Saturday, January 16, 2016

Remember When The Complaint Was That There Were More FFLs Than Gas Stations

Chelsea Clinton tweeted a link to this map:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reports that 64,747 licensed gun dealers (defined here as gun shops, pawnbrokers, or individual sellers) existed in the U.S. as of December 2015. But that raw number alone might not mean much to you. So a new mapping project by data viz company 1point21 Interactive tries to contextualize this number by comparing it to something all Americans know exists in abundance: Starbucks.

Looking at the Federal Firearms License data, the first question I asked myself was, ‘Is that a lot—it sounds like a lot?’” Brian Beltz, who helped put the project together, tells CityLab. “That's why we chose to compare it to something that everyone knows and has a reputation of being on every corner.”

One troublemaker pointed to this appropriate xkcd cartoon:

Other troublemakers observed the silliness of comparing one chain to a whole industry.

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