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One third of adults avoid certain places for fear of mass shootings

Gun violence social issue as the cast shadow of a group of people including children over bullets as a tragic shooting society problem with 3D elements.

A new survey shows that a large majority of adults in the United States are stressed by mass shootings and a third of U.S. adults say that fear of mass shootings stops them from going to certain places and events.

This survey from the American Psychological Association and the Harris Poll was conducted following a pair of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that killed 31 people. 

Nearly 80 percent of adults in the U.S. say they experience stress from the possibility of a mass shooting occurring, according to the survey. 

The survey also reports that many adults are altering their behavior due to the fear of mass shootings, such as avoiding going certain places. 

Of the over 2,000 adults surveyed, nearly one in three reported they cannot go anywhere without worrying about being a victim of a mass shooting, while about the same number said fear prevents them from going to certain places or events. 

Those surveyed mentioned public events, malls, schools and movie theaters among the places they were most stressed about a mass shooting occurring. 

The survey also found that 32 percent of Hispanic adults, compared to 15 percent of white adults, said they experience stress “often or constantly” because of mass shootings. The suspect behind the El Paso shooting told authorities he was targeting “Mexicans.” 

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60 percent of African American adults, 50 percent of Hispanic adults and 41 percent of white adults surveyed said they feel they or someone they know will be the victim of a mass shooting. 

85 percent of women surveyed reported experiencing stress associated with mass shootings, compared to 71 percent of men. 

Parents with children under the age of 18 were nearly twice as likely as those without children under 18 to say they experience stress “often or constantly” because of the fear of a mass shooting, according to the survey. 62 percent of all parents surveyed said they live in fear that their children will be victims of a mass shooting. 

There have been 261 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), a nonprofit that tracks gun violence in the U.S. The GVA defines a mass shooting as any incident where at least four people were shot, not including the shooter. 

Of those 261 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, six occurred in Alabama.


Jessa Reid Bolling is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter and graduate of The University of Alabama with a B.A. in journalism and political science.

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