Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Guns in America: A Statistical Analysis

With the Obama Administration making some moves toward changing gun legislation in the United States, I wanted to take a look at a website that chronicles all gun violence across America.  Gun Violence Archive is a non-profit corporation that was formed in 2013 to provide the public with updated and accurate information about gun violence in the United States.  GVA's mission is simply to document gun violence and gun crime and supply verified and accurate data that anyone can use for any purpose.  They use over 1200 media sources, aggregates, police blotters and media outlets and other sources to verify their data.  Their mission is not confined to the gun rights versus gun registration debate, rather, GVA attempts to help us better understand crime at the street level. 

Let's start by looking at GVA's gun violence archive for the first 5 days of 2016:

Here are two maps showing the location of gun incidents in the past 72 hours alone:

Here is a summary of gun incidents in 2015:

Here is a summary of gun incidents in 2014:

Now, let's total up some of the gun-related combined statistics for 2014 and 2015:

Total number of incidents: 104,369

Total number of deaths: 25,917

Total number of injuries: 49,966

Number of incidents of defensive use of guns: 2,856

Number of incidents of home invasion: 4,927 

Number of children aged 0 to 11 killed and injured: 1,320

Number of teens aged 12 to 17 killed and injured: 5,059

Number of children aged 0 to 11 killed in 357 incidents: 591

Number of teens aged 12 to 17 killed in 489 incidents: 570 

Already, in the first five days of 2016, 2 children under the age of 12 and 10 teenagers have been killed by firearms.

If you are interested, you can go to the Gun Violence Archive website and find out gun violence statistics for your region/city by using their interactive map feature under the "Reports" tab found here.  You can also download the data for 2014 to 2016 as a .csv file.


  1. You left out officers shooting people numbers for 2014 and 2015: 7575 or 7.25% of the incidents involved the police.
    2.73% for defensive use this is the most important number. So almost 10% of the time a gun is shot its for a legit reason. (for argument sake this assumes police shooting actual criminals with weapons that are actually attempting to harm the officers)

    1. Or another way to look at it 90% of the time someone is shot for non-defense purposes.