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[at-l] re: safety/guns/worth it?

dean wrote:

>>What I'm talking about
here is removing a variable, however small it may be, by being prepared
for that very defined situation when that force would be necessary and
realistically feasible.  There are a lot of variables that we have no
control over, fix the ones you can.<<

one thing i learned in thruhiking was that it was unrealistic to carry all
the right stuff to be prepared for any situation that may arise.  before i
actually did a long distance hike, i thought the main difference from
weekend hiking would be all the gear needed for many different situations.

of course, what i and many others learned about this was threefold: 1) i
can improvise many solutions from some basic gear/accessories for most
situations; 2) i quickly became aware of my limitations and
vulnerabilities, and learned different ways to avoid exploitation of those
limitations and vulnerabilities; and 3) there will be situations that i
cannot avoid or ameliorate and i have to accept that these can happen.

regarding (3) above, some can be avoided by being better prepared, others
will happen regardless of your preparation.  we all make choices when we
fill our packs, and i make mine (usually) based on probabilities,
consequences, and weight e.g. the probability of me needing an ace bandage
is really low, but the consequences of not having one when i need it can be
severe, so i carry one.

i am generalizing here, but i would guess most people here think along the
same lines when backpacking (interested in hearing different thoughts,
though).  i don't/wouldn't carry a gun because i think the probability of
it being useful/needed is low; the consequences of my not having one would
not be substantially different than if i had one (refer to jim's comment
about being prepared to use a gun); and on top of all that it's heavy.

a twisted ankle and copperhead bite could be no less deadly than a gunshot
wound.  i realize that both could happen to me on the trail, and it's my
responsibility to try and avoid such incidents.  i accept that
responsibility willingly, trusting that both are unlikely but knowing that
either could occur.

i am not a gun owner, i'm not opposed to gun ownership, and the discussions
on this thread have been very educational and thought provoking.

ke kaahawe
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