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:

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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