Gun violence has experienced an uptick across America over the past few years, with major incidents increasing five-fold over the past decade.1 In documenting these incidents over time, the Los Angeles Times has put together an informative timeline that dates from 1984 to present. Scrolling through each tragic moment in history, I yearned for an accompanying visualization to summarize this information. So, I decided to make such a viz in Tableau:
What the Data Tells Us
By plotting incidents on a map, we notice that incidents display a slight bent towards the West / Southwest regions of the U.S. Over time, incidents seem to occur on a more frequent basis with total casualties increasing, as well. Root cause is hard to determine, but an interesting article written in The Wall Street Journal posits that to stop the contagion of mass shootings, perhaps society should refrain from turning incidents into spectacles in the first place.2 By denying mass shooters the spotlight and focusing our efforts on prevention and care, perhaps we can reverse this alarming trend.
In a follow-up blog post, I’ll detail how I made this dashboard in Tableau and discuss the concept of layers in greater detail. Stay tuned!