After Yesterday’s Shooting, More Americans Are Googling “Gun Control”

These maps show how gun rampages affect online searches.

In the wake of mass shootings, many of Americans turn—where else?—to the internet to look for answers. Google data reflects these searches in the wake of major shootings. Using Google Trends data, the Google News Lab put together a series of maps that show whether people in each state were more likely to search for the phrase “gun control” or “gun shop” in the 24 hours following the shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, in June; Moneta, Virginia, in August; and yesterday’s shooting in Oregon.

Over the course of 2015, the majority of searches in most states have been for “gun shop”: 

In the day after the Charleston shooting, the map looked much the same:

After the Virginia shooting, the map almost completely flipped:

So far, in the day after the Oregon shooting, the map is almost completely tilted toward searches for “gun control”:

You can see this data another way here:

See the full interactive map below:

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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