Following the Sandy Hook shooting, gun control has dominated the national debate. On PolicyMic, the debate has been robust with 325 articles on the topic written since December 14, 2012 (5 articles per day). These articles have been read by 685,747 people, have been shared 40,804 times, commented on 20,227 times, and Mic'd 2,763 times. So what does the data show about the nature of the debate and the arguments on both sides?
Looking at average Mics per article, libertarians outperformed every group with a 16 Mic average, getting 12% more Mics than liberals. Looking at the total number of articles published, you can see that the right to bear arms supporters appear much more invested in defending their position than the gun control group (at least defending it on PolicyMic). In addition, looking at each story individually, you can see that the right to bear arms supporters brought more data to the table on average per article.
Gun control articles published since Dec-14 by self-reported political perspective:
Which type of articles performed best?
For libertarians, constitutional arguments performed best. Top 5 libertarian posts by Mics:
1) The Best Way to End Gun Violence? End the War On Drugs (Gary Patterson) – 38 Mics
2) Would Scrapping the Bill of Rights Stop the Next Adam Lanza? (Gary Patterson) – 37 Mics
3) Nobody Really Knows What an "Assault Rifle" is, So How Are We Supposed to Ban Them? (Mike Cooper) – 34 Mics
4) Why We Need the Second Amendment (Chad Higgins) – 25 Mics
5) Dianne Feinstein Assault Weapons Ban Makes No Sense If You've Read the Constitution (Phil Gwinn) – 22 Mics
For independents and moderates, data-driven posts and pragmatic solutions performed best:
1) 7 Gun Control Facts That Are Actually Myths (Jack Lee) – 47 Mics
2) A Modest Proposal to Curb Gun Violence Without Violating Gun Rights (Darwin Long) – 26 Mics
3) U.S. Murder Rate is Near an All Time Low, So Why More Gun Control? (Jack Lee) – 24 Mics
4) New York Passes Toughest Gun Law in America, But It Won't Solve Anything (Ethan Case) – 24 Mics
5) Mass Shootings: Looking for Answers Beyond the Guns (Barbara Shoff) – 21 Mics
For conservatives, analysis on the misconception of assault rifles performed best:
1) It's a Myth to Think the AR-15 is Not Actually a Hunting Rifle (Matt MacBradaigh) – 35 Mics
2) What is An Assault Weapon? Nothing More Than a Scary Term Created By Politicians and the Media (Elaine Hays) – 33 Mics
3) Assault Rifles Kill 5 People Every Year in NY, While Obesity Kills 6,000: Do Gun Bans Make Sense? (Matt MacBradaigh) – 25 Mics
For liberals, the two top performing articles focused on conservatives and the second amendment:
1) Mike Huckabee Blames Mass Killing On Lack of God In School (Elliot Friar) – 28 Mics
2) Is it Time to Change the Second Amendment? (Marko Ceperkovic) – 22 Mics
Overall, the right to bear arms supporters were more invested in defending their position than the gun control group. They drove more new registered users and were more vehement in defending their position against the opposition.