Millennials and Gun Control
Continuing in my series of posts on gun control following the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, I want to dig back into the data from my Invoke Live session on Social issues to understand better how young people are reacting.
If you have not already read my first post on how brands have responded to the full list of social issues, please click HERE.
Following the shooting, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas have become a strong voice for gun control, speaking out to advocate for change. And even now, a month after the shooting, young people all over the country are planning a 17-minute walkout to memorialize those lost in the tragedy and protest for action and stricter gun control laws.
While these students are younger than the Millennial generation (which in this study was defined as 18-35 year olds), this research does point to the younger generation finding this issue more important than their older counterparts. Looking at the chart below, 89% of Millennials find the issue of gun control important (top 2 box), which is significantly higher than the 70% of Non-Millennials that say the same.
Gun Control Importance and Discussion – Millennials vs. Non-Millennials
Additionally, 32% of Millennials rank this issue as either 1st or 2nd most important out of 17 different social issues, placing it at #2 just behind racial inequality. 19% of Non-Millennials rank this issue the same, making it this group’s #5 issue.
But while import of the issue leans largely Millennial, both age groups are discussing the issue with relatively similar frequency. Non-Millennials are perhaps discussing it with others but simply don’t see it as important as maybe some other issues we explored.
So fine, Millennials do see the issue as important but gun control does have two sides to it. Where do Millennials stand in the debate compared to Non-Millennials?
Where do consumers stand on gun control? – by segment
The table above shows that Millennials are far more likely to support increased gun control, with ¾ of them saying so. Non-Millennials are more split with just over half being for more gun control and just under half against it.
And when you look into the comments made by Millennials in this study that support more gun control, they are typically heated and/or communicate a high level of frustration:
“It’s infuriating to me that we are more concerned with people’s rights to own a damn semi-automatic than we are with people’s actual lives. There are a lot of people who have no business owning a firearm, especially some of the types that are currently legal.”
“Every time a shooting happens, I’m always shocked that the killers were able to buy military-grade weapons and rounds. Some of them had record or a history mental instability. It just shouldn’t be that easy”
Immediately following the shooting in Parkland, surviving students spoke out demanding gun control reform. And while I am more than sure the direct impact this tragedy had on their lives has a hand in that, this data suggests this direct impact more likely than not amplified existing beliefs within these young people and gave them the impetus to say something.
As time marches forward, it will be interesting to see how the young people of America further this discussion.
For a deeper look at the results of this study click HERE for the full Takeaways report.