Guns. Booze. War. Abortion. Voting. How Old Is Old Enough?: New at Reason

American attitudes about adolescence lack explicable precision.

A. Barton Hinkle writes:

It is too soon to know whether the Parkland massacre will clarify public attitudes about guns. But we can safely bet it will do nothing to clarify public attitudes about maturity. If anything, the episode has only muddled things further.

In the aftermath of the Valentine's Day slaughter, some Parkland students have transformed into gun-control activists. This has elicited sympathetic coverage in the establishment press, polite criticism from the conservative press, and vicious attacks and loony conspiracies from the troglodyte right.

Nobody is suggesting the students qualify as experts on public policy. The respectful hearing they have received has more to do with their moral authority as young, traumatized, and idealistic survivors of a horrific event. (And, to be frank, it helps that they have staked out a position with which most of the media already agree.)

At the same time, the shooting itself—carried out by a 19-year-old—has elicited proposals to raise the age at which a person can buy a rifle to 21

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