More than two-thirds (72 percent) of New Jersey high schoolers believe the minimum age to buy assault weapons should be raised to 21. An even greater percentage (77 percent) take the view that gun laws in the United States need to be stricter in general. The results come from a nationwide survey of 25,000 9-12th grade students on the subject of gun policy and school safety; more than 1,300 New Jersey students took part. (The survey was conducted by Newsela, an instruction-content platform for students and teachers.)
The results come, of course, in the tragic context of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL and the subsequent stream of marches for gun control across the country. One flashpoint of the debate unleashed by those events has been the arguments for or against arming teachers. The New Jersey students who responded to the survey came down heavily against that prospect, with 64 percent opposed to teachers being allowed to carry guns.