Welcome to OFCC, Ardvark
I am very glad that you know when you'd likely need to have a defensive weapon on you - and I honestly wish that I had kind of crystal ball in my possession.
You get what I mean by that, right?
The truth of the matter is that we cannot choose when and we must face our attacker(s). I'd venture to say that, if I - or you - could, then we would rather choose to simply NOT BE THERE, no?
After all, even if we were in the right to defend ourselves, there's no guaranty on the outcome of the legal proceedings thereafter, and there is certainly no way to escape the expenses. And that's not even taking into account the emotional toll of having hurt or potentially having ended the lives of those who sought to do you or your loved ones harm...and it's definitely discounting the simple fact that, even with a firearm, you simply may not "win" that physical fight.
If I had that crystal ball, Ardvark
, I'd simply choose to not be there for that fight, as that's the only guaranteed way that I will win.
So, without that crystal ball, what can - what do - I do?
Just like how I have a fire-extinguisher on every level (plus one more in the kitchen!) in my home and how I always have my trauma kit on my person, I carry my defensive handgun whenever I legally can, wherever I legally can.
What about those end-destinations where I cannot? Simple: I lock the weapon in my vehicle (provided, of-course, that's a legal recourse I have available - sometimes, I must simply leave the gun at home, given my intended destination's restrictions).
As with the other members here, I try not to make my destination one where I must surrender my best-odds method of self-defense. But alas, because of our family's lifestyle, this isn't always possible/practical.
Given that I cannot avoid these areas outright, my defensive mindset is that the gun is just one of many tools I may have in my possession or may be able to use to accomplish the goal of keeping myself and my loved ones safe. Realize as Jared Reston said in his Police One
interview ( https://www.policeone.com/police-heroes ... ed-Reston/
) that YOU are the weapon. The gun may be the most effective tool, but it is just one tool. On your walk back from those events, can you stay on the more traveled paths, with noticeable police/security presence? Would you be willing to sacrifice a few minutes' of time in getting to the event earlier to be able to secure better parking? Or maybe spend a few more dollars for better parking (is $50 for the valet a reasonable trade-off for your personal security - how about trading off the cost of a few beers during the event, for this expense - especially with the idea that with less alcohol in your/your companions' systems, you will be able to better respond to threats)? Are you and your companions willing to sacrifice a bit of personal style in order to insure that you have the appropriate footwear to run to safety? Are you willing to undertake some level of training in unarmed combatives and personal fitness, given your very realistic outlook of when/where you cannot be legally armed?