At the time of writing, newspapers report 27 dead, including 18 children, at Sandy Hart Elementary School in Hartford, Connecticut.
They are victims of what is most likely a crazed and mentally unstable human being, but more than this, they are victims of America itself and the ludicrous gun laws which are almost a taboo subject in a country supposed to be the world's leader.
Reports suggest the assailant was a 24-year-old man, armed with four guns and wearing a bullet-proof vest. He entered Sandy Hart School, a school for children between the ages of roughly five and 10, opened fire, unprovoked, and ended dozens of innocent lives.
Yet U.S. law allowed this man to own a gun, and therefore allowed this shooting to happen, just as it has let countless similarly tragic shootings occur in the past.
Back in July news of the killing of 12 and injuring of 58 in a cinema in Aurora, Colorado flooded screens worldwide. Six were killed in a mass-shooting in January 2011, three more in February 2010, 13 in November 2009, six more in July 2009 and a further 13 in April of the same year.
These are just a few of the incidents that have occured the last few years. According to an ongoing tally kept by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the United States is experiencing an average of around 20 mass shootings each year, and yet nothing is being done to change the outrageous gun laws that are undeniably the primary cause of these awful acts of violence.
White House spokesman Jay Carney has said that today is not the day to debate gun control. He is wrong. Nothing was done immediately after the Aurora shootings and the issue was allowed to fade away. In turn, 27 people were allowed to be shot dead today.
Whilst America, and indeed the world, will mourn for those who lost their lives today, people must also get angry, they must ask questions and the American government must finally start to think seriously about bringing in laws that make sense. For these ones do not - no one can argue that the needless deaths of young children makes any kind of sense.
Already the gun lobby are arguing that we should not be calling for gun control 'in respect of the dead'. In truth, the best way for America to respect the dead would be to do just the opposite, to finally talk properly about this issue. It cannot be shied away from any longer.
U.S. law makes it easy to purchase a gun in almost every state, so long as you are a U.S. citizen who is not a criminal or adjudged to be mentally ill.
It is extremely clear that there are many people who do not fall into this category who are still in no way fit to own a firearm. The evidence is the numbers, the numbers of shootings and the numbers of innocent dead. Obama's words of consolation will mean nothing if these numbers continue to rise exponentially - this is no new problem, but six of the worst 12 mass-shootings in U.S. history have occurred since 2007 - there is no more time for inactivity.
Obama pledged to address gun control back in 2008, however, once elected, these pledges disappeared from the President's website. Pressure from the powerful pro-gun lobby group, the National Rifle Association, makes any mention of anti-gun laws politically dangerous, but to remain inactive would be spineless, and perhaps Obama's biggest failing.
In the wake of the Aurora shootings in July American politicians continues to sidestep question about the ease of obtaining a firearm in the country. As a result, at least 27 more have lost their lives today, most of them lives that had barely even begun.
It is time for America to stop sidestepping and tackle this issue with full force. Is must be done now, starting today, or it won't be long until this happens all over again.Suggest a correction