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A woman paying her respects at a makeshift memorial for the victims in El Paso. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

A new analysis by the Washington Post finds that online search interest in mass shootings typically lasts for 3 weeks after the event before tapering out. The Post's figures match Axios' findings that Google interest in mass shootings only lasts about 2–3 weeks.

Driving the news: President Trump assured the head of the National Rifle Association on Wednesday that universal background check expansions aren't on the table, following 2 mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, The Atlantic first reported and the Post confirmed. This is not the first time Trump has expressed interest in passing gun control measures after a mass shooting, only to walk it back after pressure from the NRA and members of his base.

By the numbers, per Axios' analysis: Google trends measures search interest on a scale of 0 to 100, with zero being the lowest amount of search interest possible and 100 being the most.

  • Search interest ranked higher than 5 out of 100 only lasted for 2 or 3 weeks for most shootings. Sandy Hook was an exception, with 10 nonconsecutive weeks of Google interest higher than 5.

The Post found similar metrics, with searches involving the word "shooting" spiking immediately after the event, before returning to pre-event levels about 20 days later.

  • The spike and subsequent length of interest was the same for the term "gun control."
  • "Second Amendment" sees similar results, but does not garner the same amount of traffic overall, and it saw an uptick about a month after. The Post's analysis suggests this could be due to the delayed conversation of how lawmakers can address mass shootings.
  • The term "background checks" follows a similar pattern with a secondary spike later on, but does not reach the same levels as other gun-related subjects and always remains of relatively constant interest.

Of note: We're now in the third week since the El Paso and Dayton shootings, and cable news coverage of the massacres has largely dissipated.

Go deeper: The deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history

Go deeper

Updated 7 mins ago - Economy & Business

Tax season nightmare ahead for understaffed IRS

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The IRS will start accepting 2021 tax returns in less than a week, and the filing delays and administrative headaches to come might eclipse last year — which was “one of the worst filing seasons," according to an independent advocacy agency within the IRS.

Why it matters: For taxpayers, especially with complex or paper filings, this means headaches, delayed refunds, and mistakes.

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.