On Wednesday March 22nd, the Troy University Young Americans for Liberty chapter descended on our Social Quad to gauge students thoughts on free markets. We set up a large pushpin survey for people to respond to the question, "What Should you be able to Sell?" Given the following options, this is how they answered:
Homemade lemonade: Yes-90, No-9
Kidneys: Yes-73, No-16
Marijuana: Yes-83, No-13, maybe-3
Hard drugs: Yes-32, No-54, maybe-3
Sex: Yes-52, No-44
High capacity rifles: Yes-44, No-32, maybe-5
(Maybe wasn't an official answer, but rather indicated by placing a pushpin between the yes and no boxes)
Students largely agreed with homemade lemonade being able to be sold, with the few opposing views being that we wouldn't know what was in the lemonade, and one gentleman opposed it on the fact that lemonade has too much sugar.
With almost a 5 to 1 margin, students also agreed that kidneys should be able to be sold. The basis for support primarily being the bodily autonomy argument, and knowing that if able to sell a kidney we could cover large portions of our college costs. The opposition stated that kidneys should only be donated, selling a part of yourself is immoral.
Being a college campus, even a conservative one, explains the vast majority of people in favor of being able to sell marijuana and shows the general trend of the belief in legalization, with those opposed stating moral reasonings against it.
Hard drugs, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin, was the only clear cut loser on the survey, not surprisingly. Those in favor of legal sales of hard drugs stated a bodily autonomy and personal liberty causes. Those opposed gave moral reasons, social degradation, and bodily harm arguments.
Sex and high capacity magazine rifles both had more in favor than opposed but were both much closer than the other options. Those in favor of being able sell sex argued, like many other things, that it was a bodily autonomy issue and that it was an issue of female empowerment in many cases. Those opposed to the sale of sex stated moral issues as well as the exploitation and degradation of women as their main concerns.
Those in favor of High-capacity magazine rifles cited the Second Amendment and individual liberty as their reasoning. Those opposed stated that the rifles are destructive in nature and are not needed for practical purposes, such as hunting or self-defense, many in opposition did state they supported gun ownership but not AR-15s, AK-47s and the like. This particular question was interesting to look at the results, because I held a similar survey two years ago, with the phrasing "Assault Rifles" and at that time, people were much more in favor of them being sold, with a spread similar to the kidney data. I believe this just goes to show that mass shootings have changed many people's minds on the issue.
This is overall a pretty great activism event and a great way to gauge students opinions of free markets, and then hold an activism event like this to promote a meeting or speaker on free markets.