Will the large anti-gun violence marches held around the country in March have a lasting effect on the gun control debate in America? Our "Political Insiders" aren't sure.
The "March for our lives" protest was estimated to be the largest single-day demonstration in Washington, D.C. history. There were big demonstrations in other cities as well, including 8,000 who turned out in Salt Lake City.
Will the marches have a lasting impact? The answer to that question mostly depends on which side of the political spectrum you inhabit.
Our Republican "Insiders" say "no," while the Democrats on our panel and readers say this protest will lead to change.
- Only 42% of the Republicans we queried said that there would be a permanent impact from the marches, while 58% said there would not.
- 95% of our Democratic panelists said the demonstrations would lead to a change in gun policy.
- 56% of our readers thought there would be a shift in how the government approaches gun laws following the marches.
Selected anonymous quotes:
Eventually, these young people will figure out that to make change they will need to vote, and when they do, they won't be voting Republican.
Outside the DC bubble no one paid attention, and the few politicians who are knee-jerk reactionaries are either already on board with more gun control or will be on to another social justice cause by the next news cycle.
People are engaged because of the “issue,” not because of anyone marching.
I think that it will help with voter turnout which will contribute to the blue wave and in the end change policy.
(The marches) will be looked upon as the political pawns of the liberal media and no meaningful laws will be passed or even voted on.
We reached a tipping point with Florida Parkland...enough is enough, and something has to change. We can and should be talking about common-sense reforms like "red flag" laws that are reasonable and speaks a lot more about public safety than gun reform. Let's at least start there.
It was theater. Gun violence at schools has gone down; children are safer at school than they used to be.
No change in gun control laws will occur until there is change at the ballot box. If only a handful of NRA-backed candidates lose in the 2018 elections, it will have an effect. Students are activated, they are angry. They will vote!
I think young people are more engaged and energized. Now let's see if they vote.
Yes, not through gun control but through heightened awareness of the underlying mental and emotional health issues behind shootings and violence in general. This long-taboo topic needs some sunshine, discussion, and solutions-oriented brainstorming. And our kids should be involved in that conversation.
It might make a difference nationally in the elections this fall. Voters are weary of the NRA control of the GOP. No difference in Utah.
I see a lot of online criticism of these young people that the rest of the nation should dismiss them. It is unwise to underestimate one's opponent(s).
Any meaningful protest has an impact. Whether you agree with the youth march, or not, you should be proud that they stepped up.
It will make a difference if lawmakers listen and do something. If they don’t, it will make a difference by making marchers cynical about their constitutional republic.
No, and it's very hard to see what difference they could make or, indeed, what difference they should make. The problem is one of human nature, and that is not going to be affected by marches, legislation, or the kind of emotion generated by terrible events.
The scale of the "difference" they will make remains to be seen. The youth movement could (and should) result in some common sense laws and remedies that the majority of Americans support. The NRA would be foolish to oppose them on that front. If they push for more, then the NRA will push back harder, and deep pockets and better organization usually carry the day.
If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. Engaging in the conversation about how to have safer schools and fewer school shootings would be beneficial, but not if it's just a tool to accomplish a long advocated liberal agenda to outlaw guns for law-abiding citizens. There are numerous common-sense measures that can help solve the problem at hand and that both conservatives and liberals would agree on. I'm just not sure if solving the problem is enough.
If they keep going, they could make a difference. If they are one-time, or once-a-year events, then they might not make much difference.
The NRA has just admitted to accepting "foreign" donations but won't answer specific questions about who and where from. And they're attacking children. Bye bye, NRA. You are going down.
Raises the level of public awareness with a focus on finding a reasonable balance between protecting 2nd Amendment rights and providing a higher level of safety for our school children.
Small things can be done, but now that John Paul Stevens has floated the "Repeal the Second Amendment" trial balloon, there will be a great retrenching.
Did the women's march make any difference? These marches are a total waste of time that no one outside of the left takes seriously. No one's mind will be changed, and both sides will just double down until the next social justice issue pops up and everyone moves on to the next flavor of the day.
I think many politicians will fall to the demands of these protesters and write some quick public policy to retain their jobs.
The protests will keep an important issue front and center heading into the election, which will add to the Democrats' victories across the country. Change may not be immediate, but it will come in some form.
I’m thrilled these young people, those victimized and those supporting them, made a conscious decision to become involved. They will have the most influence by hitting the ballot box hard in November and subsequent elections.
Democrats had full control of the White House and Congress under Obama, and they didn’t make gun control a priority.
Welcome to the real world, kiddies. When your 15 minutes is up, you'll discover that bloviating, gun-ignorant, boobs don't have much influence on policy. And thank goodness for that.
Yeah, these same kids can't refrain from eating Tide Pods, and we're supposed to accept their wishful-thinking surrounding unworkable solutions without shaking our head in bewildered astonishment at the level of ignorance on display? I don't think so.
Hopefully, these demonstrations are engaging the younger generation, and when they can vote, they will vote their beliefs.
The difference I hope it makes is for them. The tragic events they focused on are largely young people killing young people. “How?” is a necessary focus. “Why?” Is of far more importance. Beyond the rhetoric, they may generate thoughtful dialogue.
Young people realize that they must engage in the political process to have an impact. They have been largely ignored before due to their low rate of participation. I believe this has been a wake-up call to show them the potential power their numbers can wield.
Actually, maybe. Much depends on whether they are in it for the long haul. We all know that government moves slower than a sloth, so if they can work at it and not get discouraged with how long things might take, I think they will make progress. And, with that progress, they will make a difference.
It is a "sort of" yes. The change won't happen quickly. IF gun control makes a difference in the mid-term elections there might be some minor changes... if it continues to be an issue in the 2020 elections, there will be changes. There can be widespread support now, but there is always so much going on attention gets diverted. One march won't do anything ... but if it is stained over the long haul and is followed up by votes, it will. One thing you have to give the NRA credit for, they are very good at getting their people to be vocal and to vote.
I really hope that our lawmakers will listen to the concerns of our school children about school safety. Positive outcomes can come about. I'm not for taking guns away from law-abiding, responsible citizens, but these senseless school shootings need to be averted. My concern is that if Congress does nothing or in some cases publicly laughs these students off, we will have a group of young voters gunning for the jobs of those Senators/Congress Members at the ballot box. Do these kids really matter? Time will tell.
We already see some states and the federal government pass some modest gun legislation. So there will be at least some effect.
Since when do children make policy?
People that young have little understanding of the US Constitution and even less about the Second Amendment. Wisdom less youth, thank God, do not run the country.