Measuring the toll, drop by drop

As we wade ahead, we’re taking a much better count of the toll of violence.

We’re also thinking more about solutions.

Here is a good example from DePaul University journalism students

Guns, gangs and grief have all played a part in Chicago’s grim history of violence — from the days of Tommy guns and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre to today’s handguns and semi-automatic weapons.

The nation’s gun violence discussion focused on Chicago in January after 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot to death in a park less than a mile from President Obama’s Kenwood home. 

That followed a  2012 in which  Chicago had 506 homicides — 443 of them gun-related deaths, a 16 percent increase over the previous year. The first month of 2013 had 43 homicides, making it the deadliest January in a decade.

But there are signs of hope. Homicides in February dropped to 14, the lowest total in 57 years.

The Red Line Project staff spent the last two months tracking  gun violence in the city — the causes, possible solutions and the impact on communities. They interviewed dozens of sources, analyzed crime statistics, and produced videos, infographics and data visualizations.

This is what they learned …

DNA Info gives us a good graphic look at those who have lost their lives. It also helps because it provides other measures of crime and I’m convinced that homicide is a not a good measure.

It’s the total eruption – the collective count of shootings, stabbings and attacks that tells us what is happening and how it touches those communities plagued by crime. We are saving more lives than we once did and so homicide is not the measure it once was.

Here are their stats:

If you are doing the same reporting and you have produced similar efforts, let us know about it.

And especially if you have charted any details about gangs, I’d like to share that reporting.

talk to me,

photo by Carlos Javier Ortiz


Written by on March 6, 2013

Filed Under: News Coverage


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