On Tuesday, Dec. 12, the Los Angeles Unified School District received what it thought was a credible terrorist threat, an email that apparently originated from Germany, noting specific schools in the district. A similar threatening email sent the same day to New York City schools was called a hoax. LAUSD, however, took it seriously and evacuated over 640,000 students from close to 900 schools.

LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines made the decision to evacuate the schools.

“I, as the superintendent, am not going to take the chance with the life of a student,” Cortines said at a news conference.

After the district was evacuated, a 17-year-old student who would have otherwise been in school was struck and killed by a city service truck not far from his charter high school.

Later that night, during the Republican presidential debate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie blamed President Barack Obama for the LAUSD bomb hoax and evacuation, stating that the Obama administration failed to address the threat and implied that the country is not safe or secure.

Fear is winning.

During the debate Donald Trump insisted that he would be a great wall because “people are pouring across the southern border.” (Note: From 2009 to 2014, 1 million Mexicans and their families [including U.S.-born children] left the U.S. for Mexico, according to data from the 2014 Mexican National Survey of Demographic Dynamics. U.S. census data for the same period show an estimated 870,000 Mexican nationals left Mexico to come to the U.S., a smaller number than the flow of families from the U.S. to Mexico.) Sen. Ted Cruz said the U.S. should use “overwhelming air power to utterly and completely destroy ISIS. … ISIS is gaining strength because the perception is that they’re winning. And president Obama fuels that perception.”

Trump continues to soar in most polls. Cruz now trumps Trump in the polls in Iowa.

Fear is winning.

On Dec. 2, a radicalized Muslim extremist couple opened fire on a holiday party for public employees in San Bernardino, killing 14 people and wounding 21 others. Trump proposed a ban on Muslim immigrants. Weeks before, and a week after the terrorist attacks in Paris, he said he would consider requiring Muslims in the U.S. to register and be in a database and carry identification.

The following ensued, as reported by the online media outlet, Talking Points Memo:

Dec. 4: Windows broken at Palm Beach Islamic center; man threatened to cut off Muslims’ heads in St. Louis

Dec. 5: Muslim store owner in Queens, New York, punched by man who yelled, “I kill Muslims”; Muslim congressman in Indiana received death threat

Dec. 5-6: Man threw stones at Muslim woman’s car

Dec. 6: Sikh temple (mistaken for Muslim) vandalized in Buena Park, California; woman threw hot coffee at Muslims praying in park

Dec. 7: Man asked restaurant workers if they were Muslim, slapped one employee

Dec 8: Pig’s head found outside Philadelphia mosque; New Jersey mosque received hateful letters

Dec. 9: Passengers attacked ride-share driver in Seattle; man called woman “trash,” kicked her in the leg

Dec. 10: Council on American-Islamic Relations received hateful mail with unknown substance; vandals broke windows at Phoenix mosque; Man set fire to Somali restaurant just a few days after Nazi symbols and the phrase “go home” were found painted on the restaurant; Muslim woman’s car shot at while leaving mosque; Muslim family had windows of house smashed multiple times

Dec. 11: Man set fire to mosque in Coachella, California

Dec. 12: 20 people held armed protest at Dallas mosque

Dec. 13: Two Southern California mosques vandalized, fake grenade found in one mosque

Fear is winning.

After the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, gun sales skyrocketed, with as many as 6,000 guns sold per day in California. In 2012, however, the Washington Post ranked the United States No. 1 for the highest gun ownership rate in the world and for the highest per capita rate of firearm-related murders of all developed countries.

Fear is winning.

Fear leads to violence. Violence leads to fear. How can we break the cycle? Don’t give in to fear.