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See How Many People Were Killed By Guns Last Year, And The Lives They Might Have Led

This visualization shows the massive loss of potential from the 11,419 people—almost half under the age of 30—who were killed by guns in the U.S. in 2013.

502,025. That's the number of years the people who died from guns last year might have lived, if their lives weren't cut short. Think what they might have achieved with that much time.

The graphic here was prepared by Periscopic, a data visualization firm in Portland, Oregon. It arrived at this enormous statistic by combining two sets of data: the FBI’s Unified Crime Report, which records not only the number of gun deaths, but also the age, gender, and race of the victims; and the U.N.'s demographic data to estimate life length.

Periscopic's Dino Citraro says it was a "quite difficult" exercise to immerse himself in the massive loss of potential life that the FBI’s Unified Crime Report represents.

A few data-points. Of the 11,419 people who died from guns in 2013, 84% were male, and nearly half (48%) were under 30. Most were killed with a handgun, and the majority were black.

For a more interactive version than what's here, go to Periscopic's own page.

Add New Comment


  • Scott Stolar

    While there were 11,419 gun deaths last year. So that means 197,000,000 did not kill anyone. That means that gun owners are incredibly safe. The problem is not the gun, but the individual that uses it for murder. Take the gun away, you still have a murderer

  • David Pearson

    Hey there, Ben. I'm not surprised by the comments which are deflections of your point. The talk of abortions? It's irrelevant to your post, and folks can do their own story on that topic. The point re swimming pools and cars? Again, folks can do their own story on that. The talk of suicides? Yes, an important point, but doesn't take away from the fact that a gun was used in many cases. And before folks label me anti-guns, I'm not. I've got friends/family with guns, but they don't object to the call for improved background checks and they don't try to deflect the death-by-guns reality of what's going on in this country. Thanks for your piece.

  • Dan Jones

    Sorry but there is 315million people in US and by your count 12,000 people died to fire arms, that is .00038%. That is not even 1%. Tell me again about how we all need to fear guns. You are far more likely to die in a car accident then you are to be killed by a fire arm. Yet I do not see anyone screaming to have cars banned. 40,000 people died in car accidents in 2005 and 2.9million injured. Yet you scream about Guns killing people. I bet you say that republicans are fear mongers that scare people to bend to their will. Yet here you people are fear mongering trying to scare people into thinking that everyday they are likely to be shoot by a fire arm and die. You are a hypocrite.

  • Lee Cruse

    Not sure that any thing interesting is reported in this article. Certainly, one more anti-gun hit piece with no positive outcome.

  • Dan Snelson

    57,135,675 abortions since 1973 and counting more than 3,93,999,497,250 years lost more dead than ALL the wars we have EVER been involved in, BOTH SIDES! your argument is invalid

  • Nate Fansler

    They included suicide numbers in this so, it's basically worthless. They also don't state whether or not shootings by police or self defense is included.

  • Christopher Fortin

    Now do it with swimming pools! How about cars! Excellent rational argument here against all the things. Next week, do a negative version for all the time/lives saved by guns. It will be great.

  • I agree Mr. Fortin. Of the areas where these deaths took place, I'm curious in the ather analytics- of the cities involved, did any of them have anti-gun laws in place? Of the cities involved were statistics given what the years lost were due to correctional facilities?

    It's easy to blame guns for deaths, crimes, etc- but who holds the operator of the gun accountable?

  • Charles King

    There were 33500 auto deaths in 2012. Gun deaths were close to 12000. Gee, 3 times as many auto deaths and no one talks about banning autos.

  • Charles King

    And if more people were allowed to carry concealed weapons, there would have been less gun deaths. Illinois, DC, , Michigan and NY have the strictest guns laws and they have the highest death rate by guns. HMMMM