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Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my…  I’ve never found much use for guns. Before I go any further I should mention even though I’m not a fan of guns, I’m not a fan of gun control either.   I have been hearing all sorts of scare stories on how I am a fool to enter into  Grizzly territory without a big freak-in gun.

KISSING ASS

I’ve  had dozens and dozens of black bear encounters and while I was charged once, that is the only bad experience I have ever had.  I have had limited experience with Brown bears but not enough to think I know their habits.  I took the above picture a few years ago and while they look like cuddly, fuzzy, snuggle ninja’s, Brown bears still scare the hell out of me and get lots of space.  Heading into brown bear territory doesn’t bother me at all but with a small hunting dog in tow I do have my concerns knowing I will have to row her to the beach at least three time a day.

I have given it a great deal of thought and decided that I will not bring any protection other than perhaps caution, experience, and bear spray.   I just don’t want to become one of those paranoid people who can’t live life without every imagined protection known to man.  The story below demonstrates that  carrying a gun won’t necessarily guarantee my safety any more than not carrying will have the opposite effect.   Equal amounts of caution and risk are inherent in everything we do in life, emphasis on caution.

At the turn of the last Century a Grizzly Bear was terrorizing the Wyoming Territory. The Territorial Government posted a $10,000. in gold reward on this bear. Many hunters went after the bear for the reward and many hunters never returned. Years later a rusted rifle or belt buckle would be found. Wonder what happened to the hunters???
When the bear was finally killed (after killing the hunter’s dozen well-trained hunting dogs and taking at least three magazines from a .30-40 Krag), over a hundred rifle rounds were found in the bear’s body. None had killed the bear. The biggest surprise was discovered when the bear’s skull was opened. There were five old handgun rounds of diverse calibers lodged in the bear’s brain. These had been fired up from under the bear and none of these medium and large bore revolver bullets had succeeded in killing the bear.

I take the same stance on personal and boat security for sailing abroad.  I strongly prefer to use a bit of caution over a hand gun for personal defense. Below are a few statistics I found on the web.

The U.S. has a murder rate of about 6 per 100,000 people per year.

Northern Europe – 1.5
Southern Europe – 1.4
Western Europe – 1.0

Canada – 1.6
Japan – 0.3
Australia – 1.0
New Zealand – 0.9

Mexico – 16.9
Honduras – 91.6
Guatemala – 38.5
El Salvador – 69.2
Nicaragua – 13.6
Costa Rica – 10.0
Belize – 41.4
Panama – 21.6

Djibouti – 3.4
Mauritius – 2.5
Somalia -1.5
São Tomé and Príncipe -1.9
Algeria – 1.5
Egypt – 1.2
Libya – 2.9
Morocco – 1.4
Tunisia – 1.1
Niger – 3.8
Martinique – 4.2
Argentina – 3.4
Suriname – 4.6
Tajikistan – 2.1
Turkmenistan – 4.2
Uzbekistan – 3.1
China – 1.0
Taiwan – 3.2
Hong Kong -0.2
Japan – 0.3
Macau – 0.7
South Korea – 2.6
Brune i- 0.5
Cambodia – 3.4
Laos -4.6
Malaysia – 2.3
Singapore -0.3
Thailand -4.8
Vietnam – 1.6
Afghanistan – 2.4
Bangladesh -2.7
Bhutan -1.0
India – 3.4
Iran -3.0
Maldives – 1.6
Nepal – 2.8
Sri Lanka – 3.6
Armenia – 1.4
Azerbaijan – 2.2
Bahrain – 0.6
Cyprus – 1.7
Iraq – 2.0
Israel – 2.1
Jordan – 1.8
Kuwait – 2.2
Lebanon – 2.2
Oman – 0.7
Qatar – 0.9
Saudi Arabia – 1.0
Syria – 2.3
Turkey – 3.3
United Arab Emirates -0.8
Yemen -4.2
Belarus -4.9
Georgia – 4.3
Albania – 4.0
Bosnia and Herzegovina- 1.5
Croatia – 1.4
Macedonia – 1.9
Fiji – 2.8
Solomon Islands – 3.7
Vanuatu – 0.9
Guam – 0.6
Federated States of Micronesia – 0.9
Palau – 0.0
French Polynesia – 0.4
Samoa – 1.1
Tonga – 1.0

The simple solution is don’t go to where the bad guys are.

Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est. 
Latin: A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer’s hand.

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