As the pandemic declines, the old horror renews: mass shootings


Portland, Oregon. – Brianne Smith was delighted to receive an email instructing her to schedule a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. A few hours later, her relief was replaced by fear. Telephone Warning — Another mass shooting.

Prior to the pandemic, she scanned the nearest exit in a public place and regularly practiced active shooting drills at the company she works for. But after a year at his pandemic home, those anxieties had diminished. until now.

“I wasn’t afraid of COVID because I could make informed decisions to keep myself safe,” said Smith, 21, who lives in St. Louis, Missouri. “But there’s no way to make informed decisions about what to do to avoid mass shootings. I’ve been at home for a year and haven’t practiced dealing with that horror as much as I used to. “

After a year of pandemic blockade, a major mass shooting has revived. For many, the fear of being infected with an invisible virus is suddenly exacerbated by the forgotten, but more familiar fear of being involved in random violence.

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A database of mass slaughter tracking compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Eastern University (defined as four or more dead, not including archers) showed two mass shootings in 2020. Since January 1, there have been at least 11 mass shootings. ..

Still, the gun never disappeared while the shootings were off the headline. Instead, I feel that guns and gun violence are more embedded in the American spirit than ever, even when the United States is heading towards a post-pandemic future. Last year’s horror and isolation pervaded every aspect of the US conversation about guns, from possession of guns to violence in the city center to the decline of faith in general institutions aimed at keeping us safe. I’ve been doing it.

More gun owners, and different

Last year, more than 21 million people completed a background check to buy a gun, breaking all previous records. A survey identified 40% as owners of new guns. Many belong to demographics that are not usually related to guns. The Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry group in the firearms industry. African-American gun purchases increased 58% compared to 2019, and sales to Hispanics increased 46%, the group said.

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As the pandemic declines, the old horror renews: mass shootings

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