There is a significant increase in interest in armed self defense in recent years, and now a majority of states permit it. Even after the recent Supreme Court decision, there exist a few jurisdictions that still deny citizens this right. I am still one of the bitter clingers, but you may hope that I will change. There isn't much chance of that, as I just took the course to get my concealed handgun permit. I had one a few years ago, but allowed it to expire, after moving away from the state that issued it. It is a good idea to take a refresher course every few years, as laws change from time to time, and range practice is always a good idea. Here is a link to a great introduction to the subject. I am fortunate to live in a state that permits open carry to all citizens who may lawfully possess a firearm. Only concealed carry requires a permit. I prefer to be discreet, most of the time, so I am getting the permit. When should one carry? Always, with the exception of in places where it is illegal. And most of the time you should avoid those places, because they aren't safe.