Michael, what about police? Is their money not worth risking their lives? The risk also has to do with how prepared you are for risky situations.
But the safest thing to be done is to fix the economy so there is less reason to steal shit... If there were endless opportunities for competent/creative people to earn money, guns wouldn't be much of an issue aside from the odd lunatic or drug addict.
Help the people that know how to utilize the help, then they'll lead the way for everyone else.
This is complicated. We have a lot to discuss.
First, it is true that culture matters. A truly capitalist society would be more peaceful, less bothered by crime. I highly recommnend The Invention of Enterprise: Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times, David S. Landes, Joel Mokyr, and William J. Baumol, eds which I reviewed for the Libertarian Papers here. The editors assembled about a dozen histories and sociologies to make their points. (Many of the same facts appear in The Economy of Cities by Jane Jacobs and in Max Weber's City.) Culture matters. Largely, merchants were seldom highly regarded, but when they were, things got better for everyone. And things are getting better. See Matt Ridley's The Rational Optimist, which I review on my blog here. Interpersonal crime has been falling for centuries as we move away from looter philosophies to invention, productivity and trade.
But that is the point. In our society, which has been largely commercial for over 250 years, the people who commit acts of violence are not economically desperate.
In fact, there is no correlation between social violence and economic trend. Despite the recession of the past 10 or 12 years, the rates of violent cirme have been falling. Some people claim that it is because we lock up all the criminals - nearly 1% of the population consists of those in or released from prison. Levitt and Dunbar in Freakonomics point to birth control and family planning and the diminished incidence of unwanted children.
Moreover, white collar criminals do more harm and are by definition economically well off.
The "mass-mediated hyper-reality of crime" hides them but informs us of street crime. So, you only get reinforcement for what you already believe. No one says we need guns because of salmonella outbreaks at Taco Bell and at public schools in Ottawa.
You want the police to risk their lives, but most of the harms you suffer have nothing to do with explicit, random, stranger events. Mostly,you are victimized by normal people in your own world.