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If your personal protection training was worth anything,
one of the first topics on which your instructors would
have lectured would have been "combat mindset." [*] To
recommend a gun to someone without first knowing whether
she possesses, or can mentally develop, the proper mindset
is akin to a doctor prescribing a drug without knowing
whether the patient is allergic to it. It's also putting
the cart before the horse.

A gun is merely an effectiveness multiplier; a powerful
force to project one's will. If one doesn't have the
will to begin with, a gun is only of marginal utility,
if not a hindrance.

[*] A general rule to follow is to treat as suspect any
book or instruction on personal protection that does not
discuss the importance of mindset very early on (e.g. the
first chapter after the introductory text, or the first
day of class). This also applies to wilderness survival
information or any other self-reliance topic.

> At this point I don't know what to do. I'm like most of you(I hope) in
> that I just want to hike, backpack, camp and enjoy the outdoors safely.
> Unfortunately I've had bad experiences and I guess I've become jaded. 

I'm not so presumptuous as to tell you or anyone else
whether to go about armed; it is too personal an issue,
and a lot of the reasons are none of my business. All
I ask is that folks fully understand what they are
getting into, either way.

From both pragmatic and jurisprudential standpoints,
only YOU are responsible for your own safety. Many
go a step further and say that it is also true from
a moral standpoint. When receiving advice from others
on personal safety, *always* keep that in mind.

I'll cheerfully entertain any questions or comments on
this topic in e-mail.

mfuller@somtel.com, Northern Franklin County, Maine
The Constitution is the white man's ghost shirt. }>:-/> --->
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