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Millennials Are Less Likely to Support Gun Control Than You’d Think

Four years ago a man point­ed a gun at Ryan Bradley and called him a “white dev­il.”

Ever since, he’s been pas­sion­ate about gun rights.

I nev­er want to be in that sit­u­a­tion again,” Bradley, 24, told NBC News. “Luck­i­ly, he didn’t shoot me but I can guar­an­tee you if there was any gun laws on the books he would prob­a­bly still have his gun.”

Sarah Clements, 20, became a gun con­trol activist after her moth­er, a sec­ond grade teacher, sur­vived the shoot­ing at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School in New­town, Con­necti­cut.

I became an acci­den­tal activist, and real­ized that the only way I would be able to move for­ward from what hap­pened was if I trans­formed my pain into pos­i­tive action,” Clements told NBC News.

While Nza-Ari Khep­ra, 19, the co-founder of vio­lence aware­ness cam­paigns Project Orange Tree and the Wear Orange cam­paign has been work­ing to pre­vent gun vio­lence ever since her friend Hadiya Pendle­ton was shot and killed in Chica­go in 2013 after per­form­ing at the White House days ear­li­er.

Mil­len­ni­als are often thought of as more lib­er­al than their old­er peers, but recent polling shows that they’re less like­ly than those over 30 to sup­port stricter gun laws.

An Octo­ber 2015 Gallup poll found that 50 per­cent of 18–29-year-olds sup­port stricter gun laws com­pared to 57 per­cent of those 30–49, 56 per­cent among those 50–64, and 55 per­cent among those 65 and old­er.

The Liar In Chief, Oba­ma: We Flood Our Com­mu­ni­ties With So Many Guns Then Act Sur­prised When Things Boil Over 1:51

This is in con­trast to social issues such as sex between unmar­ried peo­ple, hav­ing chil­dren out­side of mar­riage, and LGBT issues, where younger peo­ple skew far more lib­er­al, accord­ing to Gallup Poll Edi­tor-in-Chief Frank New­port.

Mil­len­ni­als are … less inter­est­ed in gun con­trol than those who are old­er, so the data sug­gests it’s unlike a num­ber of oth­er atti­tudes say like, gay mar­riage where young peo­ple are much more lib­er­al,” he said. “We did not see that in our data on guns.”

And a recent ABC News/Refinery 29 poll shows that the same per­cent­age (11 per­cent) of women age 18–35 list gun rights as the most impor­tant issue in this elec­tion as those who list abor­tion.

Relat­ed: LGBT Gun Rights Group Sees Mem­ber­ship Spike After Orlan­do Shoot­ing

For Khep­ra and Clements, gun con­trol isn’t about tak­ing firearms from peo­ple, it’s about mak­ing sure the wrong peo­ple don’t have access to dan­ger­ous weapons through pro­pos­als such as increas­ing back­ground checks, imple­ment­ing wait­ing peri­ods after pur­chas­ing guns, and a ban on semi-auto­mat­ic guns.

We as gun reform activists need to con­tin­u­ous­ly say we sup­port the Sec­ond Amend­ment — we are not try­ing to do away with it or ‘take away all the guns.’ That said, I do not believe it gives us the right to own a gun any­time, by any­one, and to be tak­en any­where,” Clements told NBC News.

But Bradley doesn’t think that more gun laws would do any­thing to help pre­vent shoot­ings.

Bradley says he’d take gun con­trol pro­po­nents to a gun range and have them shoot if they’ve nev­er done it so they can have the expe­ri­ence, and then have a “civ­il debate” with them.

Ryan Bradley, 24, works as a grass­roots field rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the NRA.

We’re talk­ing about a fun­da­men­tal right, we’re talk­ing about the Sec­ond Amend­ment which is a guar­an­teed right to self-defense,” he said. Feel­ings don’t belong. I don’t think that some­body should be using deroga­to­ry lan­guage to some­body but they have the First Amend­ment right to do so and nobody’s talk­ing about tak­ing that First Amend­ment right away. So I think that gun con­trol sup­port­ers need to bring some­thing more to the table than just feel­ings.”

While Khep­ra has nev­er shot a gun, she said that she didn’t think that would change her sup­port of gun restric­tions.

Nza-Ari Khep­ra, 19, co-found­ed vio­lence aware­ness groups Project Orange Tree and the Wear Orange Cam­paign and cur­rent­ly attends Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty.

I’ve nev­er shot a gun and I hope­ful­ly nev­er will. That’s not nec­es­sar­i­ly some­thing that’s on my to-do-list,” she said. “But at the end of the day, I’ve been exposed to a lot of guns, I’m from the South Side of Chica­go, and I can under­stand why peo­ple would want them, I under­stand the whole pro­tec­tion mea­sure I def­i­nite­ly get that. But that’s not some­thing that I’m try­ing to infringe upon. I just think that there’s a way to be pro­tect­ed and there’s a way to make sure that oth­er peo­ple around you are pro­tect­ed.”

This debate is ongo­ing as the coun­try approach­es an elec­tion and deals with the recent shoot­ings in Dal­las, along with the deaths of two black men, Alton Ster­ling and Phi­lan­do Castile, car­ry­ing guns in Louisiana and Min­neso­ta.

Relat­ed: Phi­lan­do Castile Shoot­ing in Fal­con Heights, Min­neso­ta, Sparks Protests

With the shoot­ings and the deaths that have occurred since, it’s pos­si­ble gun atti­tudes have changed over­all with the whole pop­u­la­tion and you nev­er know whether it could dif­fer­en­tial­ly have affect­ed young peo­ple,” New­port told NBC News.

Bradley is con­cerned about Hillary Clin­ton and her pos­si­ble Supreme Court picks if she’s elect­ed.

We haven’t had a can­di­date as bad on the Sec­ond Amend­ment as Hillary Clin­ton,” he told NBC News.

But Dil­lon is con­cerned about recent shoot­ings and peo­ple hav­ing the “mis­con­cep­tion” that more gun laws are the answer. She declined to com­ment on the Ster­ling and Castile cas­es but stressed that she believes every­one has the right to car­ry a gun.

Black gun own­ers con­cerned over police shoot­ings 5:22

For Clements, those deaths show that the Sec­ond Amend­ment real­ly isn’t for every­one.

We saw in the past two weeks the real­is­tic inter­pre­ta­tion by law enforce­ment and white estab­lish­ments: time and again, it’s clear that the Sec­ond Amend­ment over-sim­pli­fi­ca­tion that any­one can have a gun slung on their hip, and any­where they please only applies to white peo­ple,” she told NBC News.

Watch: Is There a Solu­tion to the Gun Con­trol Debate?

Khep­ra says that no mat­ter how the gun vio­lence occurred, it shows that some­thing needs to change.

I am dev­as­tat­ed by the cur­rent polit­i­cal cli­mate. Just with­in the past weeks, we’ve seen how the many forms of gun vio­lence rav­ages our nation’s cities—in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Dal­las, Orlan­do, and count­less oth­er cities,” she said.

Although these tragedies have many dif­fer­ences, one com­mon­al­i­ty is the pain that man­i­fest­ed from far too many fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties los­ing loved ones. My famil­iar­i­ty with this pain is what is dri­ving me to pre­vent more, to make a dif­fer­ence.”

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ER1C ☠

ER1C ☠

Dedicated Second Amendment Advocate, At-Home Gunsmith, Designer, Blogger, Video Guy, Author, Business Owner & ReloadOne Member.

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