Do More Young People Favor Gun Control?


The Christian Science Monitor’s take on public opinion regarding gun control differs from the Washington Post’s. Crime & Justice News reported a Post analysis concluding that basic views on gun control were not likely to change because of the Virginia Tech massacre. The Monitor focuses on the fact that U.S. gun ownership is at the lowest level in three decades and cites one new poll showing that some of the biggest supporters of gun-control are teenagers and college students.

Some 88 percent of high school students polled by Hamilton College last year supported a five-day waiting period for a hand-gun purchase. “They’ve seen a lot of gun violence in ways that kind of frighten them,” says Hamilton Prof. Dennis Gilbert. “Something like 35 percent of high school seniors in 2006 knew someone who’d been shot at or threatened with a gun. That’s more than 1 in 3, and it was a national survey, not just of urban areas.” Erich Pratt of Gun Owners of America counters that the only poll that really counts are elections: “The ultimate survey comes every two years, and gun control doesn’t do well at the polls and the Democrats have finally figured that out.”


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