While the massacres at Charleston, Chattanooga, and San Bernardino grab most of the headlines, the real outrage of gun violence in America isn’t the mass killings. It’s the daily shootings that may or may not make the local news. Columbine-type events accounted for just 2% of the 33,000 gun-related deaths in 2013.
Type in a city or street address and see the carnage around that area. Fatal shootings are marked in red. Non-fatal shootings are in dark green. Clusters are indicated in light green bubbles, with the number of incidents in the middle.
Introducing the map, Alex Yablon and Chris Kirk note that Americans tend to dramatically underestimate the effect of gun violence around the country. When a Huffington Post/YouGov poll asked respondents how many people die from guns each year, the median guess was 5,000, which is less than a sixth of the total number. The map records 30,920 shootings between December 2014 and December 2015, but leaves out many suicides and incidents when flying bullets didn’t actually hit anyone (“though some of that gunfire undoubtedly affects those who witness or hear it”).
The map brings home the extent of gun violence by mapping everyone’s geographical relationship to it. I can see, for example, that there were 39 shootings within a mile of where I live in New York City, 12 fatal and 27 non-fatal. The closest incident was just 0.17 miles away. That’s chilling.