Grew up in CT hunting w/ longbarrels. Now living in the firearm friendly state of FL. I own a home & range G17 and carry a G26. Love them both, as well as the obligatory 12ga :)
The best weapon for protecting yourself is your brain. Use it. Be aware of your surroundings and people within your proximity. If you're in a situation where you don't even have time to chamber a round you've already made a series of mistakes.