The solution to mass shootings in the United States is to hire armed guards to work in schools, American Republicans have argued.
On Tuesday 19 children and two adults were killed after an 18-year-old gunman in Uvalde, Texas opened fire on an elementary school.
He was later shot dead by police and the massacre has rekindled one of the most enduring debates in American history - how to put an end to gun violence?
It is already the 27th school shooting this year in America and President Joe Biden said it was time to bring in tougher regulations:
“As a nation, we have to ask, ‘When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?’” Mr Biden said.
“When in God’s name are we going to do what has to be done? Why are we willing to live with this carnage?”
These kinds of mass shootings rarely happen elsewhere in the world.
Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it?
It’s time to turn this pain into action.
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 25, 2022
'Fabric of the Constitution'
However, taking on the gun lobby is easier said than done. The National Rifle Association speaks for millions of Americans who are devoted to firearms and the US Constitution gives them a legal right to bear arms if they wish.
“It’s part of the fabric of the Constitution and the right to bear arms is part of that western frontier culture going back to the 1700s and 1800s,” Greg Swenson, Chairman of Republicans Overseas UK, explained to Moncreiff.
“So it’s baked into the culture and it’s also baked into the Constitution.
“So the idea of banning guns might very well be impossible."
Instead, he believes the solution - at least in the medium-term - is for schools to hire armed guards that can protect students:
“For lack of anything better - yes,” he argued.
“And as troublesome as that is if there’s a risk - as small as it is - I mean it’s still low probability but it’s low probability and high severity.
“In the meantime if they can’t fix the problem then guards in schools might be an unfortunate reality.”
'A good guy with a gun'
While any TD suggesting such a thing in Ireland would be laughed out of the Dáil, it is an idea with a lot of support in America.
Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA, strongly believes that, "The only guy that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun" and many schools in America have hired armed guards for that reason.
However, Mr Swenson also believes that the justice system and mental health are partially responsible for the carnage unfolding across the Atlantic:
“Criminals are not being prosecuted and victims of crimes are being ignored in this process,” he continued.
“In this case I don’t know enough about this case yet to know how this child or 18-year-old managed to get a weapon and if there’s any prior indications.
“There’s definitely mental health issues after lockdowns.”
Main image: Law enforcement officers speak together outside of Robb Elementary School following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. Picture by Brandon Bell/Getty Images