Donald Trump has sent his usual condolences and prayers to those who have lost loved ones, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio has trotted out the - by now familiar - statement that it is too soon to tell whether tighter gun control laws would have prevented such an outrage.
Donald Trump is on record as saying that his promise to gun-owning Americans is that he will "never, ever" do anything to threaten the second amendment. Pressure will mount, however and it will be interesting to see if it has any real effect. Increasing numbers of American citizens are realising that something has to be done to stop the awful tide of mass killings in their country.
If you take the American Gun violence archive's definition, a mass shooting is any incident in which four or more people are shot by a single person in the same location at the same time. That being the case, there were 307 mass shootings in America in 2017 alone and the five worst incidents in American history have all occurred in the past ten years.
Something is quite obviously going seriously wrong, and it doesn't take a genius to work out that easy access to guns is at the bottom of it. A gun can turn a normally weak, ineffectual person with a grudge into a killing machine and there is never a shortage of such people in any society. In this context the only difference between America and most other countries is that any American over the age of 18 can buy a shotgun or rifle simply by filling in a form. A short phone call to carry out a background check ensues, and the gun is handed over. Children younger than 18 may possess guns that were given to them by parents or guardians as gifts, provided that they have written permission.
Some States allow handguns to be carried openly on the streets or in cars without permits of any kind.
To most of us, it is incomprehensible but in America it is considered a fundamental right and that is the huge problem facing advocates of stricter gun control laws.