The non-profit DoSomething.org, in conjunction with Columbia Journalism Review, recently released the findings from their national survey on the youth opinion of gun control.
The DoSomething.org School Safety and Gun Policy Survey ran on the non-profit’s website from February 12-March 25 and aimed to “have the youth voice heard on important issues that affect young people, including gun policy and school safety.”
Among the conclusions the survey came to, young people want stricter gun control.
Fifty-eight percent of 13-18 year olds and 54 percent of 19-25 year olds said they supported stricter gun laws.
Only 9 percent of 13-18 year olds and 8 percent of 19-25 year olds believed laws should be less strict.
Even half of students who considered their school extremely safe supported stricter gun laws, the survey said.
When it came to legislation, young people followed the trend of older American’s, many surveys showing support is around 60 percent. However, those under 25 disagreed that violence in the media is fueling gun violence.
Forty-seven percent of adults believe decreasing gun violence in the media would decrease violence in reality, whereas 23 percent of teens believe less violence in television is “the answer”, the survey showed.
Teens also tended to disagree with adults on how to keep schools safer. According to the survey, students see good mental health services available at schools as the best method in preventing shootings.
Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed said better funded mental health programs at schools would be “somewhat or very effective in preventing mass school shootings,” 39 percent responded that they would be very effective.
Even so, less than half, 47 percent, of 13-18 year olds were aware of mental health services at their own school.
“Students were less enthusiastic about all prevention measures and thought that mental health services were the best option, where adults saw them as the second best option behind increasing the police presence at schools,” the survey concluded.
When it came to other measures of keeping schools safer from mass shootings, teens were generally less “enthusiastic.” Sixty-three percent of adults believe banning the sales of assault rifles would lessen mass shootings, whereas only 53 percent of students believe so.
Additionally, adults are 25 percent more likely to believe armed staff at schools would prevent shootings.
Students say that they believe their schools are safe, though. Sixty-eight percent responded that they think their school is very or extremely safe. Only 16 percent think schools in the United States are unsafe.
“This might be surprising in light of the fact that 40 percent of high school students report that a classmate has brought a weapon to their current school,” the report stated.
The report also found students consider themselves very informed on the subject of gun control.
“While many adults claim young people are apathetic and uninformed, this survey tells a different story,” the report stated before revealing that 72 percent of students felt they were somewhat or very informed on the current gun policy debate.
Only 5 percent felt they were completely uninformed.
The survey concluded students get their news from two main sources, social media, 46 percent daily, and news websites, 43 percent daily.
DoSomething.org reported that 2,592 people took the survey. 1,666 were between the ages of 13 and 18, while 926 were between 19 and 25, with all 50 states and the District of Columbia represented.
The complete study can be found here: http://www.dosomething.org/files/u/misc/gun-control.pdf