Last month was the first March in 18 years without a single school shooting in America
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted just about every aspect of American life. But there have been a few unintentional positive consequences from the nationwide lockdown.

Air pollution in the U.S. has dropped significantly, giving us a glimpse at what a post-carbon world may look like. NASA revealed that NO₂ pollution over New York and other major metropolitan areas in northeastern USA was 30% lower in March 2020.

Americans are also adopting shelter dogs and cats like never before. Since coronavirus first landed in the U.S. there have been countless stories of shelters running out of pets.


There is also one massive unintended consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic: March 2020 was the first March since 2002 that there wasn't a school shooting in the United States.

Most schools in the U.S. were shut down in early March to stop the spread of the virus.

Benny Lin / Flickr

In March 2002, a 13-year-old student brought a gun to school along with a hit list, but was subdued by a school resource offer before he had the chance to pull the trigger.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization that tracks gun violence in the U.S., there were seven shootings on school campuses in March 2020. However, four were accidental discharges, one took place between adults on high school football field, and two occurred on college campuses, but involved no students.

It's a chilling fact that to have a school-shooting-free March in the U.S. every school in the nation has to be shut down.

According to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, gun violence is the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. right after car crashes.

Everytown Research reports that there have been at least 33 incidents of gunfire on school grounds in 2020, resulting in ten deaths and 15 injuries. In 2019, there were at least 130 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 32 deaths and 77 injuries.

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Gun sales have skyrocketed in the U.S. since the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in the U.S. The FBI conducted 3.7 million background checks in March 2020, the highest total since the instant background check program began in 1998.

Over 2 million guns were sold in March alone.

The figures are the largest since December 2015 when the Obama Administration raised the possibility of restricting assault rifles after a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

The rise in gun sales raises fears of an increase in shootings down the road.

"When this pandemic ends and we emerge from this physical distancing reality, the guns will remain," said Guns Down America executive director Igor Volsky. "Will there be increased mass shootings, school shootings, shootings at home, at work, at concerts?"

The unintended consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have given us a vision of the future that we may not have had otherwise. A future where children aren't gunned down in school and our air is clean to breathe.

Hopefully, these realizations will result in a new path forward where we can all breathe a little more easily — especially our kids.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

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Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Acts of kindness and compassion are always inspiring. A veterinarian gave a different spin on the phrase "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

The poor little pup in this video walked into this shelter with a history of being abused. He was so traumatized that he wasn't eating. The vet treating him wasn't sure what to do, so he decided to book a table for two: a the dog's place. It is not clear whether he got an official invite from the canine in question, but he felt pretty safe about showing up unannounced. He walked into the cage and sat down next to the dog. With his back up against the corner of his new (and hopefully temporary) domain, the rescue stared apprehensively at his human guest. The vet presented a dog dish with food and put it in front of the dog. The frightened pup just looked at the dish and made no attempt to eat. Then he broke out another dog dish identical to the one he just gave to his four-legged patient and started eating out of that bowl. And then came the turning point.


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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
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When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

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Do you know that guy who has never had an issue with his TV/internet provider? Neither do I. If you claim you have never had issues with your bill going up without warning, then you are either lying or you own the cable company. Jake Lawson apparently does not own a cable company, and was prepared to communicate his frustrations regarding his bill in a most creative way.

First off, Jake understands what everyone should realize. The customer service representative doesn't own the cable company either, so yelling at someone who is just trying to make a living like all of us is not the answer. Their job is hard enough as it is so give them a break. Jake gave them more than a break. He gave them a song.


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