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Nancy Smith

Millennials Are No More Anti-Guns than Their Parents

March 27, 2018 - 9:00am

Democrats sure are banking on millennials to bring home the vote in November. Hence, the frenzy to control the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School survivors' March for Our Lives last Saturday, and afterwards to propagandize the size of the Washington, D.C. crowd -- turning 200,000 participants into more than 800,000.

But, maybe millennials aren't the "voice of a generation on gun control," as the Miami Herald called them, and maybe they aren't going to "turn the tide of a long-simmering debate" as progressives desperately hope.

Maybe what we're seeing is a kind of false positive.

I Beg to Differ

There's certainly evidence progressives should worry about.    

Gallup and the Pew Research Center, both reliable polling sources, specifically surveyed millennials and found they are no more liberal on gun control than their parents or grandparents -- despite diverging from their elders on the legalization of marijuana, same-sex marriage and other social issues. 

As a matter of fact, "there's some evidence that gun control is supported less by people 30 and under now than in previous generations," Kyle Perisic reports in a Daily Signal story about the two polls.

March for Our Lives
March for Our Lives

Additionally, 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.

"Sometimes people surprise us, and this is one of those instances that we don't know why," says Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup.

Over the past three years, his polling organization asked the under-30 crowd whether gun laws in the U.S. should be made more strict, less strict or kept as they are now. On average, people between the ages of 18 and 29 were 1 percentage point more likely to say gun laws should be more strict than the overall national average of 57 percent.

"Young people statistically aren't that much different than anybody else," Newport says.

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.

March for Our Lives
March for Our Lives

In truth, many demographers don't even include the high school activists who have been organizing since the Florida shooting in the "millennials" category. Instead, they call the under-18s "Generation Z." Pollsters generally don't count the views of those under 18, so there probably won't be national polling on this group until more of them are officially adults.

Democrats nevertheless are counting on Parkland survivors to influence new voters, to move the needle in their favor. Certainly, it could happen. The Douglas High School students speaking out today are luminary teens who are reminding America that the shooting was not a freak accident or a natural disaster but the result of actual human decisions.

But don't forget the tremendous national outrage after the shooting that took the lives of 20 Sandy Hook Elementary School students on Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. For the most part, it fizzled like a wet firecracker.

Within hours of the shooting, a "We the People" petition was started asking the White House to "immediately address the issue of gun control through the introduction of legislation in Congress," and the gun control advocacy group the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence reported that an avalanche of donations in the hours after the shooting caused its website to crash. 

Five days later President Obama announced he would make gun control a "central issue" of his second term, and he created a gun violence task force, to be headed by Vice President Joe Biden.

In the end, though, the Sandy Hook outrage had its most significant impact on Connecticut law and the changes it brought about in the Nutmeg State. That ultimately may be the result after Parkland -- Florida will feel the greatest shift in measures to harden schools against firearms attacks, while sentiment elsewhere in the nation recedes.

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

Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith


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I am a lot more open for it then my mother. I want to lift the Assault rifle ban completely. I am however in favor of background checks, mandatory training and fun education starting in either middle school or elementary school.

Just maybe, SOME "apples" STILL "don't fall far from the tree"..... (Maybe 'one' can still hope..!)

There is no such thing as "gun violence". This is a focus-group-driven buzzword and talking point to create an imaginary bogeyman as the main anti 2nd Amendment propaganda tool. There are PEOPLE who commit violence with guns, but there are many more people who commit violence without them. And, since the term "gun violence" is a catchword/cliche, the title suggests an unattainable goal. People have been robbing and killing other people, using the weapons of the day, since the beginning of man on this planet, which identifies the real issue - controlling criminal impulses in humans, not the otherwise legal instruments they use to commit crimes. Anyone who doesn't realize and/or acknowledge this isn't thinking, s/he is 'feeling', and our liberty cannot depend upon what anybody 'feels'.

I think this just about sums it up... Raleigh, N.C. – Here are the highlights of Public Policy Polling’s newest national poll. Guns PPP’s newest national poll finds that Americans like the high school students leading protests against gun violence across the country a whole lot more than they like the NRA. The high school students receive a positive 56/34 favorability rating for their efforts, while the NRA is upside down with 39% of voters seeing it favorably and 44% negatively. “The contrast is pretty clear,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “Americans don’t like the NRA. They do like the young people standing up to fight them to try to get stronger gun laws passed.” There’s 87% support for background checks for all gun buyers, compared to only 8% of voters who are opposed to that. That policy has the backing of 89% of Democrats and 85% of Republicans and independents. It’s hard to find anything 87% of Americans agree on- in fact on this same poll we found that only 81% think the sky is blue with 11% disputing that notion. We also found 64/26 support for a ban on assault weapons, again with bipartisan agreement. Democrats (78/15), independents (61/25), and Republicans (49/40) are all in agreement. In general 60% of voters say they want stronger gun laws to 32% who are opposed. One new gun proposal voters don’t like though is giving them to teachers. Only 35% of voters think that’s a good idea, to 53% who say it’s a bad one. 2018 Democrats continue to have a solid advantage on the generic Congressional ballot, leading 50-39. That edge grows to 55-39 among voters who say they’re ‘very excited’ to vote this year. Democrats lead by 14 points at 44-30 among independents.

Winning tweet of the day: Robert J. O'Neill ✔ @mchooyah It’s really entertaining to listen to kids who know nothing about guns tell sensible gun-owners how many rounds they need to protect their families. 6:52 PM - Mar 26, 2018

Children marching begging/pleading/petition/demand more gun control. Foolish kids ask for their rights to be taken away. Shows how immature are these kids, incapable of rational thought, well, they are only 17-16-15 years old. They know not what they do. They also ask for rights to be taken away of those who disagree with them. And the Governments of Florida did it! In a couple years when they want a gun, realize what they did, cannot buy a gun, they will be really angry that their politicians conceded to their demands, just wait watch and see if they don't. If the goal is to prevent shootings here is the solution and it is NOT mental, guns, laws, demonstrations, demands. When The Shooting Begins it is too late for prevention laws gun control education love. Now what? What should be done? Call the police? Too late. There is an active shooter and the police are too far away and too late and too confused. The shooter needs to be handled by those on the scene at the time. Everybody throw at the shooter everything you can. Shoes, bottles, cans, coins, books, keys. One good hit. It will distract the shooter, save time, save lives. Then the shooter can maybe be tackled and disarmed. Save the remaining lives. This is good. It does not involve prevention. It does not involve love. It does not involve gun control. It does not involve laws. It does not involve taking guns away from mentally disadvantaged. Laws never prevented any drugs, robbery, burglary, etc. We should NOT talk of prevention. Prevention is impossible. The subject is what to do when an event actually begins.

Nobody is worried about sensible gun owners... It is keeping them out of criminals, crazies, and everyone else who falls under the category of nonsensible... Every single school shooter obtained their gun legally. if you don't have a problem with those nuts getting guns, then you are clearly part of the problem instead of being part of the solution...

Problem is Republiduh, like in Parkland, the only reason this nut got his gun, was the so called authorities completely dropped the ball. Scott Israel isn't a Republiduh, but thanks for playing

Scott Israel did not sell the nut the gun dumbo, Walmart did, because there are no laws against seeling guns to nuts. There were lots of failures, the Repub FBI, the Repub DCF, the Dem sheriff's office, the Dem school board. it was a bipartisan fail of epic proportions. It looks like you are the Republiduh, stupid Stevie, thanks for playing dumbass...

Scott Israel didn't sell him the gun dumbo, Walmart did, because there was no laws saying nuts could not buy guns. Sure, tons of people dropped the ball. The Repub DCF, the Repub FBI, the Dem sheriff's office, the Dem school board. It was clearly a bi-partisan failure of epic proportions... You are clearly the Republiduh, stupid

The Republicans could short circuit the whole thing by simply restoring the Assault Weapons ban. We saw Scott rush to take a baby step toward gun safety because he now knows his A+ rating with the NRA is out of step with a clear majority of Florida voters and he wants to buy a Senate seat. Nancy, thank you for your editorials, and your site, I enjoy entering the GOP echo chamber once in a while and am grateful for the opportunity to spout off. While even Justice Scale believed the Second amendment has limits, fortunately the use of the Fifth Amendment by Rick Scott has no limits (75 times and counting). For me it's civilian needs or should have an assault weapon.

What, exactly, is an assault weapon Ocean Joe? California courts ruled it must be decided by police, civilians, judges, who were confused, so must list by mfr, model, caliber. California gave up trying to decide what is/is not an assault weapon. You are wiser so let us all know please sir

The first sentence "Democrats sure are banking on millennials to bring home the vote in November" is misleading. As it is partially explained later on the paper "In truth, many demographers don't even include the high school activists who have been organizing since the Florida shooting in the "millennials" category. Instead, they call the under-18s "Generation Z." On an article on March 2018, Pew Research refers to people born after 1997 as “post-Millennials” "until a common nomenclature takes hold". Democrats were banking on millennials in 2012 and they won. Time will tell if the 18 to 21 years old"post-millenials", who early in their young lives learned that a club, a concert venue, a movie theater, a work meeting, school or even church were not necessarily safe places and who also qualify as voters, bring a victory to the Democratic Party on 2018.

What a biased hit piece.................................. Wanting common sense gun control has nothing to do with antigun but being pro safe............................... Saying otherwise only shows your bias as it lets even terrorist have access to guns by not having universal background checks on ALL sales............................. Limiting guns to 6 shots will after a while make it safer........................... Making the gun owner responsible for it if stolen will dry up that source of criminal guns....................... Personally I think each gun should have a $50/yr tax so only those who really need them would have them as it is the huge number of guns out there causing much of the problem. .............. Especially when you consider the gun you most likely get shot by is the family gun both by accident or murder......... And they are on YOUR hands Nancy, NRA, etc for allowing it to get this bad..

Wanting common sense gun control has nothing to do with antigun ..... (Then why did the ppl at the March demand gun control and wanting to get rid of scary looking rifles.) .. Saying otherwise only shows your bias (actually pointing at the facts) it lets even terrorist have access to guns by not having universal background checks on ALL sales (The terrorist at Pulse went through extensive backgroud checks).......... Limiting guns to 6 shots will after a while make it safer (What about knives, pressure cookers, trucks?)...... Making the gun owner responsible for it if stolen will dry up that source of criminal guns (How do you control criminals from breaking into your home?).... Personally I think each gun should have a $50/yr tax so only those who really need them would have them as it is the huge number of guns out there causing much of the problem (Why you aren't in charge) ...... And they are on YOUR hands Nancy, NRA, etc for allowing it to get this bad (Proud @NRA Member)

Anyway you wash it, it is not good business to disarm good people, it is not good to take away the ability to protect yourself and your family. The bad people will find ways to get guns, calling for the police sometimes takes too long. Never forget it was the gun that freed people from oppression by tyrants and corrupted government leaders. It is true that history repeats it is up to the people to wisen up.

I think millennials actually just want their to be common sense used in any gun legislation. Same age for both rifles and handguns, no mentals getting guns, closing the gun show loopholes, etc. Other than that, I think they are fine with guns, just like most people. Dems are really getting the most traction from Trump the Chump and the Repubs unwillingness to be honest that there is more to the Russia issue, UAE issues, Qatar issues, Stormy Dormy issues, etc., etc., etc. People are just sick and tired of all of the BS, which is why they originally embraced Trump. Problem is, most did not realize he was just acting...he really is the lying , manipulating, arrogant, scum bag that he has always has been... Time to vote him and ALL of them out!

Well you managed to hit the trifecta of Democrats real problem that will sink them in November, Guns, TDS and Russia Russia Turn over from MSNBC only for a different view of the world and make up you own mind not what MadCow tells you to believe

we'll see Bill...we'll see... this will be your last chance though, as the population is clearly getting more and more multi-cultural. By 2030, they are expecting dumb, white people like you to actually be the minority... Get ready, a revolution is coming...

You obviously know nothing about history. If you did you would know that if your so called revolution occurs, it's what the Bolshevik called "useful idiots" meaning you, are first ones that are put up against the wall.

Not in Russia any more stupid Stevie... Thanks for playing dumbass...

I'm not a Dem idiot, just a truth seeker...clearly you are not, and as what your own party calls, part of the "propaganda express" dumbass...

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nancy smith

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