The Years That Guns Take Away from Human Lives

Esther Zuckerman
February 4, 2013

One way to look at the effects of gun violence in America is how many people have been killed. Another way to look at the impact: How many years have been taken from the lives of gun victims? Today, as President Obama prepares to deliver remarks in Minnesota about "commonsense ideas to reduce gun violence," that's what this graphic from Periscopic, which comes to us via The Guardian, attempts to show, looking at data from 2010. To get information on the number of murders Periscopic turned to the FBI's Unified Crime Report. But how did they estimate just how many years were shaved off of potentially long lives? Periscopic explains: "To calculate that, we used the World Health Organization’s UNSD Demographic Statistics, and performed an age prediction weighted according to the age distribution of U.S. deaths, paired with a likely cause of death at that age." 

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Scrolling over each line reveals details about the deaths, and the estimated age the victim could have lived to. The graphic also allows you to view the data by ethnicity, sex, type of weapon, age group, region and number of victims. Look for instance at the deaths by handgun compared to deaths with other guns: 

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You can also look at the graph in this manner to learn more information about the deaths overall rather than specific instances: 

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Click over here to explore the full graphic