiful, innocent, second, third, fourth graders," he said. "I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don't tell me we can't have an impact on this carnage."
However, guns of all types, particularly high-powered assault rifles and semi-automatic handguns, are now cheaper and more freely available in the United States than they have ever been.
With the news of Tuesday's horrific shooting, the all-too-familiar debates over guns, public safety, and rights resurfaced.