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I was taught to never have a round in the chamber...except to fire it....there is no possibility that my revolver would discharge unless someone pulls the trigger...

I have had guns within reach since I was about 10....some 70 years ago.... and I have never had a problem with the police nor do I fear them or the courts.... I don't call attention to my pistol.....I don't have stickers on my RV or Pickup or House or any other place ….. no officer has ever asked to look in my backpack....if he runs my name ...it will say nothing about a gun...

As for the 2nd Amendment ….there are no unabridged rights in the Constitution, even in the Bill Of Rights …..in the end...what is Constitutional is what a majority of the voters on the Supreme Court say is Constitutional....and they don't always agree and they change their minds..
 

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I hate to jump into gun/CCW debates because there is rarely much rational information used by either side. That said, I personally find little use for a firearm while out riding my TW. We love our TW's, but the rest of the world gives us the same attention as they do Red-Stapler Guy in Office Space. We are much more likely to be injured by our own weapons in a spill then we are to be accosted by an outlaw. Perhaps living in Wonder Bread County lends to my ease, but I look back on the last 25 years of my life and can't think of any event that would have been better resolved with a firearm. I guess the lessons I've learned over the years is to not get yourself into a vulnerable position in the first place. Were I to carry something, I would have it in a padded soft case in perhaps a backpack or tail bag. I'm no quick-draw McGraw and no wild animal is going to attack a moving motorcycle, so having something on your person just doesn't add up.
 

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Speaking of seatbelts:
" Every year, roughly half of the officers killed in the line of duty die in vehicle mishaps, and in a significant number of these (the precise number varies from year to year), the cops weren't wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash." - local retired Senior Special Agent Tim Dees.
 

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This is why I limit my travel to AZ, ID, and my home state of NV. I have a USMC Veteran license plate. The folks in these states see that and KNOW I'm packing heat. Because they are too. I'm 100 miles closer to Salt Lake City than Reno, but if I have to go big city shopping for something, I'll drive the extra hundred just to avoid Utah. It's too bad because Utah is so pretty. And now Pelosi's posse has taken over here in NV, we're soon to be screwed too. Thanks Vegas.
 
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As for bears and big cats, pepper spray. I don't want to kill them, just change their minds. They hear you coming from a long way off, and usually tend to avoid you. A little bhut jalokia in the face will make curious critters think again before coming towards a human in the future.
 
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I don't go ANYWHERE without means to protect myself and my fellow Americans. Every day and everywhere. I carry a firearm in any scenario where I do not walk through a metal detector. When I do - then instead of the Sig, it is a pair of Cold Steel brand plastic push-daggers. "The two most important things to do for self-defense are not to take a martial arts class or get a gun, but to think like the opposition and know where you're most at risk." So yes - I carry when I ride. I ride alone.
 

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As for bears and big cats, pepper spray. I don't want to kill them, just change their minds. They hear you coming from a long way off, and usually tend to avoid you. A little bhut jalokia in the face will make curious critters think again before coming towards a human in the future.
Here's one that needs convincing.

 

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I understand the research shows that bear spray is more effective than a gun...it is just that my experience with spray cans has not been all that good.....

Over the years I have had some troubling and close encounters with Bears and even a couple Cougars and Cow Elk !!! Have not shot anything but a couple warning shots have moved them out of my path.....and one real screwball hiker miles into the Wilderness....glad to have had my pistol....

It is true that you can avoid the wrong place at the wrong time and reduce your risks...but no place is the forest is completely without risk....

Just this year a mountain biker was killed by a cougar on the Mt Baker Snoqualmie ….and a hiker was killed by a cougar on the Mt Hood N.F.....so....I will continue to carry my pistol in my pack...

I understand that some people are concerned about accidents and other unintended consequences but sitting here I cannot think of a single household that I know of that does not have a firearm...not one...in the rural West you just grow up with guns and you respect them....you don't fear them.

The bear in that video looked like a Grizz….they are not afraid of you...they are the apex predator … No Muy Bueno...
 

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The bear in the post #49's video is a eurasian brown bear filmed in Slovokia. They look like north americas brownies & grizzlies but are genetically distinct.
Like grizzlies though, surprise encounters often leave very little time to react defensively. Those mountain bikers would have had no time to reach for pepper spray, firearms or bazookas.

Some of the work I did on South East Alaska islands and in the interior I often had no choice but to use game tails and tunnels through the thickets where there was a reasonable chance of encountering the four footed tunnel makers.
There only a shortened 12 gauge carried at port arms gave me the courage to push on. Sure, bells on the pack and talking to myself to warn of my approach was good but having 00 buck and 438 grain slugs at the ready certainly made me feel better.;)
So sometimes being armed can have very real psychological more than tangible benefits. Feeling safe and not vulnerable to being a helpless victim justify carry INHO.
 

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Those mountain bikers would have had no time to reach for pepper spray, firearms or bazookas.
I doubt the bear could have taken down both riders before the 2nd of them was able to draw down on it. Yes, the first guy would have been hit, but the second guy would have been able to defend them both.
But even alone, a swift attack wouldn't be avoided, but could be halted if a gun or other method of defense was readily at hand.
 

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There is no telling what any bear or wild animal can or will do. I was mowing my lawn on a riding tractor and my dog made a B line right past me. I turned around only to see a black bear heading right for me and turning to run from the dog. They are usually very afraid of humans but not this particular one. I watched 2 woman walking for exercise right past my house and just about 30 yards behind them a coyote was following them. A woman just over the border in PA was recently attacked by a black bear while walking her small dogs. She lived but was very seriously maimed. We had a baby snatched from play pen and killed a few years back by a black bear and right in a very populated area. My wife was heading home and on our road, a small off shoot road from the main leading to our house. She came upon a big 12 point buck standing in the road and he challenged her in her car, actually charged at her and stomped his feet before hopping off the road and allowing her to pass. If you live where wild animals live then you can't depend upon them being afraid or even avoiding you. Out by where Fred lives a cougar/mountain lion could appear out of nowhere and we never can tell what they might do. Sure it is rare but certainly not unheard of. A buddy was bow hunting up in a tree stand and a black bear started climbing the tree after him. The bear stopped but only after he got poked a couple times with a hand held razor tipped arrow right in the face. I don't go in the woods right behind my home without being armed weather just walking or on a bike.

GaryL
 

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A little off topic, but I don't carry a gun at all. When I was much younger, I used to backpack solo. A friend or family member would drop me off at a trail head, and would pick me up a few days later at the same spot.

I would pack pretty sparsely- but I brought food, water, cooking supplies, tent, backpack, lantern, air horn, and a book. I'd travel out about a day, and head back for another day return.

One night, after a moderate rain- I was out listening to that special quiet you hear in the forest just after it rains. Returning to my tent, I was getting ready for sleep when I heard an animal approaching. I knew it was large beast because of its footfalls and breathing. After a slow, quiet movement I retrieved my air horn, pressed it to the tent wall fabric right where the animal was breathing, and let loose the mechanical howl.

Sadistically, I sat quiet for the next minute or two- enjoying the sounds of brush breaking from the fast retreating snooper.

That's been my go to weapon of choice since. But of course, I'm not in Alaska, or an area where I really feel I have to worry about animal attacks. Obviously it can happen anywhere, but I feel the odds are in my favor I'll accidentally ride off a cliff or impale myself on a branch before I get attacked by an animal.

I know one could retort about the two-legged kind, but really- I'm a friendly sort, and if someone is willing to take my life for the stuff I have- then I'll hand it over. I live in southern Idaho- not a hotbed of murder, forest-stalking killers, or highwaymen.

There are other American locales I would not say the same thing about- but I don't feel like planning trips there either. If I lived in rural Alaskan area- I would carry a firearm. That's the first place I could think of, but not the only place.

Plus, I'm an American in America - I do ok for myself and can afford the loss. Citizens of some other countries may not be able to make that statement, and may have to kill or mame to protect their stuff - the stuff they worked much harder than I to obtain. I suppose I'd support their right to kill to protect their stuff. I also support Americans owning firearms. But I personally will try and live my life without taking another's.
 

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Here in California, the mountain lions are really getting to be a problem. Most recently on the news was a 125 healthy male lion caught on a RING doorbell camera. In a neighborhood that wasn't bordering any open space for many miles. All suburbs. No one can speculate how the lion got to roaming suburbia, but there it was. The lion was discovered laying down in someone's back yard, where it rested until a trapper shot it with a tranquilizer gun. It was safely relocated. The DF&G said that young males travel far these days in order to find an occupied territory and that with the proliferation of lions, this one had to travel deep into the suburbs to find his.
I live further out. Not as far as Fred, but parcels are minimum 5 acres and I live across the highway from a 7,000 acre cattle ranch to the West and National Forest to the East. I regularly see lions, but they give us no problem. We hear the coyotes, but never have a problem with those either. Coons learn quick; just set a trap and they are gone. It's the foxes we have trouble with. They stalk anything from turkeys to me. They'll stand off maybe 20 yards and 'bark' at me, then close in. I and neighbors have taken to carrying blank shooting pistols. We have a code; one shot to scare. Three shots, need help.

Here are videos and news reports over the past few MONTHS, not years, of lions in suburban areas. There are plenty more than just these and there are mulitudes more of sightings in the more open areas.
The first the most recent and almost downtown Sacramento, CA.

https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2019/02/24/natomas-mountain-lion-tranquilized/

https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2018/11/20/roseville-mountain-lion-sightings-2018/

https://ksby.com/news/local-news/2018/12/20/cambria-couple-shares-surveillance-video-of-mountain-lion-sighting

https://abcnews.go.com/US/video/mountain-lion-breaking-california-familys-home-52879063

https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Mountain-lion-walks-into-a-place-of-business-in-13310090.php#photo-2323332

https://patch.com/california/pleasanton/mountain-lion-sightings-reported-pleasanton

https://abc7news.com/tag/mountain-lion-sighting/

https://www.keyt.com/news/ventura-county/mountain-lion-sighting-keeps-ventura-neighborhood-on-edge/886393484

https://abc7news.com/pets-animals/mountain-lion-tranquilized-in-san-mateo/3773144/

https://abc7news.com/pets-animals/mountain-lion-sighting-has-sj-neighbors-vigilant/3367659/

https://abc7news.com/pets-animals/evidence-of-mountain-lion-presence-found-at-portola-valley-school/3100987/

https://abc7news.com/pets-animals/mountain-lion-tries-to-get-through-glass-door-at-socal-home/3044203/

https://abc7news.com/pets-animals/mountain-lions-spotted-in-palo-alto/3033699/

https://abc7news.com/pets-animals/mountain-lion-captured-in-pleasanton-after-hunkering-down-in-bushes-for-hours/4579118/
 

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The bear in the post #49's video is a eurasian brown bear filmed in Slovokia. They look like north americas brownies & grizzlies but are genetically distinct.
Like grizzlies though, surprise encounters often leave very little time to react defensively. Those mountain bikers would have had no time to reach for pepper spray, firearms or bazookas.

Some of the work I did on South East Alaska islands and in the interior I often had no choice but to use game tails and tunnels through the thickets where there was a reasonable chance of encountering the four footed tunnel makers.
There only a shortened 12 gauge carried at port arms gave me the courage to push on. Sure, bells on the pack and talking to myself to warn of my approach was good but having 00 buck and 438 grain slugs at the ready certainly made me feel better.;)
So sometimes being armed can have very real psychological more than tangible benefits. Feeling safe and not vulnerable to being a helpless victim justify carry INHO.

so true about the tunnels Fred, grew up in SE Alaska. hunted deer on Admiralty Island using those tunnels to get above timber line, also around Haines hunting moose. apt description of the understory in SE.
 
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