Current Weather
The Spy FM

Tracking Gun-Related Deaths, One Tweet At A Time

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
December 28, 2012

How many Americans died on Christmas Day from a gun shot? How many have been shot and killed since the Dec. 14 mass shooting at a school in Newtown, Conn.?

No one knows for sure. Authorities pull together annual figures, but not daily reports on gun-related murders, suicides and accidental deaths.

Slate and a citizen journalist who tweets as @GunDeaths are trying to fill at least some of that information void. Their admittedly incomplete data suggest that on average, at least 17 Americans a day have died from gunshots since the Newtown shootings that claimed the lives of 20 children, seven adults and the gunman.

Dan Kois, a Slate senior editor, tells NPR’s Audie Cornish that the project is “our best attempt to collect up all the gun deaths in America.” The goal, he says, is to put some names and stories behind such deaths. As the debate over gun control since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School continues, says Kois, “it’s hard to really know what kinds of decisions we should make” if more isn’t known about gun-related deaths.

The information that Slate and @GunDeaths are relying on to produce an interactive chart comes from newspapers, TV stations and websites run by trained journalists. The anonymous @GunDeaths began collecting and tweeting the reports after the July mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. The data are incomplete, Kois concedes. Many suicides by guns, for example, go unreported.

But he believes the project is painting a picture of the role guns play, every day, in the lives and deaths of Americans. Clicking on the icons in Slate’s chart leads you to news reports about each person’s death.

Twenty children and six adults were killed by a gunman at the Sandy Hook school. He also killed his mother that day, and took his own life.

As for Christmas Day, so far Slate and @GunDeaths have collected reports about 21 gun-related deaths.

And as of earlier today, they had reports about 242 gun-related deaths since the shootings in Newtown.

The Slate interactive chart and more about the project are online here.

Much more from the conversation with Kois is due on today’s All Things Considered. We’ll add the as-broadcast version of the interview to the top of this post later. Click here to find an NPR station that streams or broadcasts the show. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

9PM to 10PM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

10PM to 11PM The Blank Generation

The Blank Generation

Our punk show, The Blank Generation, is hosted by Katie Jones and Chad Hunnicutt. Katie has been attending punks shows for more than half her life. Chad is a member of local band, The Muck Savages.

View the program guide!

11PM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center