When the World Trade Centers were attacked 12 years ago, Americans wondered whether terrorist acts would become as commonplace here as in Israel.
A week after the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing, Pew Research Center polled 1,002 adults; 75 percent thought that “occasional acts of terrorism in the U.S. will be part of life in the future.”
“There are a lot of nuts out there,” Bob Davidson of Avon Park agreed Tuesday. “Why did the Boston bombers do it? I haven’t heard yet.”
“The Boston bombings riveted most Americans,” said the Pew Research Center for People & the Press report. “The incident appeared to confirm the public’s long-held belief that occasional terrorist acts are to be expected.”
“I don’t trust that we’re safe enough in this country,” said Sue Mathaey of Avon Park.
“The younger generation doesn’t have the respect for the U.S. that we had,” said Alfred E. Smith of Sebring.
National respondents were divided, 49 yes to 45 no, over whether the federal government is doing enough to prevent future terrorism events.
“No,” Mathaey said. “They’re taking more and more military (out of service). We need more.”
“Yes, I think they’re really trying, but it’s a hard thing,” Smith said. Bryan McNutt of Lake Placid suggested the U.S. should make greater Homeland Security efforts.
The steps the government has taken since 9/11 are seen by 60 percent as having made the country safer, 35 percent say federal actions haven’t had much of an effect. Partisan differences on this subject are minor: 78 percent of Republicans and 73 percent of Democrats predict future attacks; 69 percent of Republicans credit the government’s post-9/11 actions for making the country safer, along with 59 percent of Independents and 58 percent of Democrats.
Mathaey’s relatives are deployed in the military. “All over the world,” she said. Therefore, she worries if they’ll be terrorism targets.
So does McNutt, who flies a lot, and Smith, who has two grandsons in Brooklyn.
Only 23 percent of Americans are very worried about attack on America, the Pew Poll said. Another 35 percent are somewhat worried, 41 percent are not too worried or not at all worried.
About 89 percent of seniors followed the Boston coverage on television, 24 percent on the radio, 41 percent read newspapers, 19 percent followed news on a computer or mobile device, 6 percent on a social network site. The numbers were reversed for Americans aged 18-29: 68 percent watched TV, 41 percent listened to the radio, 25 cent read newspapers, 70 percent viewed on computers or mobile devices, 56 percent followed social networks.