Weren't no mall ninja around when...
...try telling the survivors that it won't happen here...or the many more that it's happened at before and after these...it's easy to dismiss them or ridicule those who warn us...till it's our niece or daughter...or mother or brother...times have sadly changed...proof is in the papers....
Concealed Carry is NOT for everyone (unfortunately)
The topic of carrying a gun is so contentious, it rivals discussions of religion, abortion, politics...
That said, I don't think many people can disagree that we live in a dangerous and unpredictable world... whether you live in a major city or a rural area. Amazingly stupid things happen every day, when most people least expect it. Of course you don't want to intentionally go into a 'bad' area. Of course you don't want to ask for trouble. But that's the whole point of carrying - that you are prepared when you DON'T expect trouble.
So the obvious comes into play:
1. The police play a critical role in our society, but they DO NOT and CANNOT protect the citizenry en masse proactively. And even if they WANTED to, like the saying goes: when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. Try calling 911 when your life is at immediate risk. Or hoping that when it happens there is conveniently a policeman or policewoman standing 5 feet away. I love to gamble, but not like that.
2. You hope you never need to pull your gun, but you'd rather have it and never need it, than need it and not have it.
3. And a million other reasons, rationalizations, truisms that speak to the wisdom of legally carrying a gun.
But it's NOT for everyone. Like driving a car, if you're not confident, don't do it. If you really don't feel comfortable carrying a gun, either don't do it (I don't want Nervous Nellies all around me with live guns), or better yet GET TRAINED. There is no substitute for experience. Most people find that the more they train and shoot, the more confident they become, and the more they 'feel' the seriousness of their responsibility as a gun owner and carrier.
A lot of good info and advice in this thread, but I wanted to add one more tidbit:
Carrying a gun IS serious business, and very serious responsibility. And that requires RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE who know that it's no one's business to know you are carrying (it cannot help and can only get you in trouble), that you don't pull your gun for anything less than YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER RIGHT NOW situations - and that does not include fights or arguments, or someone giving you the finger driving, or anything less than YOU BELIEVE YOU WILL DIE IF YOU DON'T PULL YOUR GUN!
One stupid person carrying can make a media mess for all the rest of us legal, responsible gun owners, and that's the last thing we need. I personally make it a habit to educate everyone I know to be more responsible, use better judgment, discuss this with other gun owners, keep the responsibility issue high on everyone's mind.
Stay safe everyone. Be smart. It's not that hard to do.
And a word for new gun carriers: Yes it can be exciting to have just gotten your carry permit. But this is not a reality show, it's real life. The day you get your permit to carry is the day you should lose the ego and bravado completely. This is one of the ultimate privileges of being an adult, and there is no more serious reality than having the power of life and death riding on your hip. There is NO room for error, you need to develop a ZERO tolerance policy for yourself. It is NOT something to show off. Ever.