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Re: [pct-l] BIG BAD guns

 Schmuck [sic]  writes:
>  I had an encounter with a cougar last summer and I did not have a
weapon and >probably would not have shot it but perhaps the sound would
have frightened him because nothing else did!!!!!!! 
>Yes I survived without a scratch but I will not make that mistake
>again.  Sorry Jeremy but some people want guns in L.A. and on the trail

    Good example of why _not_ to carry guns.
    Most encounters with animals (or people, for that matter) are not
life-threatening; occasionally wildlife approach humans quite close out
of mere curiosity; not exhibiting "prey behaviors" is all that is
required in such situations.  Just because an animal (or person) has the
_potential_ to cause harm doesn't mean you need to use agressive measures
to prevent yourself from being injured. There is nothing shameful in
feeling afraid when the unexpected happens, but firing guns is a
dangerous sort of tranquillizer! Remember that more than "sound" comes
from the barrel of a gun - think "stray bullets", for one thing...
    Too many people seem to believe "the only safe animal is a frightened
animal" ( actually the opposite is true), and that animals not exhibiting
what we perceive as "fear" have to be "dealt with" powerfully - this is
not so.  Since you were unarmed and still not attacked/hurt in any way by
the cougar, I don't understand why you think shooting a firearm would
have improved the outcome of this harmless  meeting. There are a number
of studies showing the futility of "warning shots" in outright
animal-attacks (professional guides have a policy never to bother), and
the difficulty  in making a "clean kill". Why escalate a benign encounter
with potentially deadly force?   bj

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