NEW YORK, Mass shootings like the one that killed 14 in Southern California this month and another that killed nine at an Oregon college in October have become run of the mill in American life, according to a new poll.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, released Monday, said 71 percent of respondents said such attacks have become a normal and permanent part of American life.
Just 21 percent of those who answered said such acts of violence are exceptional — and that they expect they will be less frequent in the future.
Fourteen were killed Dec. 2 when a husband and wife team launched an attack on a San Bernardino, Calif., social services facility during a holiday party. Federal investigators have since classified it a terrorist attack.
In late 2001, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, a poll found that 28 percent of respondents said they were concerned about themselves being, or relatives being, a victim of a terror attack. Monday’s poll put that number at 29 percent.
The figure increases slightly when asked if they had concerns over becoming a victim to gun violence in general.
Seventy percent said they were not concerned about falling prey to terror, and 67 percent answered that way regarding gun violence.
“These results do not represent blips on the radar but a true psychological shift in American attitudes,” Democratic pollster Fred Yang said.
The poll results were also largely split among partisan lines. Nearly 80 percent of Democratic primary voters expressed concern that shootings have become normal in the United States. compared to 56 percent of GOP voters who said they felt that way.
Multiple high profile shooting rampages have occurred in 2015, including a deadly assault on a historically black church in South Carolina in June. Overseas, 130 died in a coordinated terrorist attack on Nov. 13.
President Barack Obama met with Defense officials Monday to discuss the fight against terror and its impact on Americans’ lives.
The new poll was conducted last week and surveyed a thousand adults nationwide. It has a margin of error at 3.1 percent.
By Doug G. Ware