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

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — After a year of pandemic lockdowns, mass shootings are back — but the guns never went away.

As the U.S. inches toward a post-pandemic future, guns are arguably more present in the American psyche and more deeply embedded in discourse than ever before.

The past year’s anxiety and loss fueled a rise in gun ownership across political and socioeconomic lines.

Dozens of big and midsized cities documented steep increases in gun-related homicides as COVID-19 took its toll.

For years, the debate about guns — and the violence they can cause — will hold echoes of our shared pandemic trauma.

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