Devastating, horrific and indescribably sad, obviously, but not a surprising or even an unfamiliar domestic spectacle. 58 dead and probably climbing. Orlando, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, San Ysidro — last night’s Las Vegas massacre was the latest chapter (installment?) in an ongoing, slowly-unfolding nightmare brought to all Americans by the NRA, the legislators who’ve blocked any and all attempts to restrict the sale of automatic weapons, by gun freaks, by that whole diseased and reprehensible culture.

Fringe nutters like Stephen Paddock are unfortunately part of our American landscape, but how many of last night’s victims would be okay this morning if Paddock didn’t have an easily purchasable automatic arsenal? If he was restricted to single-shot weapons? Mass carnage is what automatic rifles are fundamentally about, and last night’s tragedy — why mince words? — is essentially on the political right, on conservative gun nuts.

Australia saved itself from this pattern of horror after a mass shooting occured in ’96, and here we are 20 years hence, soaked in gore and grief and probably fated to stay that way because of hinterland macho types and their obsessive, twisted need for their totems.

Nobody needs automatic weapons except for sick fucks who might one day use them.

Nicholas Kristof’s N.Y. Times piece spells it out, but we all know the restrictions by heart — universal background checks, prevent loose cannons from buying weapons of any kind, limit gun purchases to any one person over a certain period, etc.

Kristof: “The best example of intelligent regulation is auto safety. By my calculations, we’ve reduced the auto fatality rate per 100 million miles driven by more than 95 percent since 1921. There was no single solution but rather many incremental efforts: seatbelts, air bags, padded dashboards, better bumpers, lighted roads, highway guardrails, graduated licenses for young people, crackdowns on drunken driving, limits on left turns, and so on.

“We haven’t banned automobiles, and we haven’t eliminated auto deaths, but we have learned to make them safer — and we should do the same with guns.

“The gun lobby will say that this isn’t a time for politics. But if we can’t learn the lesson from this carnage, then there will be more such shootings — again and again. This is a particularly American tragedy and completely unnecessary.”