Google: The Internet’s Interest in Gun Control is Back to Pre-Newtown Levels
Google Trends is a service which allows you to take the historical pulse of the Internet on any given search term.
If we plug in the term “gun control” into the Google Trends engine we see that it is currently at Level 8 out of 100, with 100 being the month with the most interest in the search term historically.
As you can see from the chart above, the search interest in gun control varies widely, with spikes around highly publicized shootings and big elections.
As you can also tell, for July so far, the level of Internet interest in gun control is down over 90% since January of this year. January and December account for the #1 and #2 highest interest months respectively with numbers of 100 (highest ever) and 72. These were the largest search volumes for gun control ever, and also the highest since the expiration of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 2004.
April had the third highest numbers as this is when all of the Senate’s gun control bills were debated and voted on.
Based on these numbers it seems the public’s interest in gun control has all but faded. The numbers aren’t just lower than pre-Newtown, they are lower than pre 2012 election. Based on these numbers, fewer people are worried about gun control right now than they were in the lead up to the 2012 elections.
While these numbers are encouraging to the pro-gun crowd, this doesn’t mean it’s time to celebrate. On the contrary, these numbers show that the anti gun crowd can whip up support for gun control in a matter of days with the right media coverage. Example: Notice Nov 2012 went from a Level 13 search volume to a Level 72 in December, followed by the highest search volume ever in January.
Below is a more zoomed in version of the above graph, showing results for the last 12 months only. This let’s you see results on a week by week basis.