As the visibility and number of mass shootings in the United States rises, so has the worry that people or their families will be victims. The figure has risen particularly since four years ago.
According to a new Gallup survey on worry about mass shootings and terrorism, taken from September 16 to September 30, 16% of those questioned were “very worried” about shootings for themselves or their families, which is up from 11% in December 2015. In the latest survey, 29% were somewhat worried, 28% were “not too worried” and 27% were not worried at all.
The latest readings on shooting worries are nearly identical to those last August, several weeks after 31 people were killed in two separate mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, over a 13-hour period. At that time, a record-high 48% of Americans said they were worried (“very” or “somewhat”) about being a mass shooting victim.
The gun violence problem has become an epidemic. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 328 mass shootings this year. Other definitions of such attacks put the number lower, as low as 21 deadly mass shootings, according to ABC News. That does not mitigate the level of the problem.
No matter how the mass shooting numbers are measured, many people obviously believe that the problem is close to home.