This post deals with disturbing events and maybe be triggering for some.
The recent mass shooting at a Texas elementary school isn't shocking. And that's what makes it so devastating.
No longer do we see these tragedies as "unimaginable" or "unthinkable". Rather, they represent the reality that Americans - in this case Texans - face. The fact that sending your child to school is a risk to their lives.
On Wednesday, an 18-year-old local man opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. At the time of writing, 19 children and two adults have been killed, and dozens injured. The suspect - who also died - is alleged to have murdered his grandmother before committing the massacre.
The mother of one of the children killed, Amerie jo Garza, released a statement saying - "She's been found. Please don't take a second for granted. Hug your family. Tell them you love them. I love you Amerie jo. Watch over your baby brother for me."
This incident is the 27th school shooting in the US this year. And for the last few decades, the sheer number of mass shootings hasn't waned.
In Australia in 1996, a lone gunman entered the historic Port Arthur tourist site (a former penal colony) in Tasmania and shot dead 35 people and seriously wounding 18 others. In response, then Australian Prime Minister John Howard took action and enacted nationwide gun law reforms.
In the UK, a similar scenario occurred. 26 years ago, a gunman walked into Dunblane Primary School in Scotland and murdered 16 young children and their teacher. It provoked a major response from the UK Government, and by the following year, parliament had banned private ownership of most handguns and enacted tight gun control legislation.
Watch: I survived the columbine school shooting. Post continues below.
As the survivors of that shooting wrote in an open letter to those affected by the Parkland Florida school shooting - "there have been no more school shootings" in the UK since Dunblane. "Laws were changed, handguns were banned and the level of gun violence in Britain is now one of the lowest in the world."