Re: To help or not to help
I'm not a gun carrier in civilian life. Mainly for the exact reasons that Don mentions above. I have a different philosophy based around the concerns that Don mentions. So I don't carry and probably never will unless the risk factors of where I go and what I do warrant it. They don't so I don't.
That said, I think much like Don does concerning assessing the situation.
More general than that, I think it boils down to "sheeps and wolves".
Some of us in society are sheep and will sit back and simply watch as one of the heard gets picked off too scared on removed from the situation to get involved.
Others of us are wolves and will do what we need to do to protect ourselves and others when the situation warrants it.
It is not necessarily a matter of training or skill, but a matter of courage, strength, and compassion to do the right things no matter what.
Of course it helps to have training and skills and I think through Budo training that we can learn to find our courage and confidence as well as improve our abilities to make sound decisions in stressful situations.
The willingness to act in the face of danger or adversity, is what my good friend Matt Larsen says is the defining characteristic of a warrior!