Your number one philosophy for personal security should be a life long commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.
Avoidance: The act of avoiding or keeping away from (Three Stupid Rule.) If you can safely retreat from the encounter, by all means do so. For instance, if you are out for a walk and feel threatened or intimidated by an occupant of a car, you should retreat in the opposite direction that the car is traveling.
Deterrence: The act of discouraging someone from taking hostile action against you by being aware of them and their possible intent.
De-escalation: The act of decreasing in intensity. To not let your ego or emotions get the best of you, to refrain from escalating the problem into more than it already is. As a CCW you may need to back down from non-life threatening, argumentative encounters in order to not allow things to spiral out of control.
When these things do not work, then and only then may you need to show or use the gun. Just because we are carrying does not mean that we need to use the gun. You want to do whatever is reasonably possible to avoid using the gun. But when your well researched, well thought out “line in the sand” has been crossed you need to act without hesitation.
The “Three Stupid” Rule
“Do not go to stupid places, with stupid people, and do stupid things”
We all know that nobody wants thugs to dictate where they can or cannot go. Put there are simply some places, people, and things that you should avoid if you want to lower your risks. You can cut down on your risks by a good 95% if you just follow the three stupid rule.