Poll: Americans Uncertain They Would Kill Usama

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Americans are divided on their willingness to personally kill Usama bin Laden if given the opportunity.

In a recent poll conducted for FOX News by the research firm Opinion Dynamics, respondents were asked if, in the unlikely event the opportunity presented itself, they would personally kill Usama. Less than half (45 percent) said "yes," while an almost equal number said "no" (43 percent) they would not kill the leader of Al Qaeda, the group believed to be responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States.

"On the surface it might seem surprising that 'only' 45 percent would personally kill bin Laden, but in reality, this is a high proportion of the public who would carry out an act that is — under most circumstances — unthinkable to most Americans," said Ernest Paicopolos, a principal of Opinion Dynamics.

There is a clear "gender gap" on this issue, as men are more likely than women to say they would kill Usama (64 percent of men to 29 percent of women). Also, young people (those under the age of 35) are more likely than other age groups to say they would take the opportunity to get rid of the terrorist leader. Among political parties, 50 percent of Republicans say they would kill bin Laden compared to 40 percent of Democrats and 45 percent of Independents.

Polling was conducted by telephone June 26-27, 2002 in the evenings. The sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ± 3 percentage points.

1. While it is a highly unlikely situation, if you had the opportunity, would you personally kill Usama bin Laden?