9/11 and Mass shootings have made an impact on everyday life
Bottom Line: 18 years ago, it’s truly hard to imagine it’s been that long, almost all of us feared additional terrorist attacks on US soil after 9/11. I still remember some of the initial polling in the weeks following the attacks that day. Over 90% of Americans thought we’d experience a similar type of attack within the next year. That fear was exactly what the terrorists were attempting to achieve. Bin Laden & co knew they couldn’t defeat us militarily, but they did want to harm our economy and create fear that would disrupt our everyday lives. And for a time, that was the case. Thanks to the sacrifices made by so many in service to our country – Islamic terror remains a threat but generally one that’s battled outside of our country. Instead the more recent form of fear has been brought about through the mass shooting epidemic.
Sidestepping the causation aspects that we’ve discussed at length, is this latest revelation from Gallup. Nearly half of us have a personal fear of mass shootings and more than one in ten of us changes behavior as a result of the fear. 48%of us have a fear of mass shootings, more than at any time previous according to Gallup’s findings and while the fear is greatest among young adults and women – it's at record highs among all demographics. Among the changes in behavior – 13% have purchased a gun themselves, while 12% deliberately avoid crowds and even 6% going so far as to alter their shopping habits and other stuff that’s in public places.
Like terror of 18 years ago this too can pass as a regular fear in our society but only if we have similar success in ending these attacks going forward. This may prove to be a more difficult challenge than a defined enemy with a clear mission. Let’s hope we figure out a way to obtain similar success.