Gun Violence Visualized

Guns are a hotly debated topic in the United States. Whether you stand behind the Second Amendment or lean toward gun control, most can agree on a goal of identifying insights that can help reduce gun violence. On these pages we visualize trends in gun violence, allowing users to compare gun deaths at both international and local levels, including US county detail. We take a broad look at “gun violence” including murders, suicides and mass shootings with the goal of identifying who is dying and who is most at risk for hurting themselves or others with guns. Our team’s goal is not to push any one agenda, but to inspire a more informed debate on the topic.

International Context

Gun violence is present throughout the developed world. Most developed world deaths are related to natural causes. Deaths in the Under 35 age group can hightlight preventable causes of death.

Hover over the bars below to learn about causes of death in various countries.

*Note: All other causes of deaths include the following but are not limited to: poisonings, exposure to mechanical forces, animal contact, unintentional suffocation, adverse effects of medical treatment, and more.

Gun Violence Across the U.S.

It is apparent that US gun deaths are among the highest in the developed world. Spatial patterns of gun violence differ widely from state to state over time, and gun-related suicides follow a spatial pattern distinct from gun-related murders.

Click on a state to explore county-level data and use the slider to see how death rates have changed over time.



Show Mass Shooting Events


Deaths per 100,000
population

Who is Dying and How?

Guns are within the top 5 causes of death in every state for young Americans. In fact, gun related deaths are prevalent in every race and age group in the US.

Click on your state to see its demographics reflected in the charts.

*Note: These charts focus on deaths of those under the age of 35. Beyond the age of 35, natural causes, such as aging and chronic diseases, account for an increasing share of deaths. Specifically examining deaths in the Under 35 age group allows for a better understanding of other possibly preventable causes of death.

Murder Weapons

The majority of murders in the U.S are committed with firearms. Firearms drove a prominent increase in overall murders during 2015-2016.

Use the Firearms versus Non-Firearms filter to see the trend in each of these groups of weapons used in murders.

*"All Other Means" includes Asphyxiation, Drowning, Explosives, Fire, Narcotics, Poison, and Strangulation.
*"Firearms, type not stated" can include murders using homemade guns and murders where the murder weapon was not recovered.
*"Other Weapons or Weapons Not Stated" potentially includes firearms.

Perpetrators

Certain age groups seem most vulnerable to committing murder, mass shootings and suicide with firearms. Further research of underlying causes in these age groups may help prevent future acts.

Hover over the following cells to see the percentage of perpetrators in each age group, by category.

*"Mass shooters" are defined as those killing or injuring 3 or more people in a given event.

The US has lost more lives to gun violence than most developed OECD countries. Unfortunately, partisan politics and emotionally charged arguments over gun ownership rights often cloud the issue and make objective investigation difficult. Innocent lives are lost every day, and the visualizations above demonstrate that gun violence is not a problem solely of one state, and no age group or race is bulletproof.

About

Project Contributors:

Kim Vignola

Graduate Student, UC Berkeley Master of Information Data Science
Former Vice President of Research & Analytics at NBCUniversal

kimvignola@berkeley.edu

Kevin Gifford

Senior GIS and Data Analyst at BERK Consulting
ksgifford@berkeley.edu

Luke Evans

Global Analytics Manager, Digital Transformation Project at ExxonMobil
luke.d.evans@berkeley.edu

Divya Sriram

Associate Analyst on the People Analytics Team at Atlassian
divyasriram@berkeley.edu

Data Sources:

OECD Data:
  • Global Burden of Disease Collaborative Network.
  • Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 (GBD 2016) Results.
  • Seattle, United States: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), 2017.
  • Available from http://ghdx.healthdata.org/gbd-results-tool.
U.S. Gun Deaths (Firearm Related Assaults, Suicides & Accidents)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2016 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released December, 2017. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2016, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Other external causes of accidental injury, Intentional self-harm, Assault by Firearms.

Mass Shooter Data

The Kaggle Mass Shootings verified database was cross checked with the The Mother Jones US Mass Shootings database. Age of perpetrator(s) was manually updated for 2015/2016 cases where convictions were now available. This study defines “Mass Shooters” as those killing or injuring 3 or more people in a given event.

Murder Perpetrator Demographics

FBI Expanded Homicide Data Table 2, 2012-2016.

Weapons

FBI Expanded Homicide Data Table 4, 2009-2016.