As we have seen since the slaughter at Sandy Hook, policy makers very often have a hard time keeping their eye on policy fixes that might actually save the lives of other first-graders, city kids, teachers, cops, grocery store clerks, wives, husbands, etc. It’s so much easier to play to the dumb-TV crowd, fans of slack firearms laws, and other enablers of gun violence — no matter how many additional firearms deaths are recorded. Well, the good folks at Slate have fashioned a solution to help keep the public’s eye on the important subject at hand — the death toll from firearms in our communities.
Here’s a link to a nationwide grid and map, culled by Slate and the Twitter feed @GunGeaths, which show by name and location the ever-expanding number of firearms deaths since Sandy Hook. Each click of an assembled stick figure reveals another human tragedy, the range from hunting accidents and other accidental shootings to murder-suicides and gang-related shootings.
For example, there is small-sized stick figure for Aydan Perea, 4, who died after being caught in the crossfire of rivals gang in Kansas City. Another icon represents Rebecca Buffkin, 46, shot and killed by her boyfriend in Tabor City, N.C., according to police. Also making the map is Tyler Randolph, 20, shot and killed outside his Chicago-area home. Changes are good you will recognize names on the list: In case anyone has forgotten them, the map includes the deaths in Newtown on Dec. 14.