(WASHINGTON) News & Views Report: A week after a gunman shot and killed eight people in Georgia, a gunman opened fire in a grocery store in Boulder, Colo., killing 10-people, including a police officer so how much is connected to the #pandemic #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Mar.25: We’ve been looking forward to so many ways we could return to normal, to the way things were before the pandemic,” tweeted Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla. “Mass shootings were not what anyone had in mind.”

Politifact: Gun violence spiked during pandemic, even as the deadliest mass shootings waned: ‘After a year of social distancing and closures from the #COVID19 pandemic, the tragedy of two mass shootings, less than a week apart, has led people to worry what a return to everyday American life will really be like’

Is it true that mass shootings tapered off during the pandemic? …….Large-scale public mass shootings, like those that just occurred in Georgia and Colorado, did indeed decline throughout the pandemic. However, other forms of gun violence rose dramatically over the past year.

Competing definitions of mass shootings: One common definition of a mass shooting is based on the old FBI definition of a “mass murder” — an incident in which four victims are shot and killed. Gun violence databases that abide by this definition have reported that the number of large-scale public mass shootings declined sharply during the pandemic.

One such database, compiled by the Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University, found that two mass shootings occurred in 2020, down from eight or nine per year during the previous three years. And both of the 2020 shootings took place before pandemic lockdowns were instituted in the U.S.

However, some researchers prefer a more expansive definition, defining a mass shooting as a firearm-related incident that results in four or more individuals shot, rather than killed. 

The Gun Violence Archive, a research group that monitors gun violence, uses the broader definition. This allows the organization to track shootings typically excluded from other mass shooting statistics, such as domestic shootings, as well as forms of gun violence that occur disproportionately in predominantly Black neighborhoods. 

By this definition, 2020 was the most violent year since the Gun Violence Archive first started tracking gun deaths in 2013. According to the organization, 611 mass shootings took place in 2020, exceeding any other recent year by more than 50%. 

In fact, many forms of gun violence spiked during the coronavirus pandemic, with the number of overall gun homicides at its highest rate in over 20 years. Much of the violence was centered in major cities such as New York, Houston and Philadelphia. 

However, many of these shootings, which disproportionately featured Black victims, tend to receive less coverage in the media.

The reasons for this are varied and complex. University of Texas-Austin professor Michael Sierra-Arévalo said that the phenomenon is rooted in the way that the media often devalues the lives of Black and brown people. As evidence, he pointed to a study that analyzed homicides in Chicago and matched them to media stories to analyze which got the most coverage. The study found that Black victims were less likely to receive media coverage than white victims. It also found that the Black victims who were covered were far less likely to be discussed as complex and sympathetic people than white victims. 

Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz, an assistant professor who researches violence prevention at the University of California, Davis said that the COVID-19 pandemic likely played a major role in contributing to rising violence.

“The COVID-19 pandemic worsened many of the underlying conditions that contribute to community gun violence risk — poverty, unemployment, food and housing insecurity — while also taxing many of the systems and interpersonal networks of support in communities that foster safety, health and wellbeing,” she said. “These, in combination with the pandemic’s unique effects on feelings of uncertainty and hopelessness, likely had an impact on the increase in interpersonal community gun violence over the past year.”

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Mar.25: 2021:

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