There’s a perception being propagated by the media right now that young people are rabidly anti-gun. That’s why they put high school kids on the news every night, intent on telling us what to think and what to believe.
However, it seems that millennials, for all the guff they get from people like yours truly, aren’t part of the anti-Second Amendment problem right now. In fact, they seem to be fairly pro-gun as a generation.
Millennials aren’t more liberal on gun control than their parents or grandparents, according to recent polls. To the contrary, there’s some evidence that gun control is supported less by people 30 and younger now than previous generations.
Gallup has been surveying adults under 30 for the past three years, and on average, they were just 1 percentage point more likely to support gun restrictions than the national average of 57 percent.
“Young people statistically aren’t that much different than anybody else,” Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport told NPR.
With millennials being more liberal on same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization, some might assume they would also be more liberal on gun control, but that was not the case. “Sometimes, people surprise us, and this is one of those instances that we don’t know why,” Newport said.
A separate Pew Research Center poll found differences between millennials and the generations before them on two gun control proposals, outlawing “assault-style” weapons and banning magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Both Republican and Democratic millennials are more conservative on these proposals and less likely to favor them than Generation Xers, baby boomers, and even members of the so-called “silent generation,” those born between the mid-1920s and mid-1940s.
Additionally, support for gun control has gone down among younger people. According to the University of California at Los Angeles’ annual CIRP survey, support for gun control has declined by about 10 percentage points for respondents born in 2000, compared with respondents born in the early 1980s.
Gallup also found that 66 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds said they think that concealed carry guns would make the U.S. safer, 10 percentage points higher than the national average of 56 percent.
Then why do I keep seeing the kids from Parkland everywhere I go?
For one thing, those kids are unique. They are the kids who had friends and classmates die and who are now being propped up by astroturf and a friendly media to try and make a sale. They’re salesmen and women trying to convince us that we should restrict our rights not for our own good, but for theirs’. It’s “for the children,” but this time from the children.
Yet they’re being held up as beacons simply because they happened to be attending a high school where something awful happened.
Pro-Second Amendment students like Kyle Kashuv, also a Parkland student, aren’t getting the airtime that Hogg, Cameron Kasky, and others are getting. Kashuv is meeting with the president and vice president, but much of his opinions are being contained to Twitter rather than the prime time cable news channels.
Similarly, they ignore the legions of pro-Second Amendment teens who didn’t go to Parkland. They routinely pretend they don’t exist either, focusing on kids who plan to walk out of school in protest.
It seems young people are, as a whole, understanding that guns have no volition of their own. They’re neither good nor evil, just tools. They understand that the motivations of the person holding it matter far more than the tool itself, and so they believe more tools in the hands of good people than bad people is a net win for society.
They’re right, and it’s refreshing to see it.