A counterterrorism analyst for CNN broke down in tears when discussing the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school in which 17 people were killed.
Phillip Mudd’s voice wavered as he said: “Can not we acknowledge in this country that we cannot accept this?”
“I have 10 nieces and nephews. We’re talking about bump stocks, we’re talking about legislation. A child of God is dead,” the former FBI analyst said.
The network then cut to another analyst while Mr Mudd collected himself as tears streamed down his face.
“Unfortunately it happens all too often,” anchor Wolf Blitzer added.
“People say we’ve got to learn some and, as a result people say we’ve got to learn some lessons. Unfortunately lessons are never, never learned,” Mr Blitzer said.
Mr Mudd’s mention of a “bump stock” was a reference to a device that essentially converts a semi-automatic weapon, like the one used in the Parkland shooting, to an automatic one.
A semi-automatic weapon can fire one bullet with every pull of the trigger, but an automatic weapon will fire successive bullets for as long as the trigger is held.
Bump stocks are mostly outlawed in the US, but until October 2017 they were available at retailers like Walmart.
Earlier that month, 58 people were killed and nearly 500 injured in the country’s deadliest mass shooting in modern history.
Stephen Paddock, using a bump stock, rained bullets down on a crowd gathered on the Las Vegas strip for a music festival.
The 17 victims included both adults and children. All the victims’ families have been informed according to Broward County police and one has been identified publicly – assistant football coach Aaron Feis, who reportedly died while shielding students from bullets.
Of those who died, 12 were inside the school, two people outside of the building, one on a street corner close to the school, and two died of their injuries in hospital.
The suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, is in custody. He was a former student at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School but had been expelled due to bad behaviour.
The family he was staying with after his adopted mother died last year did not notice anything abnormal with the troubled and depressed young man the morning before the shooting, which took place around the time classes were being dismissed for the day.
Democratic members of Congress have been criticising Congressional Republicans for their inaction on gun control in the wake of so many mass shootings.
School shootings have taken place in California, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Washington state and New Mexico already this year, and just last month the first fatal school shooting of the year took place at Marshall County High School in Kentucky.
Senator Chris Murphy condemned the shooting on the Senate floor; “this happens nowhere else other than the United States of America — this epidemic of mass slaughter, this scourge of school shooting after school shooting,” he said.
Mr Murphy is from Connecticut, where the 2014 Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre occurred when 20 six- and seven-year-olds plus six adults were gunned down, again by a young man with a history of mental health issues.