Polls show young people skeptical of gun control

  • 3 April 2018
  • NormanL
Polls show young people skeptical of gun control

The media's drumbeat about young people supporting gun control in great numbers turns out to be complete rubbish. If anything, polling data show Millennials are more skeptical of certain gun control measures than their parents and grandparents:

That impression is supported by public opinion surveys finding that millennials are the age group least in favor of gun control. A 2015 Pew poll* found that only 49 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds favored an "assault weapons" ban, compared to 55 percent of those aged 30 to 49 and 63 percent of those 65 or older. A March 6 Quinnipiac poll, taken several weeks after the Parkland shooting, found that only 46 percent of 18-to-34 year olds support an assault weapons ban, rising to 51 percent for those aged 35 to 49, 68 percent for those aged 50-to-64, and 80 percent for those over 65.

So they aren't too keen on specific gun control proposals. How about gun control more broadly

Polling by the Pew Research Center last year came to similar conclusions: 50 percent of millennials, between the ages of 18 and 36, said gun laws in the U.S. should be more strict. That share was almost identical among the general public, according to Kim Parker, director of social trends research at Pew.

Pew did find significant differences between millennials and older generations on two gun control proposals — banning assault-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The results showed that a greater share of millennials — both Republicans and Democrats — are more conservative when it comes to those bans compared with Generation Xers, baby boomers and members of the silent generation.

"What we're hearing now in the immediate aftermath of Parkland might not be representative of what a whole generation feels," Parker says.

Imagine that. Imagine also that some young people are perfectly happy with the Second Amendment:

...22-year-old Jeremy Grunden of Harrington, Del., says he is encouraged to hear that millennials are less likely to support banning assault-style weapons.

"I base what we need off of what the military has," says Grunden, who is president of Students for the Second Amendment at the University of Delaware. "When it comes to ... the Second Amendment, we're supposed to be a well-armed and well-maintained militia and all that. Quite frankly, we need that and plus more."

Someone tell John Paul Stevens that the kids are alright with gun rights. And some of them want even more.