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Kentucky Man’s Gun Violence Archive Is A Go-To Source For Gun Data

Courtesy Mark Bryant

With an average of nearly 100 gun deaths a day in the United States, eastern Kentucky native Mark Bryant thought it was time to do something. What Bryant did was create the Gun Violence Archive to track not just murders, but all acts of violence committed with a gun.

I spoke with Bryant about the archive ahead of his appearance at a Moms Demand Action meeting in Louisville this Sunday. You can listen to our conversation in the media player above.

On the role of the archive:

"We are not an analysis organization. We can do analysis if someone is so inclined, but our job is to collect and aggregate numbers from law enforcement, from government, from media, from any possible sources. We have 2,500 sources that our staff go through every day."

On why it is difficult to get gun violence data:

"The data could be collected by the government if they were so inclined. The FBI does collect crime data on all sorts of crime, but if you read their methodology you see that they get their data from about 60 percent of law enforcement agencies. The agencies are not required to send it in. Some don't have the budgets to do the reports, others just maybe are not inclined to send it in."

On treating gun violence as a public health crisis:

"While the NRA does not want research going on and they are adamant about [the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] not doing research, we provide research data for everybody from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, UC Davis — all sorts of large research projects are going right now with gun violence. And they are all either privately funded or funded somehow through their universities."

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for LPM. Email Bill at bburton@lpm.org.

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