The study used well-established spatial demographic methods for the analysis, geocoding addresses of firearm assault victims for the years 2013 and 2014, and then using American Community Survey data to categorize each neighborhood's demographics. The results were intriguing:
Firearm assaults were concentrated in low-income areas with predominantly Black residents. Although living in a higher-income area was protective for the population overall, it did not protect Black residents from firearm violence to the same degree as White residents. In fact, Black residents of the city’s wealthiest block groups had the highest relative risk of firearm injury when compared with White residents. Therefore, unlike previous research in Chicago, race does not appear to be a surrogate for economic status in determining violent firearm injury risk in Philadelphia. Rather, our findings echo those of Kalesan et al., who found that nationally, Black children were more likely than White children to be hospitalized with firearm injury regardless of neighborhood income level.The study is largely descriptive, and the authors admit that they aren't sure why these patterns exist, but the first step toward a solution is obviously to identify the problem. Their map below shows that firearm violence is not spatially random in Philadelphia, so the hot spots are the obvious starting points.