A recent study by the insurance company Netquote proved something you probably already knew: Nevada visitors and residents love to show off their guns. The study examined more than 6 million Instagram posts from 2013 to 2013 and came to some interesting conclusions. They looked for 12 hashtags such as #2A, #firearms, #girlswithguns, #gunporn, and #pewpew. Here are some of their findings:
- Nevada posts more than 200 firearm-related hastags per 100,000 residents.
- As a State, Nevada was #1 for gun hastags in the nation, followed by Haiwaii, Florida, Arizona, and Oregon.
- Interestingly enough, despite only ranking as the third-highest city for gun posts, the Paradise area, which is an area of unincorporated Clark County that includes the Las Vegas strip alone uses 1.34% of ALL gun related hashtags in the country. That’s a lot of gun posts. Paradise was beaten out by Gainesville Florida and Anna Texas for the #1 city on the list.
- The most common non-gun related hashtag used alongside gun posts was #lasvegas
- #2A which refers to the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, was the most frequently used gun-related hashtag in America from 2013 to 2015, ranking higher than even #gun.
- Usage of all gun-related hashtags, especially #2A, peaked in December 2015 showing as much as a 16,000 use increase since June 2013. This corresponds with the approach of the election year and the increased political attention related to the issue of gun control.
One of the driving factors for so much use in Nevada specifically, is the gun tourism industry, which draws in a lot of out-of-state gun enthusiasts to shoot exotic firearms. One gun store owner, Bob Irwin of The Gun Store on Tropicana Avenue said that social media is a great way to reach young people and bring in customers. “They’re standing in the lobby posting videos of themselves shooting before they even leave,” he said. “It’s a ritual.”
The study was attempting to draw a between gun violence and gun-related social media posts, with (debate-ably) mixed results. What the study ultimately concluded was that #gun social media mentions mirror the nation’s views for better or worse.” It would appear that support for the Second Amendment is as strong as ever in Nevada.