The Bundy family sure knows how to pick ’em.
The gun-loving, government-hating group that’s in a standoff with the feds in Eastern Oregon has holed up in one of the five most pro-gun congressional districts in the country, according to data provided to Mashable by the digital analytics and marketing company Resonate.
Ammon Bundy and his family aren’t locals by any stretch. They have been barnstorming the country from their home base in rural Nevada looking for places to take an armed stand against what they see as federal government intrusion, and landed at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters near Burn, Oregon, after a protest in support of a pair of ranchers headed to jail who were convicted of committing arson on federal lands.
But the pro-gun, anti-government attitude of the rural district — statistically the fifth-friendliest to the National Rifle Association in the nation, according to Resonate’s data — may explain the careful approach law enforcement and government officials have taken to handling the armed group. The local sheriff asked them politely to leave Thursday, offering them safe passage home if they’d just get out. Bundy and his compatriots rejected that offer on Friday, and are still holed up there, largely unmolested as law enforcement officials scratch their heads about what to do.
It’s no wonder the Almanac of American Politics refers to the sprawling rural district as part of the “leave-us-alone Rocky Mountain Basin.” Rural eastern Oregon has long been home to ranchers, loggers and cowboys. Unsurprisingly, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) has a lifetime A rating from the NRA.
“The stand-off in Oregon is news, but the strong pro-gun, anti-regulation viewpoint in that area is not, if you have the right data,” Resonate Chief Analytics Officer Michael Horn tells Mashable.
Below is a full national congressional map to give you a sense of where the NRA is most popular — and where it’s least liked — with the darkest red indicating the strongest support.
The strongest gun love is, perhaps unsurprisingly, in the whitest pockets of the libertarian-leaning Mountain West and the Deep South, with the only more pro-gun districts in the country besides Oregon’s in Louisiana, Georgia and Oklahoma.
The most anti-NRA districts are also the most urban and smallest geographically, making them harder to see on the map. Four of the five most anti-gun districts in the country are in New York City.
Resonate generated their district-level numbers using predictive modeling — matching the type and distribution of content people across the country consume on news, lifestyle, and commerce sites, matched to extensive interviews of more than 250,000 people over the last two years about their values and lifestyles.