Only five months into 2022, more than 17,000 people, including 650 children, have been shot and killed in the United States.
In the latest violence, a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at a Uvalde, Texas primary school after barricading them in a single classroom.
Figures compiled by organisations pushing for stricter regulation of firearms sales detail the toll of gun violence in the US.
111 deaths every day
Nearly 41,000 people are killed by gun violence every year in the United States on average, according to the organisation Everytown for Gun Safety, translating to 111 victims every day.
In Texas, where the sale of personal firearms is only marginally regulated, an average of more than 3,600 people are killed by guns every year, according to Everytown.
Since the beginning of 2022, at least 17,199 people have been killed by guns, according to a count by the Gun Violence Archive.
About 7,600 of them were victims of homicide, either purposeful or accidental, and more than 9,500 died by suicide.
In 2021, more than 45,000 gun deaths were recorded, including 20,920 murders - the highest since 2017, when around 58,000 people were killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Shootings also leave other casualties - in the last six months, some 14,000 people have been wounded by a gun.
More than one mass shooting per day
There have been 213 known mass shootings in the United States in the first 145 days of 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
It categorises such incidents as ones in which there are four or more people killed or wounded, not including the shooter.
"There have been more mass shootings than days in the year," Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy said in the US Congress yesterday.
He represents the district where Sandy Hook elementary school, where 26 children and teachers were killed in 2012, is located. It is the worst ever school shooting in US history.
Mass shooting incidents in 2022 include the murder of 13 people in Buffalo, New York where authorities said Payton Gendron, 18, carried out an act of "racially motivated violent extremism".
The funeral of slain security guard Aaron Salter from Tops grocery store took place today.
Six people were killed and 12 more wounded in a shooting in the California state capital of Sacramento in early April.
There were 692 mass shootings in 2021, the most since 2014, when the Gun Violence Archive began keeping records.
The youngest victims
Children are not spared when it comes to the cost of US gun violence.
Even when they are not the direct targets of violence, such as in the massacre in Uvalde, they can become the collateral victims of stray bullets or accidental discharges.
So far in 2022, some 640 children aged under 18 have been shot and killed, and more than double that number - 1,594 - have been injured.
Of that number, 140 of the children killed - and nearly 300 of those injured - have been age 11 or younger.
Last year, 1,560 children were killed and more than 4,000 wounded.
In a country where firearms are easily bought and sold and laws vary by state, 2020 saw 19,350 shooting murders, a historic high - 35% more than in 2019.
There were 24,245 suicides - 1.5% more than 2019 - according to statistics compiled by US health authorities.
The homicide rate reached 6.1 per 100,000 residents in 2020, a 25-year record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a report published this month, though the toll was still not as high as the peak of the 1980s.
Officials speculated that the struggles of poverty and the Covid-19 pandemic could have contributed to the spike.
390 million guns
The right to bear arms is guaranteed in the second amendment of the US Constitution, and the number of pistols, revolvers and other gun types has increased in recent years.
More than 23 million guns were sold in 2020, a record, and almost 20 million in 2021, according to numbers published by the site Small Arms Analytics.
According to another project called the Small Arms Survey, 393.3 million firearms were in circulation throughout the United States in 2020 - or about 120 guns for every 100 people.
And an unknown number of "ghost guns" - sold piece by piece and without serial numbers - must be added to that count.
In June 2021, 30% of American adults said they owned at least one firearm, according to a survey by Pew Research Centre.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, visit rte.ie/helplines.