Google Search: Trending Questions on “Gun Control” Answered!

Gun store sign

“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,” pronounces with not-so-carefully-concealed glee. “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 gun control than gun rights since the shooting last Wednesday.

Wait! Google searches are not a fair indicator of public sentiment for or against additional gun control in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. At best, they’re an indication of interest in gun control.

There’s no way of knowing why users want the information, what opinion they had before the search, and whether or not the information altered their opinion on gun control after reading it.

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.

Again, that information is all but useless without a deeper data dive to provide context. How do we know what percentage of users searching “gun control” were doing so to oppose new gun control legislation? We don’t.

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

What is gun control?
What can I do about gun control?
What did Obama do for gun control?
How many shootings happened in 2018?
Why we need gun control?

Notice the missing words “most popular.” As in “Here are the most popular questions Americans are asking about gun control.” They may well be, but they may not be. Anyway . . .

What is gun control? – Gun control is any law that infringes on Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Examples include background checks, firearms registration, ammunition magazine capacity limitations and “assault weapon” bans.

What can I do about gun control? – You can oppose it by voting for politicians who support Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, and speaking out for gun rights in public forums (e.g., the comments sections underneath mainstream media posts and within your social media). You also vote with your wallet, by purchasing firearms and gun gear.

What did Obama do for gun control? – President Obama promoted gun control while paying lip service to the Second Amendment. He signed legislation allowing Americans to carry firearms on Amtrak trains — locked in a container in the luggage compartment, after giving the government-run railroad prior notice.

How many shootings happened in 2018? – The official number won’t be known until the FBI releases its Uniform Crime Reporting statistics in 2019, which include justifiable homicides (i.e., defensive gun uses).

Why we need gun control?We don’t. Gun control doesn’t increase public safety. (Search “falling violent crime statistics” and “rising gun ownership rates” and connect the dots.)


  1. avatar paul says:

    Good point Robert. I google “gun control” all the time to see what anti’s are up to and dissect their arguments.

    1. avatar Bloving says:

      Given that gun control is a mythological concept (you can’t control an object via laws, only the people owning or operating said object), I insist on using a more correct term “gun owner control”.
      Tried googling that and came up with nothing – and that needs to change. We must regain control of the rhetoric and demand our opponents stop having free rein to lie and obfuscate their intentions:
      Gun control = gun owner control
      Gun control advocate = anti-civil rights advocate
      Assault weapon = any functioning firearm
      One of our biggest mistakes in this debate has been allowing the bigots to speak their euphemisms unchallenged.

  2. avatar Salty Bear says:

    Didn’t Obama also do something to allow people to carry guns in national parks?

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      You are correct: Congress removed the ban on carrying firearms on National Park grounds (although a ban still exists on carrying firearms into federally owned buildings in National Parks) and Obama signed it into law.

    2. avatar Mister Fleas says:

      Yes, Obama did sign that measure into law…but only because it was attached to a bill he really wanted. In fact, he protested the measure allowing carry into national parks.

  3. avatar former water walker says:

    Or you can ya’ know do an April 1775 thing…😄😎😏

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Tea in the harbor first?

  4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Say what you will about Ted Nugent: his recent Facebook post is a grand slam homerun that EVERYONE needs to read.

    Let’s all search Google for Ted’s recent Facebook post and make that the top search query on guns.

    For reference here are the first few sentences of Ted’s post:

    Fact: Evil is among us. Always has been always will be. And Evil is armed. Impossible to disarm evil. The only way to stop Evil is for good guys with guns to fill Evil full of holes.

    You can’t ban hurricanes so smart people fortify our homes. You can’t ban water so smart people learn to swim. When coyotes kill the cats you don’t declaw the cats.
    The bad news is that we are not going to stop Evil from attempting to kill our kids at school. What we can do is make it harder for Evil to kill our kids

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      I remember a comment from an Australian gun control advocate asked what do to about guns in America. She said it would take their children being attacked by other children to make changes.

      Obviously the ends do justify the means.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        It’s all bullshit. Australia’s not ‘disarmed’. It’s got more hidden arms than Iraq.

    2. avatar TexTed says:

      You can do a lot more than just make it a “top search” item. You can write to your congressmen and demand that they take sensible, real, workable solutions. You can damn sure bet that Shannon is writing to every congressman and congresswoman with her side of the story.

      Guys, we have to offer real solutions this time. If we do nothing, the outraged will grab onto the only “solutions” being offered — gun bans and other “feel good” horsecrap that will do nothing. We need to do SOMETHING. Let’s do something that actually FIXES the problem.

      Call your congressmen. Demand real solutions, like school fortification and armed security (whether volunteer, or existing CCW holders).

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        If you SEE something, SAY something.

        If you see a POS (D), tell them what an evil POS communist MFn scourge they are, in front of their kids. Settle-up with fisticuffs if necessary, or arms, if it comes to that.

  5. avatar John Thayer says:

    Grieving Teens Commiserate After M.S.D. Shooting

    1. avatar million says:

      this staged/coached interview where the kid keeps tripping over his canned responses is creepy..

  6. avatar EJQ says:

    I have googled “gun control”, but not in the last weeks. Know the enemy is the reason.

    Have you ever asked the question why did Obama accomplish so little on Gun Control, while talking about it so much?

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      I think I have part of the answer to that question; gun control isn’t anywhere as popular as the left would have us believe.
      If there’s one thing you can expect an establishment politician to do it’s protect his job (for an insight into that, google the salaries vs the incomes of politicians over their terms in office; somehow, the latter always seems to be a multiple of the former). They know gun control is a third rail issue; touch it and die. That’s why we see people like Pelosi advancing gun control measures they know full well will never get passed; usually, they don’t even make it out of committee. But “they tried,” which is good enough for their supporters who will believe anything they are told.

  7. avatar anonymous says:

    Can we stop using the phrase “gun control” and start using the phrase “gun-owner control“?

  8. avatar Mike B in WI says:

    DuckDuckGo people. No tracking, no selling of your information. Here is their information on their tracking policies:
    “Our privacy policy is simple: we don’t collect or share any of your personal information.”
    “We don’t store your search history. We therefore have nothing
    to sell to advertisers that track you across the internet.”
    “Other search engines track your searches even when you’re
    in private browsing mode. We don’t track you — period.”

    “Switch to DuckDuckGo and take back your privacy!
    No tracking, no ad targeting, just searching.”

  9. avatar 2aguy says:

    Obama was also stacking the courts with anti gun judges….he needed to protect his majorities in congress to protect obamacare, so he didn’t push for anti gun votes in congress. He also realized the best attack on guns was through the courts…you pass a local gun ban or confiscation, a left wing judge upholds the law, then they wait to get 5 anti gunners on the Supreme court to make it Constitutional…you bypass congress and local and state legislatures altogether……..that is what obama did…

  10. avatar Dan says:

    If you haven’t seen this short video may I recommend you do and pass it on as well. It is very much worth the time to view:

    1. avatar TexTed says:

      Don’t just pass it on to your friends. Pass it on to your CONGRESSMEN.

      The Republicans need to LEAD on this issue. If they drag their feet, they lose. They should stand up more forcefully for kids than they did for Steve Scalise.

  11. avatar Sian says:

    Google wouldn’t do that, would they?

    Push gun control searches up in order to forward an agenda?

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      I doubt Google ‘pushed’ gun control searches anywhere.
      Rather I believe exactly what the article says: raw data means nothing without context.
      If I do a Google search on Maserati, Google has no idea why I made that search. Do I want to buy one? Do I want to see how expensive they are out of curiosity? Do I want to laugh at people who would spend that kind of money when the same functionality could be had for a fraction of the price? Google (and anyone who uses Google’s data) has no idea.
      So if you run into someone who uses this kind of data to support gun control, now you know what the proper response should be.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Google wouldn’t do that, would they?

      Push gun control searches up in order to forward an agenda?”

      You tell me –

      I punched in “What is gun control?” in Google, and hit ‘enter’.

      Here’s the *first* result that popped up :

      “Gun Control Explained – The New York Times

      Oct 7, 2015 – Gun rights advocates say that means an individual right to gun possession, while gun control advocates say it means the people’s collective right, through a militia.”

      NO, the fucking Supreme Court said guns are an individual right.

      Even after ‘Heller’ and ‘McDonald’, they *still* beat that ‘collective right, through a militia’ dead horse…

  12. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    Gun control advocates can’t argue against the unstoppable truth that only armed people can stop an armed spree killer. Nonetheless, whenever spree killers strike their actions are followed by a moral panic which is accompanied by intense virtue signalling. We should always understand this stuff for what it is—symbolism. The entire gun-control argument is centered on institutionalizing symbolic values (like “gun-free zones”) which reflect the social norm aspirations of people feeling varying degrees of status discontent but which actually do little to defend people from spree killers.

    Virtue signalling is a form of public drama which allows affected individuals to gain approval by visibly aligning their values with people of similar values. Because gun-controllers are mainly interested in symbolic gestures, this is why People Of The Gun frequently see and comment on the obvious disconnect between their demands and the equally obvious practical reality of armed protection. It’s also why the emotional demands that government “do something” are never about providing more armed protection in schools and other public spaces. Gun controllers are at best only tangentially interested in actual protection. This is why none of the advocates’ voices ever mention the obvious advantage of an AR15 in the hands of a trained marksman who stopped a spree-killer in Southerland Springs, Texas.

  13. avatar BierceAmbrose says:

    Google “search” does not mean what they want you to think it means, either.

  14. avatar aircooled says:

    Of course people google gun control. The debate between isosceles and Weaver is never ending.

  15. avatar Anonymous says:

    Dumb. When I fight against gun control, I don’t type in “gun rights” in the search engine. I type in “gun control.” This is the MSM sleigh of hand where they attempt to play the lemming card by saying “Look! This is what everyone else is doing! You should do that too!”

  16. avatar BWBarr says:

    Hey Robert just curious did you snap that pic of the “Guns” sign at Ruff’s Sporting Goods in Flagstaff AZ?

  17. avatar jimbo says:

    What can I do about gun control? – You can oppose it by voting for politicians who support Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, and speaking out for gun rights in public forums (e.g., the comments sections underneath mainstream media posts and within your social media). You also vote with your wallet, by purchasing firearms and gun gear

    some-one ain’t read their Machiavelli ….
    none of those punk-ass ‘plans’ will work…..
    there is only ONE SOLUTION…you have to make these political FUCKs fear you more than they fear the gun-grabbers and the ‘liberals’ and the effin’ media…..
    when i say ‘fear’……you’ve gotta make them literally SHITe and PISS them-selfs in fear every time you ‘confront’ them…
    to do that….you gotta show them you mean bizz….
    there are only a very limited n° of ways to do that ……
    i’ll leave it @ that……

  18. avatar Big Bill says:

    Google rankings are based on the number of times that particular item was clicked on in searches. (an algorithm is used, but it’s based on that.)
    The ranking has noting to do with the quality of the item, only the number of times it was clicked. So, if a particular item is biased, that doesn’t matter to the rankings.

  19. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    This is why I live in the blue grass state, Kentucky. GUNS, GUNS, GUNS!!!!!

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