The Huffington Post is running a lengthy feature which profiles the shooting deaths of five Americans over the past decade. Similar to the AP story from a few weeks ago that profiled the shooting deaths of Americans on a single day, the Huffington Post feature outlines the lives lost and, more extensively, their survivors.
Devin Aryal, 9, was killed by a mentally ill man while driving home with his mother from school:
On the one-month anniversary of Devin's murder, Aryal attended her first support group meeting. She said she hasn't managed to do much more than sit on her couch with the TV's white noise. She has been in her bedroom only to grab clothes. "I try to get in and out of there quickly," she explained. She keeps her bedroom door closed at all times.
Chris Heyman was killed when a man searching for meth shot into the car he was in with a group of friends:
"Every year on Chris' birthday, she [Chris's mother] returns to the overpass. Twenty-one was tough. Heyman bought a piece of chain-link fence and tied it to the bridge. She weaved a ribbon through it to spell Chris' name. She was proud that she thought of something that didn't blow away. "Sometimes I think it would be easier to be dead than alive," she said.
While supporters of guns would argue that people who want to kill will kill anyway, most of these stories highlight the randomness of their deaths, the targeting of people only because they were within the range of a gun.
The graphic above, which tracks the amount of gun deaths since the Newtown massacre, serves as a grim reminder that partisan gridlock is only one symptom of a culture of violence that has resulted in more American deaths than all the wars in the country's history.