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You can make a map of the US just by plotting this year's mass shootings

Brian Resnick is Vox’s science and health editor, and is the co-creator of Unexplainable, Vox's podcast about unanswered questions in science. Previously, Brian was a reporter at Vox and at National Journal.

America is exceptional when it comes to incidents of mass shooting. As Vox’s German Lopez has explained, "No other developed country in the world has anywhere near the same rate of gun violence as America."

In a way, the prevalence of gun violence in America defines our country. Here’s a visual representation of that.

Pulling data from the Gun Violence Archives, psychological researcher Will Gervais generated a map of all the mass shootings that have occurred in 2016. Then he deleted the lines that make up "map" portion of the visual. What’s left is kind of astounding: It’s a decently recognizable outline of the United States. You can see the beginnings of the Florida Peninsula and the outline of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as make out the Eastern Seaboard and the West Coast.

Will Gervais/Gun Violence Archive

The Gun Violence archive defines an incidence of mass shooting as "four or more shot and/or killed in a single event (incident), at the same general time and location, not including the shooter."

As Vox’s Lopez and Soo Oh point out in a story about the mass shootings since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, not everyone agrees with the Gun Violence Archives definition. But at least the archive’s data gives a pretty good visual of where incidents of very bloody gun violence are occurring. Few populated areas of the country are immune.

I asked Gervais if he could generate a "map" of all the incidents of mass shootings since 2013 (as far back as the Gun Violence Archives go). Here’s his plot. The shape is even clearer.

Will Gervais/ Gun Violence Archive

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