AT murder. Is this a reason to carry while hiking?

Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by Bushcraft and Brews, May 13, 2019 at 9:56 AM.

  1. Bushcraft and Brews

    Bushcraft and Brews Scout

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  2. slysir

    slysir Supporter Supporter

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    If lawful (or your willing to take the chance that you can get away with it), why not carry everywhere? The old saying..."It's not the odds, it's the stakes".

    -John
     
  3. weltondl

    weltondl Sergeant of Marines

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    I always carry when I'm in the woods. We've got coyotes and bears, not to mention meth labs. Had a few dogs attacked while being walked by their owners.
     
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  4. FTG-05

    FTG-05 Scout

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    When people ask why I caryy, I ask them two simple questions:

    - When is it appropriate to carry?
    - When is it not appropriate to carry?

    Before they can answer, I say: "The questions are rhetorical."

    Show me a venue, I'll show you a killing, a shooting, a murder, a rape, an assault - well, you get the picture.
     
  5. Glock Holiday

    Glock Holiday Scout

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    I couldn’t say it better
     
  6. CreativeRealms

    CreativeRealms Tracker

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    I believe a gun owner has the responsibility to carry at all times in order to protect themselves and others.
     
  7. jordanzwon1

    jordanzwon1 Husband, Father, Christ Follower Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I always carry in the woods. Regardless of the regulations. Because 1) if I am carrying appropriately, then no one should know I am carrying, and 2) I will take the penalty of using my gun when I “shouldn’t” have one on me in exchange for the safety of myself, my family, or the people around me.
     
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  8. Glock Holiday

    Glock Holiday Scout

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    I carry always. What prevents you now? Is it your mentality, unknowing of human nature? Some people are sick animals. It will always be this way.
    There are wolves, sheep and sheepdogs... Stop me if you heard this one :54:
    Always be a sheepdog, you can even be a wolf if it’s for good.
     
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  9. Drop Cord

    Drop Cord Supporter Supporter

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    The sad thing is most AT hikers due to weight concerns don't even carry knives bigger than a SAK classic if that so these people were fighting bare hands or maybe a stick vs Machete. The AT has a perceived safety among hikers which may make some complacent but alot of it is pretty remote.
     
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  10. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    personal choice,
    if I felt the need to carry in the woods, then I wouldn't venture out in the woods to begin with,
     
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  11. jordanzwon1

    jordanzwon1 Husband, Father, Christ Follower Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I never feel the “need” to carry. I choose to carry. There is a big difference.
     
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  12. Pinnah

    Pinnah Tracker

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    Couple of thoughts on this from a dad whose kids are talking about hiking the AT in the next year or so...

    1) This story is about America's horrible health care system more than anything else. The attacker had previously been arrested by the police for threatening hikers with a 20" knife and was eventually released because the victims didn't show up in court according to one report I've read. I'm not pointing this out for more draconian police custody matters. Instead, I'm pointing that the near complete lack of meaningful mental health resources in our country meant that the only intervention available were cops and jails when what was needed was a mental health hospital. When we fail to provide good health care, we have people with obvious mental health issues roaming around and this is the result. America pays more for health care than any developed country and we have among worst health outcomes by every measure including the huge numbers of uninsured or under-insured.

    2) I have my LTC, support the 2nd Amendment and I support a person's right to decide about carrying a handgun. Personally, I continue to believe that OC spray is a more effective option in nearly all cases. 4 scared hikers fending off a mentally ill attacker with handguns could easily turn into a blood bath all around due to friendly fire. If the hikers who were assaulted all had OC spray, I could see that ending up well with a higher probability.
     
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  13. injun51

    injun51 Guide

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    A gun, much like your knife, or your fire steel, or axe, or saw, are merely tools. And like any tool, I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

    I guess I see it as carrying a few extra pounds of prevention. Preventing me from losing my most valued of things, my life. You may see it differently, and that's your prerogative. I've just seen way to much violence and ugliness in this world to leave myself without a solid form of self preservation.
     
  14. Geektrapper

    Geektrapper Supporter Supporter

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    Shall not be infringed, and this is why. I carry everywhere I am legally allowed..
     
  15. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Bushmaster

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    I'm really hoping my wife doesn't catch wind of this story, especially before this weekend. Already had my neighbor share it on Facebook and tag me in the stupid thing though so I'm probably screwed.

    Anyway here's my likely unpopular take on it. Using this story as a reason to carry is the same as using mass shootings as a reason to ban firearms. The news likes to focus on tragic events because it captures peoples attention and makes for ratings. You don't see news stories about all the wonderful people and things that you come across along the AT. But things like this tragidy and Bismark will get news coverage all day everyday.

    If you want to carry that's fine. Just please be a responsible fire arm owner and deal with the burden that you've chosen to bring. Yes I said burden, if you don't see it as a burden then you probably shouldn't be carrying it. In reality an In Reach or similar probably stands a better chance of saving your life out there. I chose to carry neither and that's my personal choice. There's probably a better chance that I die in route to or from the trail head in my car. But I refuse to not live my life do to fear, if that was the case I'd probably never do anything.
     
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  16. Scarywoody

    Scarywoody Tracker

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    Problem is at AT passes through several Anti gun states (New York) where criminals are protected at the expense of law abiding people.
     
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  17. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Bushmaster

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    This happened in the state that @Bushcraft and Brews and I happen to reside. Despite the desires of NOVA I don't think you can consider Virginia an anti gun state.
     
  18. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    Back in the 80s a buddy of mine had a brother in law who was a training officer for a local police force.
    My buddy borrowed a video from him on edged weapon attacks.
    A machete attack is mayhem that I prefer not to even think about.
     
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  19. Wapitilo

    Wapitilo Supporter Supporter

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    I was discussing this issue with a few people earlier today. Basically, I heard a lot of "I've hiked thousands of miles, blah blah blah....never needed a gun, blah blah blah....." Chances are, the poor victims in this case never needed a gun either. Until they did. Let that sink in. Now, a gun is merely a tool. We all carry many tools that we are never sure we will need such as first aid kits, fire starters, map and compass, etc. If you recognize there may be an unforeseen need, why would you carry such things but not the means to protect yourself against an unforeseen attack?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019 at 11:14 AM
  20. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    a stout hiking stick - well-used - could have fended off that idiot and his machete, if the victims knew he was coming. but a stick, no matter how stout and well-used, is not a stand-off weapon. i'll take a lightweight sidearm. not that i'm going on a long AT hike at my age and in my health ...
     
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  21. Pinnah

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    Protection is reasonable need. Protection == gun doesn't necessarily follow. If these hikers had OC spray, the odds suggest everybody would be alive today.
     
  22. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    A person with an edged weapon can close faster than a trained officer can draw and fire, bear spray might work but only if the hikers had it in hand and were aware of the impending attack. A machete is a formidable weapon, I would not want to face one armed or not.
     
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  23. Wapitilo

    Wapitilo Supporter Supporter

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    If you'll reread what I said you'll see I purposefully used the term "means to protect yourself." Yes it doesnt need to be a gun. Although I don't personally buy into the idea that guns automatically equal mayhem.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019 at 12:04 PM
  24. barkoguru

    barkoguru Tracker

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    There’s a misconception that we choose to carry out of fear, ridiculous and weak argument from the anti crowd.
     
  25. Teeps

    Teeps Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I live in both bear/wolf/coyote/bobcat, and dumb-human territory. Always carry.
     
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  26. Andy 315

    Andy 315 Supporter Supporter

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    Yes . NY regonizes no other states permits .
     
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  27. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Bushmaster

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    I just about ended my post with "BTW I'm pro 2A and own a firearm" because I knew there would be a response such as this, but I didn't want to be the one to bring politics into the discussion. I suppose it's inevitable.

    I own a firearm for fear that I might some day need to protect my family. Fear is an emotion designed to help with self preservation. Dismissing it is not wise. I fear if I text and drive I might cause a car accident. If you had nothing to fear than why would anyone need a weapon? Fear is probably the greatest argument for firearm ownership, fear of tyranny, fear of violence, fear for the ones you love. Seeing fear as a weakness is a dangerous game.

    I've hiked and camped with others who decided to carry. Ironically most wouldn't be in a position to draw given the need while on trail. And I've watched others stumble around in a drunken stupor with a loaded firearm on their waist around the camp fire. Gives responsible owners a bad name and I don't appreciate it.
     
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  28. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    Forgive me, but I find this ironic with your location being NYC. One of many reasons that I would never venture there myself is the fact that I'm unable to carry there. But I would be way more willing to venture into the woods sans pistola than to a major urban area. But that is based on my past experiences living in major urban areas.

    The truth of the matter is that there is no such thing as "safe areas" and "dangerous areas". Some areas may have a higher probability of negative encounters, based on population density (be it human or bear) or some other reason, but if a person thinks that an area is 100% "safe", they are deluding themselves. In reality, negative encounters that require the use of force are so uncommon that they almost shouldn't register on our radars. But having said that, what @slysir said regarding it not being the odds, but the stakes is the salient point. Low probabilily, but high risk. It depends on your willingness to accept risk.

    If the OP is considering carrying a sidearm while in the woods simply because of the chance encounter of a machete-wielding madman on the trail, the odds are in his favor that he won't need a sidearm. At least that will be the case right up to the point that he does.

    Probability has a very sneaky way of biting people in the butt. The one quote you hear in almost every event like this is "I never thought it could happen in a quiet place like this". Yet, in reality, it's always the quiet places where crap like this occurs. So, when you add the low probability of a machete attack with the low probability of a bear encounter with the low probability of a dog encounter, with the low probability of stumbling into a meth lab or a weed patch, your chances of negative encounter begin to overlap and this is where people often miscalculate risk.

    Carry, not out of fear, but out of a sense of responsibility for one's actions and one's own self determination. I carry a pistol for the same reason that I carry a 3.5 ton floor jack in my truck. I may need it and I will likely fair better having when I need it than if I don't have it. But simply carrying a floor jack doesn't mean that I do so because I am fearful of getting a flat tire. It merely means that I won't have to rely on someone else to change my tire. And flat tires can happen anywhere.
     
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  29. tabasco_joe

    tabasco_joe Guide

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    I view it like I do all the tools in the kit I carry. Sometimes I carry. Sometimes I don't. Never had to use it for defense. I have had close calls. Both while armed and not.
    I'll relate one instance where I carried and was glad I did.
    Two years ago I was fishing a small trout stream deep in the central Pennsylvania forests. I was carrying a sidearm. While wading in the middle of the stream I broke off a fly and had to retie. As I strained to focus on the knot without the aid of reading glasses I uttered a few choices words. Right beside me in thigh high weeds a small cub stood up. As our eyes met he accelerated into overdrive. Now the question is where is mom? I unholstered just in case. Well mom was nowhere to be found but the piece of mind I got from knowing I could respond if needed was a comforting thought. Man that little guy could motor.
     
  30. Andy 315

    Andy 315 Supporter Supporter

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    Not sure if it's about health care or about the catch and release of dangerous people.
     
  31. barkoguru

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    Let me clarify the meaning of anti crowd for you since you took it upon yourself to brand it a political statement, in this context it has nothing to do with politics, it’s the anti firearms mentality I’m speaking of, people who dislike or fear firearms, not the political aspect of it .
     
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  32. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    While I'm a staunch proponent of individual rights (the only true rights) including the right to bear arms, the component that is all too often missing in these discussions is our legal, moral, and social responsibilities. I have seen many people carrying who I personally know are not competent with their weapons and/or have a woefully inadequate knowledge of the law, particularly where deadly force is concerned. I would never argue against their right to be armed, but frankly I'd rather not have them around me. In my view the presence of a firearm in incompetent hands is probably more of a liability than an asset. But, as the old saw goes, HYOH.
    That said, I agree with the earlier post that this incident once again points out the inadequacy of our mental health system. The discussion shouldn't revolve around the means used to commit the crime, but rather the individuals committing them. Tennessee law enforcement had this man in custody, knew that he posed an imminent threat, but lacked the tools to provide him the help he needed or protect the public at large from him.
     
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  33. tabasco_joe

    tabasco_joe Guide

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    If you read the article linked to the OP they mention another guy who murdered on the AT, served time, and went back to the same area to cause more problems.

    There was another AT murder, actually a double murder, in PA back in 1980. For some reason the AT seems to attract crazies from time to time.
     
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  34. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    To not carry is to put your life in the hands of people that you do not know. To me, that is foolish, but I’m only concerned with me and those that might be with me. I don’t care what others do or what they might think about it. It doesn’t take any recent events or isolated events long passed for me to come to that conclusion. The possibility or harm is always real. You can ignore that or pretend it couldn’t happen or only think about it as you are being cut. It’s bad enough to bleed out on a trail, now you might get to experience the joy of hearing I told you so when more responsible people walk by.
     
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  35. Pinnah

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    My only issue with this is that for the vast majority of people in the vast majority of self-defense situations, OC spray is a more effective alternative.

    OC spray is legal in more places, easier to carry in an easy to reach place (like a simple holster on a pack strap or a hiking pole grip), can be deployed effectively by people with minimal or no training and will be deployed at higher rates because the undertrained victim knows they aren't deploying a deadly weapon.

    Please note, I'm not arguing against carrying a firearm for personal protection.

    I am disputing the framing of the discussion in such a way that a firearm is the only or even best alternative.
     
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  36. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Bushmaster

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    Interesting, I've never seen anyone decouple the term "anti gun" from politics. Fair enough I suppose. I do have what I consider a health fear of firearms just as I have a healthy fear of sharps, fire, mother nature, and other potentially harmful things. I suppose you are talking about those with an unhealthy fear of firearms. Folks who think blame can be assigned to the object itself.
     
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  37. barkoguru

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    Fear is a tool predators use to control their prey, whether they be human or animal predators, knowledge, respect for your surroundings/opponent and common sense will serve you better than fear which tends to cripple more than help.
     
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  38. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Bushmaster

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    Just because something can be used against you doesn't mean it's a bad thing. But you seem to be going with the idea in my original post that fear is used to manipulate people. That's why I stated I wouldn't use this news story as a reason to choose to carry, there's plenty of other reasons, but the narrow view of the world provided by the media is not a good one IMO.
     
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  39. Pinnah

    Pinnah Tracker

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    I think they are related pretty closely.

    Sadly, the Tennessee police had no good mental health option for this young man to put him. He was obviously dangerous and obviously in need of mental health.

    I think the criminal law aspects of how he was handled was pretty much as we would want it. My understanding is that he was guilty of assault (threatening people) but not battery (didn't touch anybody) and the complainants didn't stay in town to press the charges. Long term jail is a terrible replacement for a mental health facility. This guy needed the latter.
     
  40. JeffG

    JeffG Scout

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    Carrying a firearm for protection... how unpredictable is human behavior? It's like a parachute, if you ever need one and don't have one, you won't ever need one again. o_O
     
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  41. barkoguru

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    Stories like these just reaffirm the reason why I carry and hopefully may sway more to get trained and do the same.
     
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  42. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    If I thought I might need a spare tire and a jack, I'd just stay home. Or call AAA and let them change my tire (a bit like calling the cops to protect me and my family). I would have to plan my trips so that I only go places where my phone would work, tho. Or maybe I should just carry the jack and the spare, even tho I will probably never need them.
     
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  43. Pinnah

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    I think this is the best post in this thread.

    As I think of the people I meet on the trails (normal folks) and relate this to the lack of skills I see on display at my local gun club (shaking my head in disbelief and I'm at a relatively "safe" club), the last thing I want to see is a lot more hikers with guns. Again, I have my LTC and not arguing against the right to carry. But for the general population, I'm not sure it's the right tool for the job.
     
  44. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    Just my opinion, but here goes, I have a LTC in my state, I'm a retired PO and by implication have the legal right to carry in most jurisdictions in the country, I live in New England, most New England states will honor my MA. LTC, however my state does not reciprocate.
    My bordering states, RI and Conn. are anti gun states and will not tolerate people from out of state carrying in their states.
    I once while on duty and picking up a prisoner from a NYC prescient was not allowed to carry a firearm in the city until I had the felon in hand and was returning to my own state, and I was told not to stop anywhere in the state while on my way home.
    I have in my opinion a Right guaranteed by the Second amendment anywhere in this country, that is not honored by most local, state, or federal officials.
    My Point Is, you can choose to carry illegally under the "rather be judged by twelve than carried by six" rule, but if you choose to do so you'd better know what you are facing, arrest, prosecution, huge legal defense costs that could bankrupt the average family, most likely a heavy fine, maybe even prison time (some states have mandatory one year sentences for illegally carrying a firearm), also most likely the loss of your own state LTC permanently, and a possible felony conviction record to follow you around the rest of your life.
    I have carried illegally on a few occasions and hoped that if caught my prior LE service, my lack of any criminal record, and the fact that I'm an overall nice guy will get me off with no more than a warning, but full well knowing that if I ever had to use my gun in self defense I was going to be in a world of hurt, probably worse than I've ever had to face before in my life, and it would not only impact me, but would also hurt my family in the same way or worse for the loss of our security but me as well if I had to do jail time.
    While all of the above might sound overstated, it's not, it's easy to say or suggest that you are going to flaunt the law no matter how unconstitutional that law may be, but it's quite another thing to live through the experience.
     
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  45. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Sticks are wonderful tools in the hands of someone highly trained and powerful enough to wield one effectively— and that is only against an unarmed human not hyped up on drugs. In those cases some people with big powered pistols have been killed before their assailants finally succumb to their injuries. And people are not the only things in the woods that can do you serious harm; a stick against a bear or big cat -- nope a non starter - you might not even turn a large mad dog with a walking staff, unless your swinging and connecting with a baseball bat, a bear or lion will not even slow down let alone decide to leave you alone.
     
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  46. Black5

    Black5 Supporter Supporter

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    First, I've carried a concealed weapon off and on, depending on various factors, for over 3 decades. So I'm no stranger to both licensed and unlicensed carry. My choice, and I wouldn't seem to force it onto another.

    Note I said "weapon" and not "gun."

    Any defensive tool/ weapon in the hands of someone afraid of the tool itself is a detriment. Anyone with a defensive tool who thinks that simply producing the tool and the sight of it will deter their assailant is simply putting themselves in the position of having said tool turned on them.

    If you don't wanna, don't.
    If you do wanna, know the possible outcomes of all scenarios, and accept the possible consequences.

    But arguing about it is fruitless.
     
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  47. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    true this. i was addressing only the machete man. pistol for me, please ...
     
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  48. Andy 315

    Andy 315 Supporter Supporter

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    My question is what do we do with those like this particular individual that even if he had access to help refuses it? Everyone has a right to defend themselves be it a club or a knife or a pistol if you choose. However plenty of those out there that have mental issues that refuse help. Obviously you can't round up people like the gestapo.
     
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  49. tabasco_joe

    tabasco_joe Guide

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    If you check into the history of trail attacks they happen to single or pairs of campers/hikers. Very rarely to larger groups.
     
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  50. slysir

    slysir Supporter Supporter

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    The answer to this is cold but true. When personally confronted by such an individual you are forced to be the one who determines whether they get the help they need, or the end they deserve.

    -John
     

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