Data Viz Done Right

October 3, 2015

Mass Shootings: America's Gun Violence Problem

Another mass shooting in the USA. 17 more people shot. 10 dead. 7 wounded.

So what’s one to do? How about find some data and see if a visualisation can have an impact?

This morning, I woke up early thinking about the data. I didn’t want data about murders; I wanted data about shootings. Why? Because if shootings don’t occur, then gun murders can’t occur.

A Google search turned up the amazing website Mass Shooting Tracker. They’ve been collecting data about mass shootings since 2013. Their explanation of what and why they track what they do is critical:
The most obscene incidents of gun violence usually do not make the mainstream news at all. Why? Because their definition is incorrect. The mainstream news meaning of "Mass Shooting" should more accurately be described as "Mass Murder".
The old FBI definition of Mass Murder (not even the most recent one) is four or more people murdered in one event. It is only logical that a Mass Shooting is four or more people shot in one event.
Here at the Mass Shooting Tracker, we count the number of people shot rather than the number people killed because, "shooting" means "people shot".
I downloaded all of the data, parsed out the locations, loaded them into Batch Geocoding and viola…all the data I needed to build this viz.


  1. My analysis on the same topic
    where your article is referenced.