Mindest and How often you Practice and Carry
I have all ready posted this on in the Concealed Carry Guns - How Often Do You Practice With Your Carry Weapon thread, but I also thought it fit here as well.
To me carrying a gun is a Mindset issue, it means you have taken a big step to not allow yourself, and loved ones, to be a helpless victim. You and your family are worth protecting ALL the time, not just sometimes. Make the decision to carry your gun wherever you can and as much as you can, then stick to it. Don't just carry it, but train with it. Live ammo training isn't the only form of practice or training.
Some of the best training is dry fire practice, just make sure you check and re-check to make sure the gun is empty, and use a back stop that can stop a bullet. Dry fire practice is free, and can be done in your own home whenever you want.
Practice your draw stroke, use the holster you normally carry, and wear the type of clothes you wear most. Practice proper grip, draw stroke, aim, and trigger control. Practice moving while you are drawing and shooting. Don't be a stationary target. You can mark a spot on the wall to aim at, or tape a target up on the wall. I personally prefer targets that have photos of people holding a gun, or some other weapon.
Know and stay current with Gun Laws and GET INVOLVED IN PROTECTING OUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHT!!! Take various Firearms Training Classes, read books and watch instructional videos/DVD's on the subject, and practice what you have learned.
As you learn more about Gun Laws and the more you practice, you will get better and more comfortable with your gun, you will want to carry your gun more, and have the confidence to do so. CARRY YOUR GUN ALL THE TIME!!! It is better to have it and never need it, than not have it and need it just one time.
Your gun isn't the only weapon, or even the best weapon you have. The best weapon you have is your Mind. Stay alert and sharp. Don't become oblivious to events and people around you, trust your instincts. Carry a cell phone, be a good witness, your first priority should be making sure you and your family are safe.
Talk about your decision with your family so they know and understand what you have decided and why. The family that trains and shoots together, stays together.