What Americans are asking Google about guns

The devastating deaths of 17 Florida high school at the hands of a troubled teen armed with an AR-15-style rifle have brought the ever-simmering debate over gun control to a boil not seen since Sandy Hook.

Across the country, people are wondering what can be done to prevent mass shootings from becoming the new normal.

If Google searches are a fair indicator, there has been much more interest in than gun rights since the shooting last Wednesday.

Before last week, searches for "gun shop" topped searches for "gun control" in every state except Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Utah. Now, "gun control" beats "gun shop" as a search term in every state but Kentucky.

Here are the questions Americans are asking about gun control in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School , according to Google Trends.

1. What is gun control?

2. What can I do about gun control?

3. What did Obama do for gun control?

4. How many shootings happened in 2018?

5. Why we need gun control?

And although "gun control" has been a search topic around the world, the interest is by far strongest in the U.S.

The leading search topic related to gun control is Emma Gonzalez, the Stoneman Douglas student whose fiery rhetoric has propelled her to fame and made her one of the most recognized faces in the post-Parkland gun control movement. Three more of the top-5 searches globally were related to upcoming demonstrations for gun control.

Here were the top-5 topics related to gun around the world:

1. Emma Gonzalez

2. March For Our Lives

3. Switzerland gun laws

4. National walkout

5. March For Our Lives 2018

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Web-based search data is a new key to understanding public reaction to major societal events

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Citation: What Americans are asking Google about guns (2018, February 20) retrieved 13 April 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-americans-google-guns.html
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