RPD: Localizing A Tragic Story

92nd in a 2022 Series*

There is plenty of reporting to be done localizing the massacre in Uvalde, Texas. And Buffalo, NY. Consider initially documenting trends in three areas:
Gun ownership and gun purchases: Lots to consider. Start with what percentage of local households and commercial establishments own guns. If you want one focus, analyze statistics on the type of guns — “assault rifle,” long guns, or those that fire large amounts of bullets in short periods — that were used in the New York and Texas mass shootings. Another focus: Guns being bought by individuals age 21 and under.
Mental health and treatment: If you want one focus, report how many people have been identified as threats and what happened after the initial inquiry. Explain how local authorities treat reports of dangerous individuals, antisocial behavior, or people in danger. Also: Describe in numbers your community’s safety net to treat mental illness.
Deaths and injuries involving guns: Compare and contrast with other causes of death and injury.
If possible, analyze over the last 10 years. A narrower range could be the pandemic years as we are learning the dangers of prolonger isolation.
Added starter: Crime reports involving incidents on school properties.
In all efforts, stick to the facts. Run counter to today’s opinion first, facts later. Godspeed on such important Relevant coverage.

–Tom Silvestri, Executive Director, The Relevance Project

*ABOUT THE SERIES: Our goal is to share a Relevant Point of the Day (RPD) each weekday throughout 2022. Our target is at least 222. Thank you for supporting The Relevance Project. Your success is our focus.

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