How many times have we heard it? "The first rule of gunfighting is 'Have a gun.'"
Which is arrant BS. The real first rule of gunfighting is, "Stay the hell out of gunfights any way you can."
Unfortunately, I know people who, despite having passed CCW courses that included training in threat avoidance, seem to feel that carrying a weapon makes it okay, if not actually a bit of a thrill, to go into questionable places and take risks in how they address potentially dangerous people. If one has that attitude, training and common sense may both go flying out the window.
In addition to alertness, awareness and observation, I think a fourth key word needs to be added. The word is maturity. Gun owners are like anyone else: some of us are mature and some are not.
To me it just seems like maturity of judgment to avoid unnecessary risks, but there'll always be a few folks who don't employ it.
"Don't let macho be your epitaph."