In a six-day survey of more than 1,200 adults across the U.S., the Kaiser Family Foundation found that Americans worry more about being a victim of gun violence than they do about losing a job or being unable to pay their mortgage.
Among the biggest worriers -- African Americans and Latinos.
The findings, which were released Wednesday, are the latest in a series of bi-monthly surveys tracking the public’s experiences in the health care system, their ranking of health as a policy priority, and their views on health care reform options. In February, the poll focused on some of the health policy implications of this winter’s national debate over gun violence, gun control and the adequacy of the nation’s response to the needs of those living with serious mental illness.
Although healthcare topped Americans' list of concerns (39 percent said they were very worried about someone close being diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer) gun violence followed not far behind.
42 percent of respondents said they were either "very worried" or "somewhat worried" about being the victim of gun violence, putting job loss further down on the list of things they worry about. Not being able to pay rent or a mortgage ranked even lower with 39 percent expressing some degree of concern.
According to a 2012 report by the Children’s Defense Fund, gun homicide was the leading cause of death for young blacks aged 15 to 19 and they were eight times as likely to be victims than their white counterparts.