It is very important that we have the proper mindset when we are carrying a firearm for personal protection. We absolutely have an increased amount of responsibility when we leave the house with the instantaneous ability to use deadly physical force. It is imperative to understand that carrying a firearm does not make up for our insecurities or make us a bigger person; it does however require us to be more responsible.
The firearm that we carry exists for one purpose: to defend our life or the life of another person from an imminent deadly threat. We do not carry a firearm to scare someone away, or intimidate someone. Another issue to discuss is justification vs. necessity. Just because you can use force does not necessarily mean that you should use force. Any use of force should be a last resort, not a first resort. Especially when carrying a firearm for personal protection, you should always be looking for any other alternative method to resolve any circumstance you find yourself confronted with.
It is also important to continue to seek out and take training. There is no substitute for training and experience, get as much time training with the firearm that you are carrying for personal defense as you possibly can. Having documentation of training can also aid you in the event of a use of force situation should you end up going to court to defend your actions.
We must also consider the possible legal ramifications of our actions. If you use force against another person to defend your life or the life of another person, there is a high probability that you may end up going to court to defend your actions. It is highly advisable to have legal backing before, not after, ending up in a use of force situation. There are many programs out there that provide legal backing for a monthly fee, you could also interview attorneys and place a retainer with the attorney that you would like to defend you in the event of a use of force situation.