Back in late 2013 I checked how popular various pro- and anti-gun groups were on Facebook at Twitter. I figured I’d repeat the analysis to see how things have changed in the intervening years. Newly-added groups or individuals are bolded.
Gun Rights Groups:
- National Rifle Association (Facebook): 4,360,790 (2013: 2,748,839) +58.64%
- National Rifle Association (Twitter): 294,000 (2013: 191,692) +53.37%
- Gun Owners of America (Facebook): 1,107,856 (2013: 276,867) +300.14%
- Gun Owners of America (Twitter): 68,300 (2013: 22,786) +199.75%
- Second Amendment Foundation (Facebook): 378,722 (2013: 119,810) +216.1%
- Second Amendment Foundation (Twitter): 11,200 (2013: 4,962) +125.72%
- National Association for Gun Rights (Facebook): 4,274,248
- National Association for Gun Rights (Twitter): 7,424
- Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (Facebook): 205,747
- Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (Twitter): 1,442
- National Shooting Sports Foundation (Facebook): 348,490 (2013: 157,718) +120.96%
- National Shooting Sports Foundation (Twitter): 41,800 (2013: 21,104) +98.07%
- SHOT Show – run by NNSF (Facebook): 96,866 (2013: 44,573) +117.32%
- SHOT Show – run by NSSF (Twitter): 51,400 (2013: 23,649) +117.35%
- Glock, Inc. (Facebook): 1,475,378 (2013: 614,185) +140.22%
- Glock, Inc. (Twitter): 158,000 (2013: 63,336) +149.46%
- Smith & Wesson (Facebook): 1,184,344 (2013: 680,937) +73.93%
- Smitth & Wesson: (Twitter): 140,000 (2013: 54,447) +157.13%
- Sturm, Ruger & Company (Facebook) 493,549 (2013: 345,734) +42.75%
- Sturm, Ruger & Company (Twitter): N/A (Ruger appears to have no Twitter presence anymore.) (2013: 18,310)
Gun Control Groups:
- Americans for Responsible Solutions (Facebook): 177,283 (2013: 89,414) +98.27%
- Americans for Responsible Solutions (Twitter): 1,671 (2013: 210,708) -99.21%
- Mayors Against Illegal Guns (Facebook): N/A (MAIG no longer has a Facebook account.) (2013: 19,271)
- Demand Action – MAIG on Twitter (Twitter): N/A (MAIG no longer has a Twitter account.) (2013: 26,860)
- Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America (Facebook): 442,548 (2013: 122,938) +259.98%
- Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America (Twitter): 36,500 (2013: 12,254) +197.86%
- Brady Campaign (Facebook): 112,893 (2013: 58,650) +92.49%
- Brady Campaign (Twitter): 25,600 (2013: 17,170) +49.1%
- Violence Policy Center (Facebook): 58,268 (2013: 20,571) +183.25%
- Violence Policy Center (Twitter): 3,926 (2013: 1,934) +103%
- CSGV (Facebook): 198,066 (2013: 46,314) +327.66%
- CSGV (Twitter): 13,800 (2013: 9,575) +44.13%
- Shannon Watts (Facebook): 1,166
- Shannon Watts (Twitter): 11,800
- Everytown for Gun Safety (Facebook): 905,324 (Everytown didn’t exist in 2013, but was formed from MAIG.) +636.41%
- Everytown for Gun Safety (Twitter): 56,500
What can we learn from these numbers?
Compared to the 2013 stats, all entries on the list except Ruger (who discontinued their Twitter account) and ARS (who lost essentially all of their Twitter readers, for whatever reason) had significant growth.
The NRA alone has more than 2.3x the number of Facebook followers of all the gun control groups combined. The National Association for Gun Rights is nipping at the heels of the NRA, with 98% of the number of followers. The GOA has only 58% the followers of all the gun control groups combined, though they dominate all the gun control groups except Bloomberg-funded Everytown.
The Brady Campaign (5.9% of gun control followers) and VPC (3.1%) are more or less rounding errors, with ARS (9.3%) and CSGV (10%) being only slight better.
Everytown alone has 47% of the total number of gun control followers. Everytown + MDA make up 71% of the total number of gun control followers, though the GOA + SAF have 10% more followers than Everytown + MDA. Glock alone has 9.5% more followers than Everytown + MDA.
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a Colorado no-compromise gun rights group, has more Facebook followers than any gun control group except Everytown and MDA.
Recently I’ve seen gun control advocates suggest that they have enough people on their side to join the NRA en masse, outnumber the gun owning members, and either dismantle the organization or vote in NRA elections to change the group’s position on issues. Although absurd on its face, the proposal is even more laughable when you consider that the grand total of people who’ve clicked “Like” to *any* of the gun control groups on Facebook is less than half the number of people who’ve done so for the NRA even though clicking “Like” involves no expense or effort. Actually joining the NRA requires the expenditure of actual money for 5 years to get voting privileges, something essentially none of the gun control advocates are willing to do.
Every single one of the gun-rights groups is a membership organization funded by dues-paying ordinary people. None of the gun-control groups have dues-paying members, and while some individuals and groups donate money to the groups, the vast majority of the funding for Everydown and MDA (the only groups that matter) comes from Bloomberg and other wealthy elites.
Gun control groups are basically paper tigers, though backed by Bloomberg’s billions, at least two of those tigers have a bit of a bite. We should be wary.