Like the others commenting here, I applaud your decision to exercise your rights, but HIGHLY encourage you to seek training on how to handle a weapon and to practice, practice, practice. You need to run scenarios and have automated neurological responses when handling a weapon. Also, here's what no one can prepare you for—taking a life. As a combat veteran of both wars, you need to understand that until you've been trained to kill you will hesitate 100% of the time every time, and THAT will get you killed. Also understand that even the fastest draws take about 3.5 seconds. If the people are right in front of you or you have to run to get the weapon what use is that? Consider practicing Kali and Silat knife fighting, because I can stick a man with a blade faster than he can draw. If you are serious about protection, then don't just assume owning a gun will keep you safe. Those that are the best trained or have spent years around weapons will be the ones—in the end—to survive. It's a hard choice you're in stuck between idealism and reality. I'm the same. I lean toward pacifism and only believe in war as a last resort now, but I still train and practice because I've seen the world and know what lurks about in men's hearts. And should that day come, that old warrior will reemerge reluctantly, but prepared. I hope the same for you.