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[at-l] Guns

Oles, Stephanie wrote:

> CAREFUL, CAREFUL, CAREFUL!!  Plan ahead well, and try not to be on the
> trail by yourself. If you must go alone, learn to use a gun. I've lost
> two friends this way. unfortunately it's just not safe anymore.

This thread has been here before, but for those who are newer to the
discussion and may not have thought about it, I gotta respond that this
is very poor advice.

A small number of people have been murdered on or near the AT, among its
millions of visitors.  It's a far less dangerous place, for men or
women, than the places most of us live.  There is no evidence that
carrying a gun would have helped prevent any of these killings.

Think about it.  Where's the gun going to be in the unlikely event
you're faced with a homicidal maniac?  In your pack?  Useless.  On your
hip?  That'll change your trail experience - for the worse.  You'll find
that many people will avoid you (wisely, I think).  Never mind the
pounds of hardware and ammo that will weigh you down physically &
psychically for 2000 miles.

Also recognize that carrying a concealed weapon is against the law in
most of the jurisdictions through which you'll be passing.

I've yet to meet a successful thruhiker who carried a firearm the
distance.  Maybe there is one.  I don't see how they'd make it, though,
carrying that load of fear.

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