But people across the country were not taking any chances with suspicious packages after six pipe bombs were sent to prominent Democrats on the East Coast.

What does it mean?

  1. people were not having the chance to get a suspicious packages.
  2. people were anxious about every packages they received.
  • Have you heard of the expression to take no chances? If not, follow this link: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/take%20no%20chances – Michael Rybkin Oct 25 '18 at 5:16
  • @MichaelRybkin You mean "not take chance" is same with "take no chance"? – Zhang Oct 25 '18 at 5:31
  • 1
    Yes, it's just an alternative grammatical form of that expression. I don't have any pens is the same thing as saying I have no pens. Same meaning, but just slightly different grammar. – Michael Rybkin Oct 25 '18 at 13:39

Taking a chance or to take a chance means choosing to do something that has a risk of failure or of negative consequences.

Not taking any chances or to take no chances means to avoid anything that has a risk of failure or of negative consequences (or at least to try to do so).

In this context it means that people will be extra careful of suspicious packages because of the circumstances, whereas normally people might be more willing to assume that suspicious packages are just mislabeled, delivered to the wrong address, etc.

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