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In a year of pain, one silver lining: fewer mass shootings

A database compiled by news organizations shows just two public mass shootings this year.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2020, file photo, the Molson Coors facility is seen in Milwaukee. An employee at the historic Molson Coors facility shot and killed five co-workers Wednesday afternoon and then turned the gun on himself. Six people, including the shooter, were killed on Feb. 26, 2020 at the facility. If there's one silver lining in a year marred by a deadly pandemic, civil unrest, and economic and political turmoil, it's this: The number of mass shootings that happened in public was the lowest in more than a decade. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

NEW YORK — If there’s one silver lining in the tumultuous year of 2020, it’s this: The number of mass shootings that happened in public was the lowest in more than a decade.

Experts who research mass killings say there are two key reasons for the sharp drop-off. 

For one, most people avoided going out in public during the coronavirus pandemic. 

That meant there were fewer opportunities for slayings in workplaces or schools. 

For another, Americans were so focused on other tragedies that would-be gunmen were less likely to consider carrying out attacks. 

A database compiled by news organizations shows just two public mass shootings this year.

Both happened before lockdowns took hold.