Schools across the US shut down rapidly in March 2020, migrating to online learning and virtual classrooms, as a precaution against Covid-19.
Now, a non-profit group called Everytown for Gun Safety has released research which found that March 2020 then became the first March without a school shooting in nearly two decades.
Robert Klemko, a reporter at The Washington Post, first made the connection. There have been school shootings every March since 2002, according to two organisations in the US: the National School Safety Centre and the National Safety and Security Services. There were some close calls – in March 2002, a student did bring a gun to school but was apprehended before he was able to use it.
While there were no school shootings in March 2020, there were instances where people brought guns to school or university campuses, but they didn’t result in a school shooting.
On social media, people expressed their dismay that it took a pandemic for this to happen. Others also pointed out that this would be the first March that many high school seniors would have ever experienced without a school shooting.
However, across the US, sales of guns and ammunition have increased since lockdown and stay at home orders were issued in the middle of March.
In states that have been particularly affected by Covid-19, such as California, sales have spiked without much warning. One gun shop owner in Pennsylvania said that they were busier than they’d ever been before, and that “when the economy goes bad, gun sales go good.”