As pandemic ebbs, an old fear is new again: mass shootings

As pandemic ebbs, an old fear is new again: mass shootings

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Brianne Smith was overjoyed to get an e-mail telling her to schedule a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Hours later, her relief was replaced by dread: a phone alert — another mass public shooting. Before the pandemic, she would scan for the nearest exit in public places and routinely practiced active shooter drills at the company where she works. But after a year at home in the pandemic, those anxieties had faded. Until now. “I haven’t been living in fear with COVID because I’m able to make educated decisions to keep myself safe,” says Smith, 21, who lives in St. Louis, Missouri. “But there’s no way I can make an educated decision about what to do to avoid a mass shooting. I’ve been at home for a year and I’m not as practiced at coping with that fear as I used to be.” After a year of pandemic lockdowns, public mass shootings are back. For many, the fear of contracting an invisible virus is suddenly compounded by the forgotten yet more familiar fear of getting caught in a random act of violence. A database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University that tracks mass killings — defined as four or more dead, not including the shooter — showed just two public mass shootings in 2020. Since Jan. 1, there have been at least 11. Yet while mass shootings dropped out of the headlines, the guns never went away. Instead, even as […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.