1. How are you going to carry it? In your pocket? Tucked inside your waistband or in a bag/purse? Deployment is going to matter a lot in self-defense. If someone means to do you harm, it should be something you can easily use to deter an attacker. Not something you might have to search for.
2. Escalation issues. That looks like a gun. Sometimes, people just want to jack you and not hurt you. But, even in the course of defending yourself, that can ramp things up. If I'm going to pull a gun shaped thing on someone, I would rather it actually be a gun. But you said that it's not an option.
3. I find self-defense, in my experience is more of a state of mind with situational awareness. Not being in bad places at bad times, not calling attention to yourself as a potential victim. But, I don't know your life, so you might be in a situation where you can't avoid some sketchiness.
If it were up to me, I would not choose something that looks like a gun. I would either carry something I can semi-conceal in my hand and deploy instantly. Or something like a folding karambit that open when you deploy it from your pocket.
To be honest, I don't even carry my gun with me all the time going out, because I sometimes don't even want to deal with all the stuff that can happen if I draw a handgun. But, I also am more comfortable using something like Brazilian Jiujitsu, because I can actually go up against another person several times a week and train it out. I don't have the opportunity to do practical pistol training. And I'm pretty sure, that I would not grapple anyone if I was carrying concealed, I don't want someone that close to me if I was carrying.
Thanks for the tips. I hadn't considered some of your points when I posted.
My issue is with one or two fairly crazy individuals. It's a long story, but helping out a friend can sometimes bury you knee deep in their bullshit! I'd like to protect myself in case these crazies ever decide to roll up on me. I don't think they will, but they're absolutely nutters. Restraining orders, house alarms, retaining a lawyer, and all that are in the works.
1. Holster or pocket would be fine. I'd probably leave it in my car for the most part when out, and only have it on me when I'm completely alone. Ex. I'm pumping gas at night, or using an isolated atm. At home, I'd keep it locked up in the closet and rely on 911 first.
2. I can't say for certain, but I'm hoping that something that looks like a gun would scare them off. Your escalation point is a good one, though. I'm going to assume that if I ever see them, I should defend myself.
3. They're stalker types who have gone through great lengths to fuck with other people at their jobs, homes, all kinds of unbelievable stuff. Unfortunately, I don't think it's possible to avoid them when they set their on someone.
I just need to make sure that whatever I have gets the job done.