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Politics & Current Affairs

Young People Refuse To Rule Out Future Gun Ownership

Nearly 40 percent of high school and college students surveyed say they will own a gun in the future, and an additional 20 percent say they’ll consider it.

What’s the Latest Development?

A national survey of high school and college students conducted by American University reveals that despite (or, possibly, because of) the increase in the number of mass shootings during their lifetimes, a majority either plan to own a gun or will consider getting a gun when they’re living on their own. The survey was conducted last fall, approximately two months after a gunman killed 12 people in a Colorado movie theater.

What’s the Big Idea?

Given the extra attention being put on gun rights in the wake of December’s elementary school shooting in Connecticut, American University professor and survey co-lead Jennifer L. Lawless says that the poll’s findings stress the importance of continuing the conversation “since the next generation is no less likely to plan to own guns.” According to the poll, while women, blacks, and Democrats were far more likely to fear gun violence, they were also less likely to report that they would plan to own a gun in the future. Also, “students who regularly play video games for more than 4 hours per day are…more likely than those who do not typically play video games to report plans to own a gun.”

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