About This Project
Since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, we at Slate have been wondering how many people are dying from guns in America every day.
That information is surprisingly hard to come by. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, for example, has a tally atop its website of “people shot in America.” That number, though, is an estimate, based on the number of gun injuries and deaths recorded by the CDC in 2008 and 2009, the most recent years for which confirmed statistics are available. It seems shocking that when guns are in the headlines every day, there’s no one attempting to create a real-time chronicle of the deaths attributable to guns in the United States.
Well, someone is. Since this summer, the anonymous creator of the Twitter feed @GunDeaths has been doing his best to compile those statistics, tweeting every reported death he can find. He was inspired, he told us in a phone interview, by the Aurora, Colo., shootings and simply wanted to call daily attention to the toll that guns take. Now Slate is partnering with @GunDeaths to create this interactive feature, “Gun Deaths in America Since Newtown.”
Of course, these figures are incomplete. Not all reports get caught by @GunDeaths’ news alerts or his followers. Suicides, which are estimated to make up as much as 60 percent of gun deaths, typically go unreported. Nevertheless, we at Slate want to assemble the data as best we can.
The more people who are paying attention, the better the data will be. You can help us draw a more complete picture of gun violence in America. If you know about a gun death in your community that isn’t represented here, please tweet @GunDeaths with a citation. (If you’re not on Twitter, you can email email@example.com.) And if you’d like to use this data yourself for your own projects, it’s open. You can download it here.