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Visualizing US Gun Killings in 2010

An impressive visualization created by Periscopic using public data. They calculated counterfactual stories for each of the individuals killed by gun violence, offering an alternate likely cause of death had they not been killed. Their description of their methods:

Our data comes from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, which include voluntarily-reported data from police precincts across the country. In 2007, according to the FBI, law enforcement agencies active in the UCR Program represented more than 285 million US inhabitants—94.6% of the total population. This special dataset is at the raw, or incident, level—containing details of each person who was killed, including their age, gender, race, relationship to killer, and more.

For the gray lines, we calculated alternate stories for the people killed with guns using data from the World Health Organization. To calculate an alternate story, we first performed an age prediction weighted according to the age distribution of US deaths. Using this age, we then predicted a likely cause of death at that age. We do not adjust for life-expectancy differences between demographic groups, as we have not yet found data to that extent. We used data from 2005, the most recent year available.

No words.

Dave Pell, writing in NextDraft:

There will be a brief debate about whether this is too soon to bring up the issue of gun control and gun violence in America. At the first press briefing following the shooting, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said “today is not the day” to debate gun policy. Every day is the day. Someone needs to lead. We’ll never be able to fully understand or control the madness in a mind that could conceive and execute an act like this. But we can at least enact policies that will slow down the rate at which killers can carry our their deranged plots and increase, if only slightly, the barrier between their tortured minds and our “beautiful little kids.”

The Onion:

Following the fatal shooting this morning at a Connecticut elementary school that left at least 27 dead, including 20 small children, sources across the nation shook their heads, stifled a sob in their voices, and reported fuck everything. Just fuck it all to hell.

All of it, sources added.

“I’m sorry, but fuck it, I can’t handle this-I just can’t handle it anymore,” said Deborah McEllis, who added that “no, no, no, no, no, this isn’t happening, this can’t be real.” “Seriously, what the hell is this? What’s even going on anymore? Why do things like this keep happening?”

Kottke has the best and most thoughtful coverage on this tragedy.