Almost 10 years after Sandy Hook, a week after Buffalo and days after a random shooting death aboard a Q-train bound for Manhattan, the reports of at least 19 children and two adults murdered in a Texas elementary school shooting provoked the ritual angry calls for action among the region’s political leaders.

But as gun violence becomes increasingly commonplace here and throughout the U.S., the standard “thoughts and prayers” and calls for Congress to enact gun-control legislation were tinged with another sentiment: despair.

“You never realize how powerless you are against certain things,” said state Sen. Jamaal Bailey on Tuesday night.

“Without bold actions which put the lives of victims over an ideology of violence, we will be here again and again. Shamed, shaken, but never shocked," said New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

“Having been present for one of these nights, I just want you all to understand what is happening right now, as the bodies are being identified,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, who represented Newtown, Conn. in Congress before becoming a senator. “It's f-ing awful, and it's just our choice whether we want this to continue.”

In the immediate aftermath of the Uvalde, Texas shooting, where at least 19 children and two adults were shot and killed, along with the 18-year-old suspected gunman, leaders around the region turned their attention to security.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said the State Police would be ramping up their presence at schools though there was no specific threat, and county prosecutors would tell local police departments to do the same.

The NYPD didn’t return a request for comment immediately.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez invoked scripture to criticize Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas who has been a supporter of gun rights and said he was praying for the victims and their families

“Aren’t you slated to headline a speaking gig for the NRA in three days - in Houston, no less?” she tweeted. “You can do more than pray. Faith without works is dead.”

New York Republicans who voiced sympathy for the victims but made no mention of gun control faced withering criticism on social media.

In a tweet responding to the tragedy on Tuesday night, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said, “it’s past time to put an end to these needless tragedies.”

The governor has been calling for tougher gun safety laws nationwide and also called on social media companies to strengthen their efforts in preventing the spread of potentially harmful information online.

Mayor Eric Adams posted on Twitter on Tuesday evening, not long after speaking at a press conference in which officials announced the arrest of a suspect who fatally shot a 48-year-old man riding a subway train in Manhattan on Sunday.

“America’s toxic gun culture,” the mayor said, has fueled mass shootings like the one in Texas and Buffalo, as well as last Sunday’s shooting in Manhattan.

Murphy also called for stricter gun laws, pointing to a gun safety package he introduced in his state more than a year ago, and renewed his push.

“This legislation will not only make it harder for guns to fall into the wrong hands, but will also give law enforcement greater tools to protect communities – including our children – from gun violence," he said. “Let us not delay even one day more.”

The shooting came just 10 days after a white man, also 18 years old, was accused of killing 10 people at a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo. That incident was being investigated as a hate crime, officials said.

“Nearly ten years after Sandy Hook — and ten days after Buffalo — our country is paralyzed,” said former President Barack Obama in tweet. “Not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies.”

Addressing the nation on Tuesday night, President Joe Biden spoke solemnly, and at times angrily, about what he referred to as the nation grappling with the “carnage” of multiple mass shootings. He called for America to find its “backbone,” and pushed for “common sense” gun legislation.

“I am sick and tired of it. We have to act,” he said. “And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage. I spent my career as a senator and a vice president working to pass common sense gun laws.”

This story has been updated with additional comment.