Nothing lasts forever. Especially in the world of 24 hour cable news, stories fall off the radar faster than free cupcakes disappear at my day job. As for “gun control” being a topic in the forefront of the minds of Americans, it looks like the public may already have moved on. The Don’t Be Evil people provide something called “Google Trends” that gives people a glimpse into the search terms that their bazillions of users are looking for and how they change over time. And according to their results, people have stopped searching the web for gun control-related info . . .
While it’s true that search volume doesn’t necessarily equal national interest, another interesting trend is that “gun control” mentions have largely fallen out of the mainstream media as well. Dylan Byers at Politico notes the huge spike in articles about gun control in the news has been followed by a slightly less jagged cliff trailing off back towards the normal background noise that we see on a day-to-day basis.
This pretty much sums it up:
Blame it on the fiscal cliff, blame it on Christmas, blame it on our ability to forget, but the national discussion about gun control has once again ebbed. Mentions of the term “gun control” on television, in newspapers, and in online media are down to pre-Sandy Hook levels, according to the Nexis database.
Barring a post-holidy resurgence — which is certainly possible — the gun control discussion has once again gone the way of… the gun control discussion.
The “gun control advocates” had a narrow window to enact new legislation when people were still looking for a knee-jerk reaction, and they knew it. But it looks like their time has come and gone.
I’m really looking forward to the results from new polling — the most recent data we have are still from the weekend following the shooting. My guess is that the numbers are back to where they started.