I'm with you Bob. I tell very few people that I carry a gun. And yes, it is an awesome responsibility and should be given the utmost thought and consideration by anyone choosing to take on this undertaking. I look at it as a philosophy and your post pretty much sums it up, for me at least.
I was once asked by a neighbor who owns long guns and hanguns but never carries on his person (occasionally a revolver in the glove compartment), "you don't want to shoot somebody do you?" To which I replied, 'not unless they force me to'. The last thing any sane gun owner wants is to be put in the position to have to draw their weapon to defend their life. No one prays harder for peace than the soldier.