People are once again calling for stronger gun control laws in the US after the mass shooting at a school in Florida which saw at least 17 people shot dead and 15 others injured.

#GunControlNow was trending on Twitter for many hours after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School near the end of the school day on 14 February, although some were too despondent to believe that anything would change this time following inaction after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 and the Las Vegas shooting last year which killed 58 people.

Fernand R. Amandi said: "Call me a cynic, but if Sandy Hook - where innocent toddlers were massacred -, the Pulse nightclub & Las Vegas mass shootings couldn't spur long overdue action on gun control, why should we believe the #StonemanShooting in Parkland Florida will be any different?"

In 2018 so far, there have been eight shootings at US schools that resulted in injury or death and 30 mass shooting incidents in total.

Many people, including actress Alyssa Milano, used the #GunControlNow hashtag to call for action by Congress and other lawmakers. Scott Dworkin, co-founder of the Democratic Coalition, tweeted: "Congress needs to ban machine guns immediately. Civilians don't need weapons of mass destruction & the Founders who wrote the 2nd Amendment wouldn't have wanted this. We should also do a national gun buyback to get some guns off the streets. Congress must act now!"

He added: "Terrorist attacks in this country are mostly domestic. And Republicans have done nothing. Everytime there's a shooting, they shrug their shoulders & say "welp, stuff happens, here's thoughts & prayers." Those thoughts & prayers are empty, when you have the power to change things."

Florida shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz was reportedly being treated for mental health issues before the incident, and many have specifically called for gun control for those with mental illnesses.

Others pointed out the absurd way other vices and even totally dull things like Sudafed and sheds are more controlled in the US than guns.

Some shared concern over the fact the gun used by Cruz was an AR-15, the most popular gun in the US and the most common firearm used in mass shootings.

However, some of the news coverage following the shooting highlighted the fact many Americans do not see this as a wake-up call for stricter gun control. John Crescitelli, a family doctor and father of a 15-year-old at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told the Guardian about his fear she had been shot.

He said: "These school shootings have to stop. This is crazy. My son's football coach died. It's horrible. It's like Columbine across the street from my house." However, when asked if the tragedy should lead to stricter gun control for people with mental health issues, he said: "I don't want to get into a gun debate. I really don't. What are you going to do? Confiscate everybody's guns? We have millions and millions of weapons ... I'm a gun owner. I don't want the government taking my gun."