Results of a recent survey found that a surprisingly high number of U.S. college students find the use of violence to silence a speaker to be ok.
According to the survey, when asked the question "A student group opposed to the speaker uses violence to prevent the speaker from speaking. Do you agree or disagree that the student group’s actions are acceptable?" 19 percent of respondents answered that they agreed that violence is acceptable.
The survey was published by the Brookings Institute and it asked 1,500 students enrolled at colleges throughout the U.S.
When broken down, the results showed some interesting trends. For, example 30 percent of male respondents said that they thought violence was ok, while only ten percent of female students agreed.
A similar percentage of both Democrats (20%) and Republicans (22%) agreed to the question, although independents (16%) were slightly lower.
An even higher number of people agreed with another question about whether it was ok to shut down speakers by shouting or making noise.
When asked the question "A student group opposed to the speaker disrupts the speech by loudly and repeatedly shouting so that the audience cannot hear the speaker. Do you agree or disagree that the student group’s actions are acceptable?" 51 percent of college students agreed that this action was acceptable.
In this instance, there were fairly large disparities between the main US political parties, with 62 percent of Democrats agreeing with the statement when compared to 39 percent of Republicans.
About the results of the survey, John Villasenor who published the survey said that "as the above results make clear, among many current college students there is a significant divergence between the actual and perceived scope of First Amendment freedoms."
He added that the results suggest "a majority of students appear to want an environment that shields them from being exposed to views they might find offensive."
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