Post-Parkland Shooting, New Voter Registration is Actually Down
I believe the Children are our future,
They'll totally vote,
Make the guns go away...
- Whitney Houston (2018 Remix)
After the tragic shooting at a Parkland high school, things were supposed to be totally different. Kids were angry about guns. Leftists were finally getting the gun control they wanted. CNN turned itself into an anti-gun SuperPAC. Hoggy Hogg and the Gunny Bunch marched (see Top 5 Idiotic Moments From ‘March for Our Lives’ Gun Control Rally and Matthew McConaughey Supports Gun Control at Austin #MarchForOurLives). Sure, most of the marchers couldn't tell you the difference between a handgun and a handjob. But they were all very angry! Finally, the NRA-bought elected officials were going to be voted out.
Problem. Apparently, the cable news outrage isn't translating into people registering to vote. Voter registration in Florida is actually down.
Gun violence and a polarizing president may have spurred more activism among millenials and in the subsequent Generation Z. But so far it isn’t generating new voters in Florida.
Across six of the seven largest counties, there were 4,500 fewer registrations among 16- to 25-year-olds compared to the same point in 2014. The largest county, Miami-Dade, could not provide historical data for registrations.
Don't we do this every two to four years? Assume the young people are going to vote in record numbers, but never do?
The numbers counter a popular narrative since February’s deadly massacre in Parkland that asserted there was an awakening among teens and young adults. This theory was bolstered by local and national rallies on gun violence, orchestrated high school walkouts, and an unusual number of young candidates who filed to run.
Yet even in Broward County — where 17 high school students, teachers and staff died in a February shooting that sparked a national movement to stop gun violence — there are fewer new registrations.
Call in the Narrative Buster!
Kids will always disappoint you. They don't want to go into the family business. They choose to major in Women's Studies instead of something that matters. Like anything with engineering.
Also, no matter how much you exploit them, they just won't turn out to vote for your political agenda. All the hashtag campaigns in the world won't change that.
But thanks for trying. Meanwhile, NRA numbers and gun sales are up. So it wasn't entirely a lost cause.