Poll: 74% of Democrats want to ban all semiautomatic rifles — but youngest adults disagree
For the second time in a week, I say to you: They are who we thought they were.
This Quinnipiac poll isn’t as dire as the YouGov poll released last week, which put Democratic support for banning all semiautomatic weapons — not rifles, weapons — at an amazing 82 percent. It may be that anti-gun sentiment has begun to cool a bit as the shock of the shooting recedes. Even so, the liberal mask about “common-sense regulations” is pretty well off by now.
Note the demographic splits in Quinnipiac’s table, too. For once it’s not the partisan divide that’s most interesting.
The genders are practically mirror images of each other, with men opposed to a ban by a net of 28 points and women in favor by a net of 26. There’s similar educational divide among whites — the college grads are +16 on a ban, Trump’s base of non-grads is -19. The most interesting numbers, though, are the age split. For all the press given to the Stoneman Douglas students, it’s surprisingly younger adults who are less likely to back a ban than their elders are. I’m tempted to call that a crazy outlier, but then how do we explain the age split that YouGov got when it asked last week about banning all semiautomatics? The top two lines here are “strongly favor” and “somewhat favor” followed by “somewhat oppose” and “strongly oppose”:
Young adults *did* support a ban in YouGov’s poll but they were noticeably less likely to do so than older ones were, and the youngest adults were the least likely of all. The age 18-29 group split 45/31 while adults age 45 or over supported the ban at a clip of 59-60 percent. That jibes with the Quinnipiac data placing support for a ban on semiautomatic rifles lowest among the 18-34 group and highest among senior citizens.
I don’t know what to make of that, as it completely confounds the normal partisan leanings of those groups. It’s seniors who typically vote Republican and young adults who typically skew Democrats. Maybe the politics of the Parkland shooting are less red/blue than child/parent. Older Americans, with kids or grandkids in school, are willing to get aggressive with gun-grabbing. Younger Americans who don’t have kids yet (and were just recently kids themselves) aren’t as aggressive. Makes sense, I guess, but it’s an … interesting departure from the media narrative that the younger generation, led by the Stoneman Douglas students, is rising up to grab America’s weapons.
Here’s what Quinnipiac got when it asked about an assault-weapons ban. Americans support that strongly at 61/35 but again, it’s the youngest adults who are the most skeptical:
Huh. Second look at millennials?
In lieu of an exit question, here’s Scarborough getting snotty with Ted Cruz for “talking down to him” on gun control, particularly as regards the most (in)famous semiautomatic rifle of all, the AR-15. (He shouldn’t take it personally. That’s Cruz’s default tone in conversation.) They’re debating a pedantic point, i.e. should we assume from the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear appeals about a possible constitutional right to own an AR-15 that the Court *doesn’t* think that right exists? Cruz correctly says no; you’re not supposed to assume anything about the Court’s thinking when it refuses to take up an issue. But I’d score one for Scarborough in this sense: If the Court doesn’t try to expand on the Heller decision soon, when it has a conservative majority, it risks leaving it to a future, more liberal Court to take up the issue and settle it then. Maybe that doesn’t matter in this case, as the left will all but demand that a newly liberal Court undo all of the Heller jurisprudence anyway as soon as it has a chance. But the more jurisprudence there is, the more a liberal Court would have to upset precedent to get rid of it. Act quickly, Roberts Court!