The hashtag #GunControlNow flooded social media after at least 20 people were killed and 26 others seriously injured in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas on Saturday. It is the second time the hashtag has trended this week after three people were shot dead at a California garlic festival on July 29.

Less than 24 hours after the mass shooting in El Paso, police and emergency services responded to reports of an active shooter in Dayton, Ohio. Dayton Police Department have confirmed at least nine people have died and 16 others have been injured. The shooter is dead.

On Friday, Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee confirmed the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. In El Paso, a 21-year-old suspect is in custody, and officials are investigating whether a manifesto possibly written by the suspect has a “nexus to a hate crime.”

US President Donald Trump said the reports from El Paso are “very bad.”

“Today’s shootings in El Paso , Texas, was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice,” he tweeted separately. “I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people … Melania and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the great people of Texas.”

Vice President Mike Pence said he was “saddened by the loss of so many innocent lives in El Paso.”

“Our prayers are with the victims, their families, and the entire community. Grateful for the courageous efforts and swift action by federal law enforcement and local first responders,” he said.

At the time of writing, Trump has not commented on the Ohio shootings yet.

Elsewhere on Twitter, thousands are using #GunControlNow to demand action from the government.

A number of democratic presidential candidates, including Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden, have all condemned the mass shootings on Twitter and called for an end to the country’s “gun violence epidemic.”

According to nonprofit organisation Gun Violence Archive, there have been 251 mass shootings across the US in 2019.

Image: AAP / John Locher