Mapping Gun Homicides in California

Aug 10, 2023
  • Description

Thanks to the meaningful investment and support from Kaiser Permanente, the California Gun Homicides 2014 - 2022 dashboard was built to visualize and conceptualize the available data of reported gun homicides; and is part of a larger effort by Hope and Heal Fund and RomoGIS Enterprises  to raise awareness about where and when gun-related homicides have occurred in California communities.

The team harnessed the collective power of gun violence prevention community stakeholders, data-gathering processes, and technology to publicize near real-time and accurate gun-related homicide data, which is needed in order to create actionable change to improve the safety and quality of life throughout California's communities. This project is an example of the strategic approach of Hope and Heal Fund, and we are hopeful that this challenges our field and contributes to furthering efforts to reduce gun violence in our state and across the country.

Our goal for this mapping project is to better contextualize and visualize current gun homicide data in California. Our efforts are intentionally aligned with the  Violence Policy Center 's recommendations "...to make current public databases more easily accessed and understood to increase their utility" (June 2019). We understand the available gun violence data is currently difficult for communities to utilize for actionable change. That is why we built both a filter by year and/or by county buttons along with an interactive chart in the dashboard, as well as made county-specific visualization tools, so that users of the dashboard can easily see and interact with available gun violence data for the state of California. With generous funding from Kaiser Permanente, Hope and Heal Fund and RomoGIS are able to do this work to better understand how to support California communities impacted by gun violence. 

This effort initially set out to counter inaccurate assumptions regarding urban centers being the primary drivers of gun homicides in California. The map clearly illustrates that non-urban settings are being impacted and contribute heavily to the total firearm homicides. Despite achieving our initial goal, this map has led to larger questions that we are currently investigating and attempting to map. Additionally, we hope communities, philanthropic organizations, the nonprofit sector, governmental stakeholders, and other key partners will utilize and benefit from this information. Specifically, we ask partners and stakeholders to consider the implications of this information and how it can be leveraged to develop opportunities that are strategic, focused, and surgical in reducing gun violence across the state.

Mapping Gun Homicides in California