The shocking extent of gun violence in America was underlined by the 17 deaths at the Florida school shooting.
A torrid tally of the carnage is kept by the Gun Violence Archive, a not-for-profit lobby group.
In 2018, the US has seen 7,986 gun incidents in which 2,179 people have died and 3,704 have been injured, says the archive.
This tragic toll includes 85 children under 11 and 411 teens aged 12 to 17 years old.
In total, the country has seen 34 mass shootings in which four or more people died this year.
The figures do not include the average 22,000 gun suicides each year in the USA – which would add around 3,194 victims to the totals.
Trump does nothing
In context, those figures apply to just 53 days.
Despite this, President Donald Trump has pledged to do nothing but tweak a few rules that might stop people with mental health issues from arming themselves.
He is a staunch National Rifle Association supporter, calling them ‘good people prepared to do the right thing’.
Even an outright ban is likely to take decades to have any impact as Americans are thought to have an arsenal of hundreds of millions of guns. Many NRA members and other gun owners are unlikely to give up their right to bear arms without a fight.
Arming teachers is no response
Now, Trump is considering backing the NRA proposal to stop mass shootings in schools by giving out more guns – to teachers and other school staff.
“When we declare our schools to be gun-free zones it just puts our students in more danger – well-trained gun-adept teachers and coaches should be able to carry concealed firearms,” Trump said.
“I’d rather have somebody that loves the students and wants to protect them than somebody standing outside and doesn’t love the students and, for whatever reason decided not to go in, even though he heard lots of shots inside.”
Teachers carrying concealed weapons are a better idea, Trump said. “Crazy men wouldn’t know who had them. That’s good. And the teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened.”.