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Monday, December 20, 2021

The Reload: Are Young People Moving Away from Gun Control?

In an article (it is behind the member subscriber paywall) posted yesterday on the Reload site, writer Jake Fogleman looks at some recent poll data and what he finds seems to point to a shift of attitudes by people aged 18-29 on the issue of gun control, a group of the public that shifted heavily in favor of gun control after the Parkland school shootings.

A series of recent polls have shown Americans taking an about-face on the issue of gun control, with younger adults playing a significant role in that switch in attitudes.
An April 2021 ABC Poll found that only a minority of adults aged 18-29 now support new gun laws. Youth support is down a staggering 20-points from the 65 percent who said the same at the height of youth activism in 2018. That was the sharpest decline of any demographic polled. 
A November Quinnipiac poll found more 18-34-year-olds now oppose stricter gun laws than support them. 
A Gallup poll the same month found while support for stricter gun laws was consistent among all age brackets, 18-34-year-olds were the age group most likely to say that gun laws should be less strict. The poll also found 18-34-year-olds were least likely to support a ban on the private ownership of handguns compared with older respondents. 
Even among dedicated partisans, a significant enthusiasm gap now exists between younger Americans and older Americans on the issue of guns. A new Reuters report on the issues that motivate Democratic voters found 78 percent agree on the idea “it is too easy to access guns in the United States.” However, a breakdown of the party’s voters by age shows a significant disparity in intensity of feelings toward the issue. 
The majority of Democrats aged 55 and older report said they would be angry if the US Government acted in opposition to their views on guns. However, their younger Democratic counterparts had far less passion for the issue.
Fogleman concludes it's possible the higher support for gun control among this group was simply a short-lived reaction to the tragedy of Parkland that created the idea of a youth movement passionately in favor of gun control for years to come, or it could be a more fundamental ideological shift in attitudes.  If you are not a subscriber to The Reload, it is well worth the subscription fee, and it costs less than a trip to Chik-fil-a.

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