The fun begins
I started logging information for newspapers in Oregon. At present, I log classify 25 newspapers in 8 minutes (roughly 188 per hour). The most time-consuming part is copying the link from the balloon that pops up when I click on a newspaper's location. I'm thinking about better ways of doing this, but at present, I should be able to finish most of the west coast in a week or so. The east coast will take longer, as there are more newspapers and they're more densely packed - hence more zooming necessary. I'm still trying to think of an effective way of MTurking this.
Statistical Background on Gun Violence
At this stage of the project, I have been focused on ascertaining what information about gun violence was previously collected by the CDC and other government agencies, and how these statistics are gathered.
What the CDC used to collect
I found a report from pre-1997 which focuses on injuries and deaths related to firearms. Additionally, I found a a table in a more general report from 2001 which lists causes of death by "mechanism" - "firearms" is one of the categories. Additionally, this report illustrates some of the "circumstances" of firearm injuries - eg. whether they occur at work, or due to "interpersonal violence". The report also includes this handy graphic:
While this report does speak to how firearms are used, it doesn't really say anything about the demographics of the people involved in these types of incidents. Additionally, I have found no information for any year more recent than 1998.
How they get the data
The Bureau of Justice Statistics also uses data from NEISS to inform its reports. They also run their own program called Firearm Inquiry Statistics (FIST) Program which has information from 1994 - 2005 which includes "[d]ata ... collected directly from state agencies conducting background checks and from local checking agencies and [including] the number of firearm applications made to the agency, firearm applications rejected by the agency, and the reasons for rejection". (Example summary information from the 2005 report: only 1.6% of firearm applications were denied in 2005 - 46% because the requester had a previous felony conviction).
The next steps for me will