Mapping Gun Violence
We hear a lot of numbers about gun violence in America. Some of it is frightening, or it can come off as vague, contradictory, or nonsensical depending on the person wielding the information and the point they are trying to make with the selected data. There's a lot of reasons for this, from various ways of looking at the numbers statistically to politicians twisting those results to fit whatever preordained conclusion they want it to fit. For one thing, there's a lot of data out there, and thus a lot of numbers that can be pushed around to make different pictures. One way to bring this all home ... quite literally ... is to see the gun fatalities and injuries on a real-time map, which is exactly what has come of a collaboration between Slate and the Trace, who have built a fascinating searchable map of the U.S. of all of the gun fatalities and injuries thus far in American for 2015. It doesn't include suicides (which the writers feel is unfortunate, but to be honest is probably for the better) or incidents in which there were shots fired but no one was hurt (which would be an interesting addition if a reliable form of this data could be procured). But the data that is there does help to define the issue: Put in your ZIP code or city; see how many gun incidents happened there and in neighboring communities in the past year. Or zoom out and look around to see regional trends. It really does help to solidify a scary and nebulous issue, and bring it home in a way that makes it easier for wrap your head around.
Read the full story at Slate.
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