Words & Votes is a simple visualization of two separate types of information related to gun violence: Tweets sent by members of Congress and their record on Capitol Hill.
The two primary data sets that Words & Votes uses have been edited for this visualization.
We pulled the tweets pulled directly from the Twitter accounts of members of Congress using search terms related to gun safety and rights, as well as, on days of mass shooting incidents including those in Newtown, Aurora, Oak Creek and other locations. We selected a representative number for each member of Congress. In some instances, members of Congress did not tweet on the issue; in others, the legislators did not have an active Twitter account.
Using GovTrack’s API, we pulled laws and bills from 1999 to the current legislative session. Each bill or law has been identified as supporting GunSafety, Gun Rights or as Neutral based on the contents of the bill and response to the bills outside of Congress.
If you come across a law that you think has been misclassified, we want to hear from you. Send us an email letting us know which law is misclassified, what the correct classification is and why it should be changed.
Votes are displayed based upon each representative’s presence in either the House and/or Senate. We display the vote values for the final or most recent vote. In cases where there was no opportunity to vote or the member did not vote, we indicate “No Vote Counted.”