WASHINGTON – Americans appear to be more worried that ever about the possibility of themselves or a loved one becoming a victim of a mass shooting, according to a new Gallup poll.
After two mass shootings last month claimed the lives of 31 people in one weekend, approximately 48 percent of U.S. adults surveyed said they were “very” or “somewhat” worried, compared with 39 percent in 2017 after a gunman killed 58 people at a country concert in Las Vegas. Approximately 38 percent of U.S. adults said they were “very” or “somewhat” worried in 2015 after a shooting in San Bernardino left 14 dead.
The most recent poll was conducted between Aug. 15 to Aug. 30, less than two weeks after the back-to-back shootings.
Authorities said 22 people were killed and 24 others injured on Aug. 3 when a gunman opened fire at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. Hours later, authorities said 9 people were killed in Dayton, Ohio and another 27 were wounded early in the morning on Aug. 4 before police shot and killed a 24-year-old suspect.
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The polling organization said the previous polls conducted in 2015 and 2017 were conducted in the immediate aftermath of the shootings — and said the latest August 2019 poll “may have been even higher had the poll happened closer to the shootings.”
In total, 19 percent of American adults said they were “very worried,” 29 percent said they were “somewhat worried,” 27 percent reported being “not too worried” and 25 percent said they were “not worried at all” about becoming the victim of a mass shooting.
Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, those who do not personally own a gun, women and younger adults were all significantly more worried than their counterparts, the Gallup poll showed.
In the recent poll, 64 percent of Democrats and 27 percent of Republicans said they were “very” or “somewhat worried.” In 2015, 46 percent of Republicans and 32 percent of Democrats registered the same degree of worry.
Approximately 13 percent of U.S. adults said they purchased a gun out of worry — and 12 percent said they had avoided going to events like concerts, festivals and sporting events with large crowds.
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This story was reported from Cincinnati.