At first glance, America’s gun violence epidemic can seem overwhelming as there were more than 13,000 gun homicides in the United States in 2015 alone. According to a recent geographic analysis by the Guardian, these murders were scattered throughout 3,500 cities across the nation. What may come as a surprise to many is that half of these homicides can be linked to just 127 cities and towns – even when they contain less than a quarter of the nation’s population.
This violence is then further condensed into much smaller neighborhoods – those that contain a mere 1.5% of the population but a startling 26% of gun homicides. To put things in perspective, the average American is 25 times more likely to fall victim to gun violence than those in other developed nations but, those living in these neighborhoods face a rate 400 times higher. Homicide rates have just recently mapped down to the census tract level, thanks to the data collected by the Gun Violence Archive (GVA). GVA is a not for profit corporation formed in order to provide public access to accurate gun-related violence in the United States – it is here that you can find how gun deaths vary by congressional district.
Tragically the neighborhoods that face the biggest issues with gun violence are those already burdened with poverty, high unemployment rates and failing schools. These facts hold true for the city of New Orleans – with great disparities among violence rates throughout different neighborhoods. 22% of New Orleans census tracts saw multiple gun homicides, and these areas were responsible for more than 75% of the murders – a fact that quite literally, hits close to home.