Skip to main content

View Diary: We need to carry a gun at all times. (96 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  For you it doesn't. (10+ / 0-)

    For some it obviously does.

    When someone specifically says they 'pack' because they might need it for a mugger, a robber, another gunman, then yes, they're expressing their need for something they feel dispels the fear of these hypothetical criminals.

    People who are not afraid of muggers, burglars, murderers... don't usually carry guns.

    The pro gun crowd is always breaking out the 'You're just afraid of guns' line, but no, I've never seen a gun go off by itself.  If I'm afraid, it's of people who carry guns because they're afraid of attackers.  A stray bullet from a shooting a week or two back went through an apartment building wall and hit a woman in the face in Cincinnati.  She had no idea that she needed to be afraid of some fool firing a gun within city limits.

    •  Fear and preparedness aren't the same thing (7+ / 0-)

      If I'm backpacking in rough country I carry a sidearm as an all-purpose signal device and critter defense.  That said, I've never broken a leg or been attacked by an animal while in the field.  I don't fear either, but I also take sensible risk management steps such as maintaining a clean camp and ensuring people know where to find me.  The handgun is present if my other risk management strategies fail.

      I have been involved in one defensive shooting of a cougar.  My brother shot a cat at close range when the thing appeared out of nowhere and came at him.  I helped him track the cat down and ensure it was dead.  Thus, I know it is theoretically possible to have such an encounter but I can't say I fear it, although taking steps to avoid becoming lion poop seems sensible.

      While I don't see anything inherently scary in firearms, I do find the prospect of an unsafe or incompetent gun operator to be damn scary, and I don't have a problem with mandatory safety training.  

      "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

      by DaveinBremerton on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 02:38:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A cougar attacked your brother? (3+ / 0-)

        Wow, that must be as unlikely as being struck by lightning. I've lived on a ranch in the boonies for decades, and have had the occasion to shoot chicken eating coyotes, and rabid foxes, but never had to shoot anything because of danger to myself or others. There are cougars in my stretch of country, and I have seen traces of them (tracks and love howls), but they are like shadows. They are the least of my fears out in the brush.

        The only fear I have out in the brush are rattlers, but I'd never shoot them, unless they were in my home space. Weight is so critical in backpacking that I wouldn't lug the extra weight of a revolver up the mountain because of something so unlikely as a lightning strike.

        While shooting an attacking cougar is appropriate, an injured cougar is not someone you would want to deal with. I don't know that chasing it down, as you would a buck, is the wise thing to do once you are out of danger.

        "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

        by chuco35 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:52:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rare and weird, but true (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          phrogge prince, boofdah

          It was in northeastern Washington State, and we had been hunting deer for a few days.  We each drew extra tags that year and the day prior to the attack he had killed a doe and I killed a small buck.  We were wearing the same clothes that we had on when we field dressed those deer.  I don't know whether or not cougars are drawn to smell, but that could have been it.

          Another factor was the situation.  He was trying to fill his second tag.  We were on this ridgetop, and he was on a bluff overlooking a timbered flat where there was a herd of deer.  He was hoping for a shot when the cat showed up.  We think the cat simply mistook him for a deer due to the presence of actual deer and his human smell being masked by the scent of the deer we killed the day before.  That theory could be totally whacked, but I don't think cougars make a habit of attacking hunters.

          As for the wisdom of trailing a wounded predator, ethical hunting requires us to do so.  First, it is unethical to allow the animal to suffer.  Second, it is unethical to leave the animal weakened but alive, and maybe have it prey on livestock, pets, or humans.

          He shot it with a .30-06 and there was a heavy blood trail.  We were pretty sure it was dead but wanted to be certain.  It was.  The cat was a youngish female between 70 - 90 lbs. and healthy.  We buried her.

          "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

          by DaveinBremerton on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 07:05:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How Did The Cougar attack? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DaveinBremerton

            Was he moving while your brother shot him? In which case it must have been a great shot, given that the 30 odd 6 must not have been open-sighted. Cougars are usually targeted while they are standing still, like treed by a dog. I've shot, and missed, at moving coyotes, and it is an almost impossible shot. What an experience. Was the cougar leaping in the air when shot?

            I understand the ethics of finishing off an animal that you've shot, but I still think that your safety is paramount. You guys are lucky you weren't savaged by a pissed off and hurting cat.

            "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

            by chuco35 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:09:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The cat was in a crouch at about 30 feet (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chuco35

              It was sheer luck that my brother was sitting with the gun was laying across his lap and the barrel pointed to his right.  The cat had the bad luck to choose to approach from the right.  My brother saw the thing, pointed the aught-six, and fired from the hip.  This all happened pretty fast and the cat obviously wheeled just as my brother was shooting.  Instead of hitting it from the front, he hit it broadside through both lungs.

              The cat's feet tore up the ground where it wheeled.  After the shot my brother walked a third of a mile to where I was and explained the situation.  He's 6' 5" tall and was your basic tough logger, but he looked scared as hell and he knew we had to track the cat.  I was a little nervous as well, but I hadn't just avoided being used as a giant ball of yarn.  He was understandably shook up.

              We went back to where he took his shot and picked up the scuffs made by the cat.  I tracked it for about 20 yards until we found blood and from there it was a fairly easy tracking job.  In a few hundred more feet I saw the cat's tail sticking out of a little depression in the ground.  Damn shame, really.

              "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

              by DaveinBremerton on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:51:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site