Earlier today, 17 children and adults were killed and another 15 were injured when a shooter opened fire at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School.

It’s now the eight deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, behind Las Vegas (58), Orlando (49), Virginia Tech (32), Sandy Hook (27), Sutherland Springs (26), as well as the 1991 shooting at a Luby’s Cafeteria (21) and the 1994 shooting at a San Ysidro McDonald’s (21).

At the time of writing, five of the 17 victims have yet to be identified. Five people are in hospital with life-threatening conditions.

Like clockwork, thoughts and prayers have rolled in from just about every corner of politics – including Donald Trump and Mike Pence – but of course, they’re mostly toothless statements.

Once again, Americans are asking their lawmakers to re-examine gun control.

“Defenders of the status quo – advocates of the gun industry and the politicians paid to defend it – will tell you that events like these are virtual acts of nature, products of mental illness or bad parenting, beyond our ability to control. This couldn’t be further from the truth,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a shooting attack in 2011.

“Every day we fail to take action, we chose this fate. We tolerate politicians who fail to acknowledge this crisis and vote against our safety. We let our gun violence epidemic continue day after deadly day …

“The question now is if we will find the courage to pass the laws we need to protect our children, to stop dangerous people from accessing guns. And if Congress won’t act, American voters must.”

On Twitter, people implored the country to bring in gun control, with many using the hashtag #GunControlNow to call for a swift approach to crack down on gun violence.

People have also hit back at those who say – as they do after every single mass shooting – that now is not the time to talk about gun control.

People have also been turning on politicians who take millions of dollars from the National Rifle Association (NRA) in campaign funds. An L.A.-based writer is even retweeting politicians offering their “thoughts and prayers” with exactly how much money they accepted from the organisation.

Meanwhile, people are sharing text conversations between students at Stoneman high and their loved ones sent during the shooting.

“I am so scared Kaitlin,” one student writes to her sister. “Tell [our parents] I love them so much.”

Image: AP / John McCall