Fifty-seven percent of teenagers in the United States are concerned that a shooting will take place in their own school. Nearly half of those are “very worried” about the chance. According to these results from a survey by Pew Research Center, half of all high school students, more than half, attend school with this added stress.
The results show that girls are more worried about the chances of school shootings than boys (64 versus 51 percent), and black and Hispanic students are more worried than white students (60/73 versus 51 percent).
The research group conducted the survey shortly after the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting in Parkland, Florida. Fears ran high after 17 students and school staff were killed, but in 2018, there is no way to wait for a cool-down period after a school shooting to conduct such research. At least one person has been shot in a school each week of this year. Pew surveyed students between 13 and 17 years old, and parents of children in that age range.
Approximately 63 percent of parents responded that they were somewhat or very worried about the possibility of a shooting in their children’s schools.
The survey also addressed what teenagers thought about measures to prevent school shootings. Most students, more than 80 percent, thought that improving mental health care, treatment, and screening would be somewhat or very effective at preventing shootings. Fewer than half of all surveyed thought that arming teachers and school officials would have any positive effect. This lines up with what the world has been seeing, as Parkland’s survivors have organized massive marches and protests for the matter of gun control.
The results of this survey show clearly that the wish for gun control is not the urge of just a few vocal teenagers, or the whim of adults imposed onto teenage mouthpieces. Sixty-six percent of teenagers think that banning “assault-style” weapons would be an effective move to prevent school shootings. Nearly all of them want more roadblocks preventing the mentally ill from buying guns.
This is the rising generation. Half of these children surveyed will vote for our next president. All of them will vote for the one after that. These results are an indication of our future.