From a distance, the United States can look like a nation of broad civilian gun ownership, frequent shootings, and stubborn resistance to stricter gun control laws. In reality, many places, even parts of cities that struggle with gun violence, like Chicago, Oakland, and Baltimore, are almost completely safe. The devastation of gun violence is clustered in particular areas, often racially segregated neighborhoods that have been shut out from a wide range of different resources, from good schools to grocery stores, The Guardian reports.
The nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which began tracking shootings and gun deaths using media reports, began to collect geolocation data for each incident – allowing, for the first time, a nationwide look at the precise geographic concentration of gun homicides. The Guardian analyzed the Archive’s 2015 data – matching the locations of more than 13,000 gun homicide incidents to the demographic data of particular census tracts, and analyzing the patterns of violence from single streets to neighborhoods to cities to the country as a whole. Half of U.S. gun homicide victims died in just 127 cities that represent less than a quarter of the nation’s population. Within those cities, gun homicides were further concentrated in tiny neighborhood census tracts that had seen multiple gun homicide incidents. Nationwide, neighborhoods that contained just 1.5 percent of the U.S. population saw 26 percent of the total gun homicides.