This Is How Close We Live to Gun Violence


Here are some alarming findings about gun violence in the United States: About one in seven Americans now live on a block near a recent gun homicide, a figure that has grown drastically since before the pandemic.

The New York Times recently mapped every gun homicide in the United States since 2020, and then drew a quarter-mile circle around the scene of each one to determine how many people lived in proximity to the killings. The total was 47 million Americans, 8.7 million more than before the pandemic — a sign of how gun violence has spread into new neighborhoods.

“There are a lot more guns on the street, and when people get angry and frustrated, instead of getting into a fistfight, they get into a gunfight,” said Dr. Regan Williams, an emergency room director at a children’s hospital in Memphis. He told The Times he had seen a surge in the number of young shooting victims.

The level of violence seems to have fallen since the worst days of the pandemic, but it’s still higher than it was before 2020. “The long-term impact of the surge in violence is being felt in many corners of the nation,” my colleagues wrote.

Read their full analysis of how the pandemic reshaped American gun violence.

The analysis includes a searchable map that shows in detail where gun violence has occurred in U.S. cities. I learned that there was a fatal shooting half a block from my apartment building in San Francisco in 2022.

The map also includes data on how many people in a city live near a recent gun homicide, and how those numbers have changed. You can explore the map here.

In California, the percentage of people living within a quarter-mile of recent fatal gun violence can vary greatly from city to city. For example, in Stockton in the San Joaquin Valley, 40 percent of residents live near a shooting, while in Riverside in the Inland Empire, a city of roughly the same size, only 15 percent do.

Here are figures for the 10 most populous cities in California, in descending order of the share of residents living near gun violence:

  • Bakersfield: 28 percent

  • Sacramento: 24 percent

  • Anaheim: 21 percent

  • San Diego: 17 percent

  • San Jose: 16 percent

Spending time at the beach is a staple activity for many families in the summer. Depending on the children’s ages and personalities, different beaches will appeal to different families.

The travel writer Freda Moon recently compiled for The Times a list of six beaches in the United States and Mexico that are especially good for specific beach activities, and one that made the list is Mission Beach in San Diego.

Moon wrote that Mission Beach is a sand-castle builder’s dream, offering not just the ideal type of sand for creating imaginative castles, but also castle-building lessons from the sand sculptor JT Estrela. The beach has a boardwalk amusement park, a beachfront swimming pool and several playgrounds as well.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword.

Halina Bennet, Briana Scalia and Lauren Hard contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at

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