I'm doing a significant amount of business in less than safe areas of town. In fact, I was at a location about a week ago two blocks away from a murder - at the time of the murder. Now, I have to do what I have to do, but I don't have to do it without being able to defend myself. So, after renting and trying out several handguns, I've returned to my southern roots (full circle. OK, not really full circle) and purchased a Springfield XD40. I took it to the range last night and put 50 rounds through it. I'm waiting for an oil change at Walmart right now, and the XD 40 is at home, locked and in the safe. I'm signed up for the concealed carry class on April 7, and I will go to the DMV on the 9th to get my permit, and then I will start carrying.
The number of good, honest folks that have permits and carry a handgun in Shelby County is, honestly, astonishing. After 30 years of rising violence, TN passed shall issue concealed carry laws, and even now, the state is passing legislation to strengthen the right of the individual to protect themself. For example, a bill is being sponsored this year that would allow a citizen to shoot a carjacker even if they can't verify that the carjacker is armed. In other words, none of this, "Is the guy really armed, or is that a finger under that jacket." In the past, if you've fired in that situation, you've been liable for a lawsuit. Ridiculous. We need laws like this on the books.
Ultimately though, I'll end up never firing this weapon in defense of anything and only pulling it out at the range. But it sure is nice to be prepared.