More than one reason to "carry"
I am pushing 55 and for as long as legally able I have always traveled with a handgun for self defense and defense of my family. Sad to say, these days the "safe" or "good" side of town isn't always as safe or good as it used to be.
Places that once seemed fare enough removed from civilization to afford a sense of safety and security, no longer afford such a refuge. The murders of the elderly couple hiking near the Blue Ridge and also the young lady over toward North Georgia, murdered by the same individual just a couple of years ago is proof. Not to mention the fellow just a few years ago that seemed to make it his life's work to murder innocent and unsuspecting hikers along the AT.
The only problem I have encountered with carrying a weapon is my reluctance to leave a gun in my hotel room or in my car. I just refuse to leave a weapon I purchased for my defense, unsecured and available for whoever happens to decide they have a right to burglarize either my car or my room. Not only would I hate to return and find someone with my gun in their hand waiting to rob or harm myself, I would hate and refuse to provide them with a weapon that could be used against others.
I don't see in Owl's post any indication of his intention to act in a vigilante or threatening manner. The way I read his post is that he refuses to surrender to the possible threat of intimidation by those who may be ill intended or threatening. As I read his response, he also advocates dealing with this by reasonable and legal means rather than being or acting as some "trigger happy" self appointed enforcer.
To each his own, if you aren't comfortable or have no desire, see no need, etc to provide for your own defense, that's fine and I won't think any less of you for making that choice. But even you will now be safer because of the recent loosening of restrictions on those who can and do "legally carry". Several years ago In Florida, you may recall the rash of car-jacking type robberies that began taking place near airports and such. When this was researched out by law enforcement it came to light that rental cars and those who were obviously out of state tourists were being intentionally targeted. It later was confirmed by some of the thugs that were caught and explained that with Florida at the time having loosened restrictions on concealed carry by it's citizens, had made it (In their own words) "too risky" to rob locals or folks with Florida plates, because "they might be armed"! As time has progressed and reciprocity between states has widened, affording not only the locals but even the out of state folks to carry, crime dropped overall.
I have unfortunately been in a position of having to defend myself and family from a home invasion. I am thankful I didn't have to take a life, but even more thankful the intruder was unable to harm any of his intended victims. By the way, he knew the house was occupied and had taken the time to cut the phone line...but as he broke the glass on the front door and I invited him to come on in and notified him that I also was holding a gun...he took off running, never again to be seen!
Any and every time I carry my gun, I pray that I will never have need for it's use. However, I also take comfort in knowing that should I need it, it will be there! Most folks I know that carry, also seem to find themselves more aware of and seeking to avoid areas that might be more apt to produce a need for self defense.
In closing, I am thankful for Owl and others who have been proven to be folks that are stable and of good character, that are willing and do take upon themselves the responsibility to not only carry but receive certified training to do so responsibly.
"Fly-fishing has many attributes, but none more pleasing than it's ability to liberate the young boy that still hides within me and to let that boy live again without embarrassment or regret, sorrow or anguish." Harry Middleton