The Second Amendment Foundation has reported an astonishing 1,200 percent surge in memberships and donations from young adults in the 18-to-20-year-old age class over the past three weeks, evidently spurred by moves to restrict their gun rights in the wake of the tragic mass murder at a Florida high school.
The news came from SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. He issued a midday Monday statement that acknowledged the foundation does not normally see so much interest from young adults. But now, people in that age group have suddenly realized they are being specifically targeted because of the act of a lone perpetrator who, according to published reports, had sent all kinds of “warning signs” that he posed a danger, and law enforcement essentially did nothing.
“We normally don’t get that many members or donors in that age group,” Gottlieb acknowledged, “since the gun rights movement typically trends toward older Americans. But the 18- to 20-year-olds have never been specifically targeted before, and they are obviously alarmed.”
He said the sudden influx of young Americans into the gun rights movement is important, “not just to respond to the current gun control threat, but as the movement has gotten older, it is encouraging to see so many young adults getting involved in support of Second Amendment rights.”
Gottlieb told Liberty Park Press that SAF’s sister organization, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, has also seen a membership spike in that age group, though not as significant. The CCRKBA boost is closer to 500 percent, he said.
But the significance of this development cannot be underestimated. While the mainstream media has focused on the high schoolers who are planning this Wednesday’s walk out across the country to protest for more gun control laws, young adults have suddenly discovered the uncomfortable reality of being singled out as a class of citizens against whom a gun control policy has been implemented.
“While the media has paraded high school students to push a gun control agenda,” Gottlieb said, “the age group that is now being targeted by that effort is energizing, and showing that there is another side to this controversy.”
Two large store chains, Dick’s Sporting Goods and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, and Walmart decided unilaterally to not sell guns or ammunition to anyone under 21. They have been sued in two states, Oregon and Michigan, and it is likely young adults in other states will follow.
In addition, the National Rifle Association immediately filed a lawsuit challenging the new law in Florida.
“It’s important to note,” Gottlieb observed, “that this interest surge has been ‘organic’ on the Internet. SAF did nothing special to make it happen. They have really done this on their own, finding us on the Internet and following up.”
He intends to personally reach out to young adults in the affected age group, so that they “know they are welcome in the gun rights movement.”
“SAF has always conducted leadership training conferences,” Gottlieb stated, “but now we’ll increase our emphasis on a younger audience, to integrate them into leadership roles.”