Politics with Jarred and Dave is a progressive leaning page on Facebook that is run by Dave of Port Townsend Wash., Jarred and Joan of Tacoma Wash. Christians Against Obama’s Re-Election are a conservative leaning page, they are two of thousands of political groups on Facebook and in social media driving the conversation about gun rights versus gun control since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
In social media, progressive pages like Politics with Jarred and Dave, Anti-Republican Crusaders, and The Christian Left and conservative pages like Christians Against Obama’s Re-Election, Failures of Barack Obama, and November 6, 2012 America’s Suicide drive the conversation with commentary and memes to express views on guns. Users of Facebook then like, dislike and/or share the views they find agreeable; political pages in social media are the identity through which users participate in the conversation.
Progressive leading pages and aligning users are advocating gun control; wanting what they describe as sensible gun laws. Laws that they state would:
- Help prevent guns from getting into the hands of criminals and the mentally ill,
- Close loopholes around background checks at gun shows and internet gun sales
- Limit ammunition of military-style weapons and high capacity weapons.
A poll conducted by Republican Party strategist and published by Business Insider states that even most NRA members strengthening gun laws. A few even argue that not doing anything can actually be seen as a national security issue.
Conservative leaning and the users who align with them are protesting what they see as further encroachment of second amendment rights and the possibility they see of an outright gun ban down the line; they align with statements made by NRA representatives. Some argue that it could be necessary that gun owners will need to protect themselves not only from criminals or even a bear in the woods, but rather from the United States government. Another argument many make is that guns are needed because we live in a violent society and that the only way to stop it is for Americans to buy more guns. Advocates from congressional representatives to the NRA are in support of measures to put guns in the hands of teachers and college students on school campuses and armed guards if necessary because they believe good people with guns can stop bad people with guns
Another tool in social media is the crowdsourced interactive project being conducted through Slate.com and @GunDeaths. Through data collected at the twitter feed of @GunDeaths and then published by Slate.com it can be reported that since the Newtown shootings there have been 812 gun deaths in America as of January 13, 2013.