The Wall Street Journal picked up a hope-inspiring dataset from Google showing a swift change in gun-related searching habits from before and after the San Bernardino shootings. It showed a massive spike for “gun control” searches (blue in the image above) related to “gun shop” searches (red). Yes, maybe we’re finally ready to get serious about this violent epidemic! Nope, not really.
We wrote a similar story back in 2012 after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that shows these big spikes, always followed by predictable slopes into normalcy. So while this Google data does show some interesting things—like Kentucky and Tennessee being the biggest gun nuts of them all, based on this search data—this spike will probably also plummet like all the other spikes before it.
So we can just keep stewing in our frustration and lament that there will most definitely be a mass shooting in the United States, at the very least one every day, and we’ll search about them. And we’ll wish and wonder how it could be different... again.