Stephen Colbert told his CBS audience Tuesday night that, “until we do something about guns,” people over the age of 18 should not be allowed to vote.
The Late Show host opened by claiming that in the wake of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, elected officials — especially Florida Senator Marco Rubio — are not seriously considering efforts to enact new common sense gun control legislation.
“There is one group that gives me hope that we can protect the children, and sadly it’s the children,” Colbert offered. “The students from Parkland, Florida.”
“These students saw their leaders doing nothing and said, ‘hold me root beer,'” he continued. “The adults aren’t cutting it anymore. I think we need to change the voting age. Until we do something about guns, you can’t vote if you’re over 18. I’d feel better.”
LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 06: Stephen Colbert attends the Showtime Golden Globe Nominees Celebration at Sunset Tower on January 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tara Ziemba/Getty Images)
Colbert praised the Parkland survivors for providing “more than just words. These kids are organizing a series of school walkouts across the country and a march in Washington. These kids are inspiring.”
“I hope these kids don’t give up,” he added. “Because this is their lives and their future. Someone else may be in power, but this country belongs to them.”
Colbert isn’t the first talking head to suggest changing the voting age after Parkland.
Harvard professor Laurence Tribe suggested that children “between 14 and 18 have far better BS detectors, on average, than ‘adults’ 18 and older.”
“Wouldn’t it be great if the voting age were lowered to 16?” he tweeted. “Just a pipe dream, I know, but… #Children’sCrusade.”
Tribe also argued that not considering lowering the voting age to 16 “echoes the [argument] made in 1870 against giving former slaves the right to vote, in 1920 against giving women the vote, in 1971 against giving 18-year-olds the vote.”