The best protection against violent crime is not to be there when it happens. Don’t give in to irrational levels of fear, but don’t ignore warning signs either.
This is similar to the way we treat winter storms around here. We don’t panic about them, and we don’t fixate on them. We do watch the weather news so we have some advance notice of potential trouble, and we do stay comfortably prepared.
We keep the pantry well-stocked so we can ride out storms if they come, and we have alternate heat sources for when the power goes out. Because we’re prepared to avoid trouble, trouble is less likely to find us and less likely to harm us if it does.
When we hear smart, capable people saying there’s an increased risk of violence, as Massad Ayoob does here, that’s a good time to look around at your own levels of basic preparedness. Pantry stocked so you can avoid crowded stores? Gasoline in the tank so you can drive away from trouble if you need to? Awareness in place so you can get away from a mob before it starts? Good. Now relax and go live a happy life, knowing that you can be cheerfully comfortable even in troubled times because you know how you’ll cope if something bad happens.