'Gun control' or 'gun shop': Which was most searched in each US state after the Virginia shooting?

There were more searches for 'gun shop' in Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky

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The Independent US

Google has released search results showing what was on the minds of Americans in each state in the tragic aftermath of the shootings in Virginia, in which two journalists were murdered by a former colleague.

The tech giant mapped the Google searches in the 12 hours after the shooting, to see which states were searching for 'gun control' and which were looking for 'gun shop'.

The results give a surprising insight into the thoughts of Americans in the immediate aftermath of the deaths of reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward.

In the majority of states, 'gun control' was the most-searched term.

However, in a significant number of states, more people were looking into gun shops.

Many of these states were in the south - in Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina and North Carolina, 'gun shop' was the more popular search.

However, there were some outliers to the stereotypical north-south divide.

In northern east-coast states like Philadelphia, Vermont and New Hampshire, 'gun shop' was the bigger search, as it was in South Dakota and New Mexico.

Gun control is an emotive issue in the US, due to the constitutional right of all Americans to 'bear arms' (Getty)

It's important not to extrapolate too much information from these searches. Only one state which searched more for 'gun shop' - New Mexico - makes it into the top 10 list of states with the most guns per capita, so the Google search map doesn't suggest any kind of divide between states according to the popularity of guns.

But it does provide an interesting insight into the national mood in the wake of a shooting that has thrust the issue of gun control to the forefront of American culture yet again.


Alison Parker's father, Andy, said it is his "life's mission" to tighten gun control in the aftermath of his daughter's death. "We need to do something about crazy people getting guns," he said.

The President has also weighed in, pointing out that guns killed more people that terrorism in the USA, but stopping short of addressing gun control measures directly.

As the murders continue to be discussed, the arguments on whether to make it more difficult for people to get guns will continue.