22 Jun

Map of the Week: Gun Violence

On June 12, 2016, 49 people were killed and 53 more were wounded in a shooting at Pulse, a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. At that time, it was the deadliest contemporary mass shooting by a single shooter in the United States before it was surpassed by the Las Vegas shooting in 2017. In the following two years after the Pulse nightclub shooting, there have been at least 700 mass shootings across the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 96 Americans dies by firearms every day.

An article published by the New York Times on June 10, 2018, presented the incidents around Pulse nightclub specifically. The base map imagery in this GIF is from ESA Sentinel-2 satellite, and locations of shootings are marked with red spots on the map. The data used in these maps are is from the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit research group that tracks gun violence using police reports, news coverage, and other public sources. As users scroll through the article, the buffer (radius) distance around Pulse nightclub increases and more red spots appear, indicating the number of incidents happening around the nightclub. Within a buffer of 13 miles, there have been 369 shootings in the past two years.

The data used in these maps are from the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit research group that tracks gun violence using police reports, news coverage, and other public sources. It shows how mass shootings are incessant, routine violence in the United States. It appears that the number of people getting injured or killed during such incidents has been gradually increasing. Notably, the major incidents over the last t two years all took place in sanctuaries or at public events – such as high schools, churches, and festivals. Recently, Thanks to many politicians and organizations have drawn more, much attention has been given to addressing the issue of addressing gun violence; however, seldom do these conversations lead anywhere.

The purpose of the interactive map and article is to raise the awareness of gun violence in the United States. Based on a study by Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama, Americans make up about 4.4 percent of the total global population, but own 42 percent of the world’s gun. Researchers have been working on investigating the phenomena of gun violence in the United States. In one study by Franklin E. Zimmering and Gordon Hawkins of the University of California Berkeley, it was concluded that the high rate of mass shootings comes down to guns. More gun ownership corresponds with more deaths by gun. An analysis of 10 countries shows that gun control legislation tends to reduce gun violence. After the shootings at Pulse and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a new state gun law was signed by Governor Rick Scott, which raised the minimum age to buy a firearm to 21 years of age from 18, and added a waiting period of 3 days. However, the issue of gun violence in the United States has still gone unsolved.

While other countries have instituted strict gun control laws after severe incidents that have significantly reduced gun-related violence, the United States has repeatedly neglected the importance of gun regulation laws.

Source: NY Times
Additional Information: Geography 2050