- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 12, 2002

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Four in five Americans would give up some freedoms to gain security, and four in 10 worry terrorists will harm them or their family, a new Gallup poll shows.
About one-third of those polled favor making it easier for authorities to read private e-mail and listen to telephone conversations.
More than 70 percent are in favor of requiring U.S. citizens to carry identification cards with fingerprints, and 77 percent believe all Americans should have smallpox vaccinations.
"It was amazing the percentage of people who are willing to give up freedom to get back some sense of personal security," said Elaine Christiansen, senior research director for the Gallup Organization. "These aren't people who were necessarily near the [World Trade Center], near the Pentagon, near the Murrah building. These are average people."
The telephone survey, conducted in March, included 934 persons across the country. Researchers also polled about 500 people in each of three cities where terrorist attacks occurred New York City, Washington and Oklahoma City to compare results with the general population survey.
The poll showed 8 percent of Americans are very worried and 31 percent are somewhat worried that they or someone in their family will become victims of a terrorist attack in the United States. In New York City, the level of worry is higher 19 percent said they are very worried and 34 percent said they are somewhat worried.
Washington and Oklahoma City reported levels of fear close to the national average.
Scientists involved in the poll said they were not surprised many Americans remain fearful after September 11.
"The magnitude of the event was just so profound," said Carol North, a psychiatry professor at Washington University in St. Louis, who said talk of the war in Afghanistan, airline security and terrorist threats are propelling the fear.
The study was co-sponsored by the University of Oklahoma psychiatry department through a grant from the Oklahoma City National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. The main survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points, while the margin of error for the survey in the three cities is plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Meanwhile, a New York Times/CBS News poll found that 60 percent of New York residents think the threat of a terrorist attack in their city is greater than it is in any other big city.
Barely 40 percent of respondents believe the city is safer than it had been four years ago, a decrease of 20 percent from a poll in August. Even so, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said that given a choice, they would prefer to be living in the city four years from now than in any other place.
The poll, conducted by telephone in English or Spanish from June 4 through Sunday, surveyed 940 adults. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.


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