I generally avoid crowds simply because I am an introvert and find contact with a lot of people to be draining. I do it sometimes when the rewards are worth the effort (Boomershoot, NRA Conventions, family gatherings, etc.).
Things have been changing and the downside of being in large groups of people is increasing. DHS and the FBI warned us (from December 24th):
Federal authorities warned Friday that ISIS sympathizers “continue aspirational calls for attacks on holiday gatherings, including targeting churches.”
The bulletin was issued by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security and issued to law enforcement agencies and private security companies around the US.
There are no known specific, credible threats, US law enforcement officials say. The bulletin was issued out of an abundance of caution given the public nature of the posted threats and the holiday season.
The bulletin was sent Friday to law enforcement after pro-ISIS websites had published a publicly-available list of churches in the United States.
There are also more explicit threats, ‘We will make New Year mayhem’ which include the following pictures (click to see higher resolution pictures):
Stay alert, stay calm, and carry if you can.