Home > American Pulse > Random Acts of Violence: Not-So-Random Concerns

Random Acts of Violence: Not-So-Random Concerns

Many Americans across the nation have been shaken up by recent violent attacks in Colorado at a movie theater, in Wisconsin at a Sikh temple and now New York, just outside the Empire State Building. Are citizens of these states more concerned about violence than the rest of the nation?

More than 1 in 3 (35.1%) Adults 18+ say they are somewhat or very concerned to visit public places, as of early August (shortly after the Dark Knight shooting in Colorado). Residents of New York (36.1%) and Wisconsin (35.8%) show slightly higher concern, while those in Colorado (24.7%) are not as worried. Ohioans (36.5%) also show elevated concern for visiting public places. As a native Ohioan, I must admit I get a little nervous when visiting Cleveland—perhaps it has something to do with the viral tourism videos

So what types of places have Americans thinking twice? Where might they avoid if possible? Despite TSA attempts to make airports safer, 2 in 5 Americans are still concerned about random acts of violence at these travel hubs. Shopping malls (33.1%) were the next highest location of concern—something retailers should really be aware of heading into the all-important holiday season. Santa’s little helpers might appreciate some added security this year.

Places of worship are understandably a big concern in Wisconsin (39.0%) while citizens of Colorado (34.9%) and those in Ohio (33.6%) show elevated apprehension for violence in schools. Whether past or present, vicious attacks such as those occurring in Oak Creek, Wisconsin; Columbine, Colorado; and Kent State University in Ohio still impact the perception of safety in the United States.

Overall, those in New York are the most concerned about random acts of violence in public places—7 in 10 admit to concerns about violence in at least one location.

Ohioans are less concerned—37.8% say they are not worried about violence in any public places. Perhaps this state isn’t such a bad place to visit!

Source: American Pulse™ Survey, August 2012, N=3,281

© 2012, Prosper®

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