In the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., U.S. parents of school-aged children are more concerned about their children’s safety at school than they were in August, with the percentage saying they fear for their oldest child’s safety rising eight percentage points to 33%.
This is the highest level recorded since October 2006 when 35% were fearful. That poll was conducted just days after a deadly shooting at an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pa.
On the morning of Friday, Dec. 14, a lone 20-year-old gunman shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and proceeded to kill 20 students and six staff members, before killing himself once authorities arrived, making it the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.
The deadliest school shooting in U.S. history was the Virginia Tech massacre of 2007.
The new USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted Dec. 19-22, also finds 52% of Americans saying it is very or somewhat likely that shootings similar to what happened in Newtown, Conn. could happen in their own community.
By 60% to 43%, women are significantly more likely than men to believe shootings similar to the one that occurred in Newtown, Conn., could happen in their own community.
Concern is also higher among adults aged 35 and older than those aged 18 to 35. Gallup
FACTS & FIGURES
Mass shootings in the U.S. appear to be on the upswing. Of the 12 deadliest shootings in U.S. history, six have taken place since 2007. Washington Post
A mass killing occurs once every two weeks in the United States, in attacks that range from robberies to horrific public shooting sprees like the massacre of 26 people in Newtown, Conn., a USA TODAY examination has found.
Children are frequently the victims of mass shootings. At least 161 children died in mass killings from 2006 to 2010. Livingston Daily
More civilians are armed in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world, with Yemen coming in a distant second, according to the independent Small Arms Survey in Geneva.
U.S. mass shootings have occurred against a backdrop of a highly individualistic society with few safety nets for struggling Americans and much economic inequality and racial injustice.