BUFFALO, NEW YORK - MAY 20: People embrace near a memorial for the shooting victims outside of Tops grocery store on May 20, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. 18-year-old Payton Gendron is accused of the mass shooting that killed 10 people at the Tops grocery store on the east side of Buffalo on May 14th and is being investigated as a hate crime. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — After mass shootings killed and wounded people grocery shopping, going to church and simply living their lives, the nation marked a milestone of 1 million deaths from COVID-19. The number was once unthinkable. Now it’s a pedestrian reality in the United States, just as is the reality of the continuing epidemic of gun violence that kills tens of thousands of people annually. Americans have always tolerated high rates of death among certain segments of society. But the sheer numbers of what should be preventable deaths, and the apparent acceptance that there’s no policy change coming has people wondering: Is mass death now acceptable in America?