As mass shootings and acts of terrorism have increased in the U.S. and are even tied together in some high-profile incidents, Americans are now equally worried that they or a family member will be a victim of each. Similar slim majorities of Americans are not worried that they or a family member will be a victim of terrorism or a mass shooting.
Overall, 46% of U.S. adults are “very” or “somewhat” worried about being a victim of terrorism, and 45% are similarly apprehensive about a mass shooting. Fewer than one in five Americans express the highest level of concern about either in these latest results. At the same time, 55% are “not too” or “not at all” worried that they or a family member would be a victim of a mass shooting, while 52% are not worried about terrorism.
The questions were asked of separate randomly selected halves of the sample in the Sept. 16-30 Gallup poll, each consisting of approximately 1,200 respondents. Although these two questions have not been previously asked in the same survey, they appeared in separate December 2015 surveys in the wake of the San Bernardino massacre that was deemed both terrorism and a mass shooting. In contrast to the current findings, in 2015 there were significant differences in levels of worry about each, as 51% of Americans were worried about being a victim of terrorism and 38% were worried about being a mass shooting victim.