Swarthmore College Students Hope to Reduce Gun Violence With Database

The home page of Delaware County's new Homicide Database.

With a goal of reducing gun violence, Swarthmore College students and faculty have created Delaware County’s first interactive homicide database, writes Kenny Cooper for WHYY.

The Delaware County Homicide Database has been up since Oct. 27.

The multi-sourced data researched over several years covers homicides by year, age, race, weapon type, and location.

Students in Swarthmore College professor Lee Smithey’s “Gun Violence Prevention” course worked with Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy, among others.

“We had a lot of conversations about how do we find a balance between presenting a full picture of gun violence in our communities using statistics and data points, but also not losing the kind of grounding, humanizing elements of all of these incidents of gun homicides as well,” said Swarthmore senior Oliver Hicks.

The database confirms that homicides do affect the suburbs as well as the city. It also shows most involve a gun and young Black men in their 20s are at disproportionate risk of being a victim, Smithey said.

Margie Reiley of Havertown, whose son was fatally shot in 2013, said the homicide database can educate the community and secure funding for community-based anti-gun violence programs, like the one in Chester.

Read more at WHYY about Delaware County’s homicide database. 


The Economist takes a look at gun violence in America.