As the US came to terms with news of yet another mass shooting in the wake of Sunday's murder of 49 people inside Orlando’s Pulse gay nightclub, the reactions were as swift as they were sadly inevitable.
Politicians offered their ‘thoughts and prayers' and little else. A helpless and indignant Barack Obama addressed a grieving nation knowing full well he’d never establish any real gun control. Donald Trump said something stupid. And America’s rifle-clutching NRA supporters defended the the curiously unamendable second amendment, repeating their mantra that ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’. Better hide those spoons then.
And like clockwork, something else happened which was equal parts unsurprising and utterly harrowing: shares in US gun manufacturers actually rose following the Orlando massacre. By a lot.
Yep, it was good news all round for merchants of death as stocks in Smith & Wesson went up 6.9 per cent, with Sturm, Ruger and Company closing at 8.5 per cent, highlighting the vicious cycle of death which tends to follow these tragedies.
Why? Investors predict buyers will worry about tougher gun laws being introduced following a mass shooting, thus rushing to buy more weapons. And, very often, they're right.
In the three days following 2012’s Aurora cinema slayings, applications to buy guns legally were up 43 per cent on the previous week. Then, as recently as this January, when Obama gallantly unveiled plans to limit the availability of weapons, gun sales rose once more, painting another horribly repetitive picture.
Which is doubly damning when you learn that the gunman of the Orlando incident, Omar Mateen, was able to legally purchase an AR-15 type assault rifle and 9mm handgun 10 days before his homophobic attack, despite previously being quizzed by the FBI on possible terror links no less than three times.
And if you're still trying to make sense of this latest act of mass violence, allow John Oliver to sum it up like we wish we could.