What states are talking the most about guns on Instagram?

instagram gun hashtags hashtag mini twitter  amp printer thumb
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Listening to the American populace involves knowing where to look. And when it comes to one of our nation’s most hotly contested issues — gun legislation — Americans are taking to a rather surprising medium to express their feelings. Instagram has become an incredible tool for social listening, and thanks to new research for Net Quote, we have quite the picture of what the conversation around guns looks like across the United States.

A series of novel infographics from Net Quote show the frequency of 12 gun-related hashtags and their likes, and with over 6 million Instagram pictures ultimately analyzed, Net Quote has discovered “the who, what, and where of firearm fanaticism.”

Guns-on-Instagram_2-02 (2) (1)

Unsurprisingly, the states with the most gun-related hashtag use were also those with some of the most high-profile and tragic cases of related violence. Nevada, Florida, Arizona, and Oregon all saw over 200 gun-related posts per 100,000 residents. Nevada is the site of Cliven Bundy’s armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management; Florida is where unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin was shot by George Zimmerman; Arizona saw a 2011 mass shooting that resulted in the deaths of six people and left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords critically injured; and in Oregon last year, a shooter killed nine people at Umpqua Community College before using the weapon on himself.

Guns-on-Instagram_2-03 (2) (1)

In related news, Oregon also holds the top spot for likes for gun-related posts. Much of this, Net Quote surmises, may be due to the extensive debate in the state over the more recent armed standoff between the feds and local ranchers. And while Vermont boasts rather high rates of gun ownership, its residents aren’t liking one another’s Instagram posts about guns. This, apparently, is a private matter.

Guns-on-Instagram_2-09  In terms of talking about guns, Gainesville, Florida accounts for 2.61 percent of the gun-related hashtags in the whole country, and the state of Florida as a whole seems pretty intent on bringing firearms into the social media conversation. Texas, unsurprisingly, is also a popular place to talking about guns, as is California — six of the top 20 cities with the highest proportion of gun-related hashtags are located in the Golden State.

Guns-on-Instagram_2-08 (2) (1)

But what are they actually saying when talking about guns? Floridians and Texans are speaking pretty extensively about the NRA, which is unsurprising given the ongoing debate in both states over concealed carry laws. Texans are also particularly fond of talking about their #2a.

Guns-on-Instagram_2-08 (1)

This gun-related conversation is a relatively new phenomenon for Instagram, as Net Quote notes “a very obvious uptick” in gun talk between December 2014 and December 2015. There was a particularly pronounced period of increased activity following the Charleston church shooting, and given the frequent occurrence of mass shootings in 2015 as a whole, it’s no surprise that guns were a hot topic no matter where you went. Ultimately, Net Quote concluded, “where violent gun incidents are relatively low, #gun social media mentions mirror the nation’s views for better or worse.”

Social Media

LinkedIn: Now you can express love, curiosity, and more with new Reactions

LinkedIn is following in the footsteps of Facebook (three years later!) with the rollout of new reactions that give users more ways to express themselves when responding to posts in their feed.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

Clip from John Wick: Chapter 3 confirms the dog is totally fine

John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, the third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Gaming

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Movies & TV

The best Black Mirror episodes are disturbing, mesmerizing, and provocative

After watching all 19 episodes across four seasons and one movie, we selected and ranked the best Black Mirror episodes released so far. Read on to find out if your favorite episode from the award-winning Netflix series made the list.
Social Media

Looking to officially rid your inbox of Facebook messages? Here's how

Deleting messages from Facebook Messenger is almost as easy as scrolling through your News Feed. Here, we show you how to delete an entire conversation or a single message, both of which take seconds.
Social Media

Twitter’s experimental Twttr app is even more popular than the real thing

Twttr, the new app that lets regular Twitter users test new features, is proving more popular than the main app, according to the company. The revelation suggests some of the innovations may land for all Twitter users soon.
Social Media

Messenger and Facebook, together again? Facebook tests integrating chats

Longing for the old days where Facebook and Messenger were one app? Facebook is testing an integrated chat option. While Messenger remains more feature-rich, the test brings some chat functionality back into the Facebook app.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.
Social Media

Facebook toys with mixing Stories and News Feed into one swipeable carousel

Facebook's News Feed could look a lot like Stories if a prototype the social media giant is working on rolls out to users. The design change mixes Stories and News Feed posts into a full-screen slideshow that users swipe left to navigate.
Social Media

No more moon showers as Facebook Messenger’s dark mode gets official rollout

Facebook Messenger launched a dark mode last month, but to activate it you had to message the crescent moon to someone. Now it's been rolled out officially, and it can be accessed in a far more sensible way — via settings.
News

Twitter has revealed a launch date for its handy hide replies features

Twitter has revealed a launch date for a feature that lets users hide replies to their tweets. The hope is that it will help the original poster filter out offensive or irrelevant content from conversation threads.