May 9, 2020 - Health

Number of mass shootings drops in April as Americans stay home

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S. saw a 24% year-over-year decline in the number of mass shootings in April, as the coronavirus kept people largely at home and businesses shuttered, according to a Bloomberg News data analysis.

Yes, but, via Axios' Marisa Fernandez: While mass shootings may have decreased, gun violence in some cities surged. The U.S. logged nearly 2,100 gun deaths between March 1 and April 19, 6% more than the same period in the past three years, per aggregated data from the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive.

  • Firearm sales have surged during the pandemic. March was the second-busiest month ever for gun sales, per the New York Times, and Axios' Stef Kight reports that the FBI processed 3.7 million gun background checks in March, more than any previous month.

The big picture: A mass shooting is defined as a single incident wherein four or more people are shot, not including the shooter, Bloomberg notes, citing Gun Violence Archive. They typically drive the national conversation on gun violence, but the focus is shifting on how gun violence has manifest itself during the pandemic.

The state of play: April's drop in mass shootings demonstrates a change from March, in which the number of shootings, deaths and injuries increased when compared to a year earlier.

  • In April 2020, there were 25 mass shootings that left 22 dead and 89 wounded.
  • In April 2019, there were 33 mass shootings that left 25 dead and 130 injuries.
"It took a pandemic and it took people being completely disrupted and forced to sit home all day and not go outside — and be terrified of going outside — to see a drop in mass shootings. I can think all of us can agree that this is no way we want to continue to live our lives."
— Kyleanne Hunter, vice president of programs for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, per Bloomberg

Go deeper: U.S. still has a gun violence problem despite coronavirus lockdowns

Go deeper

Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day, prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Even with 8pm curfews in New York City and Washington, D.C., protesters are still out en masse. Some protesters in D.C. said they were galvanized by President Trump's photo op in front of St. John's Church on Monday and threat to deploy U.S. troops in the rest of country if violence isn't quelled, NBC News reports.

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump backs off push to federalize forces against riots

Photo: Brendan Smialowski /AFP via Getty Images

A day after threatening to federalize forces to snuff out riots across the country, the president appears to be backing off the idea of invoking the Insurrection Act, sources familiar with his plans tell Axios.

What we're hearing: Aides say he hasn’t ruled out its use at some point, but that he's “pleased” with the way protests were handled last night (apart from in New York City, as he indicated on Twitter today) — and that for now he's satisfied with leaving the crackdown to states through local law enforcement and the National Guard.

What we expect from our bosses

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Workers — especially millennials and Gen Zers — are paying close attention to the words and actions of their employers during national crises, such as the protests following the killing of George Floyd in police custody.

Why it matters: American companies have an enormous amount of wealth and influence that they can put toward effecting change, and CEOs have the potential to fill the leadership vacuum left by government inaction. More and more rank-and-file employees expect their bosses to do something with that money and power.