News and Commentary

Most Of The March For Our Lives Protesters Weren’t Young — And Most Weren’t Motivated By Gun Control

The March for Our Lives was, of course, billed as a march by students affected by mass shootings for students who might, in the future, be affected by a mass shooting. But, it turns out, despite the hours spent bussing in kids from all over the country, and the attention lavished on a handful of student organizers, the vast majority — a whopping 90% — of marchers were middle-aged.

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone familiar with the anti-Trump “Resistance.” After an initial wave of marches, the Resistance began to skew older and more female, and by early 2018, consisted almost entirely of Baby Boomer-aged women lecturing their kids and grandkids about the forthcoming nuclear holocaust on social media.

Although the kids provided a catalyst that catapulted the movement back into the headlines, the March for Our Lives had only a thin veneer of youth. Aside from the Parkland students that spoke, and the motivated, progressive kids who boarded buses to Washington, D.C. with only weeks lead time, the organizers were all legacy progressive organizations led by career progressive lobbyists.

And now, the data pans that out. According to a scientific survey taken during the March itself by researchers associated with The Washington Post and who have tracked the anti-Trump “Resistance” since it began the night after the election in 2016, the same people just keep showing up at everything.

The March for Our Lives was 70% women. Nearly three quarters of the marchers — 72% — had a bachelor’s degree or higher level of graduate education, putting them well into the category of “leftist elite.”

Most importantly though, less than 10% of marchers were under the age of 18, even though the march was clearly supposed to be for and about high school aged children. Of those adults attending the march who were over the age of 18, the average age was 49 years old — well within the realm of “Baby Boomer.”

And the vast majority were career agitators: only about a quarter of marchers had “never protested before.”

Weirder still, according to The Washington Post’s data collection operation, most of the marchers weren’t even motivated by the issue of gun control. Only 12% of the people who had never marched in a protest before were at the March for Our Lives because they were motivated by gun control.

“Instead, new protesters reported being motivated by the issues of peace (56 percent) and Trump (42 percent), who has been a galvanizing force for many protests,” WaPo reported.

And to no surprise, they were mostly career leftists: “79 percent identified as ‘left-leaning’ and 89 percent reported voting for Hillary Clinton.”

So, in other words, nearly all of the people who showed up last weekend are the same people who have showed up at protests, organized against a conservative agenda, perhaps since the mid-1960s. That’s good news for gun advocates, who were worried the show of force last weekend in Washington, D.C. would lead to more stringent gun control legislation by popular demand. But it’s bad news for Democrats who thought they’d harnessed a whole new generation of progressive advocates.

Turns out, it’s the same generation, just with different signs.