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Old 03-02-2012, 12:36 PM   #57
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:44 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by SilverRanger View Post
<SNIP>
I suppose I can kind of relate to the topic because I spent over 25 years in state park law enforcement, and was a firearms/weapons instructor for over 20 of those years.

One thing that surprised me a bit was the number of campers who were armed. The large majority of campers were carrying just for self defense, and very few of those caused any problems. We usually discovered most firearms while searching for evidence of other crimes. Nonetheless, under most circumstances, it was illegal in campgrounds, so my evidence locker was bulging with the exotic, to the mundane. We kept them all and used them for training purposes, such as breaking them down and making them safe after their discovery.
<SNIP>
Sad, that there is the need to remove the gun from a gun owner with only the suspicion of a crime. I fully recognize your need for safety, please recognize my need for the same feeling of safety. Crimes happen in an instant, law enforcement is a phone call and 20 or more minutes away.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:54 PM   #59
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Since we've wandered off the original topic pretty far I'll wander along too.

Being armed is one possible response to anticipating future situations where there is risk of being the target of an assault. There are usually other responses, like avoiding places and times where such risks are prevalent. There are tradeoffs, and I have been in situations where I can't avoid unsafe parking areas at unsafe times without quitting my job.

When traveling, I have found that it's pretty easy to avoid the sorts of marginal areas where there is a personal safety risk. I don't stop at public rest areas on the highway. I avoid stops in urban areas after dark when I have the trailer. If I'm in an unfamiliar area, I refuel early so that I can move on down the road if there's anything wrong with the situation -- either a lack of clearance for the trailer or the presence of people who appear to pose a hazard.

Traveling while armed in an effective way is a huge hassle especially with family or friends. You have to maintain concealment unless you want the gun to become a focal point of your interactions, and that's very difficult to do in a car or truck while remaining comfortable. The best way is with a shoulder rig which means you have to wear a suit coat or a cardigan or a vest or some other covering garment that opens at the front. Even then it's going to be a subject for discussion among your friends and family.

There is also the legal compliance aspect of it. Even as carry laws become more permissive there is a patchwork of prohibited places which vary from state to state. So if you want to mail a postcard or, in some places, pick up your kids from school on the way to the park, you have to figure out what to do with the heat.

I know a lot of people who carry more or less constantly. When people do that it affects who they are, to some extent, because they have to think about the weapon fairly regularly in order to stay safe and legal. Some (many) people get fixated on it as an end in itself and those end up being the gun nuts.

I'm glad to live in a country and a state where there's a choice even though I'm usually unarmed. If the safety situation I face deteriorates again at some point I suppose changing my mind is as easy as dialing a combination into the safe.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:19 PM   #60
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Sad, that there is the need to remove the gun from a gun owner with only the suspicion of a crime. I fully recognize your need for safety, please recognize my need for the same feeling of safety. Crimes happen in an instant, law enforcement is a phone call and 20 or more minutes away.
Not that sad.
Again, "under most circumstances", the possession was illegal, therefore it was beyond 'suspicion', and most were seized in relation to other crimes. Typically, if we were authorized to search a vehicle, or a camper, it wasn't for a minor violation. Those that were in legal possession kept theirs. Besides, I'm retired and haven't saddened anyone's life in over five years.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:55 PM   #61
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You know, that's a pretty darned good idea! I think I'll go ahead and shop for one. Thank you!

Lynn

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And to think, we always just carried a whistle. And you know, they were lighter than guns in the pack....
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:58 PM   #62
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I have traveled and visited a lot of "dangerous" places and usually feel ok. I learned to be observant by growing up in NYC—I automatically look between cars and trucks, into alleys, and watch people. I prefer not to worry, but sometimes a bit of anxiety comes along, especially if I'm with my wife (I'm supposed to protect her). I think one way to avoid attack is to feel confident; bad guys usually can detect fear and they will go for the person they feel is weak.

For the record I've never been attacked except in one instance and never have had a gun. The one instance was going to a bar 33 years ago a really big guy came out, wouldn't let me in, took a roundhouse swing, I grabbed his coat lapels, the force of his swing threw him off balance and it was easy to send him sideways and he fell down a bunch of steps. I went inside and had a beer; his friends took him away, he was a mess. I was shaking for a while because I came close to killing him—he hit his head on either the pavement or a street sign or both. One leg was twisted under him. I am glad I did the smart thing, not glad about the damage I did.

Perhaps some martial arts training will help you defend yourself. I did something instinctive, but it was really a martial arts type defense.

Bear spray is ok in Canada. I don't think pepper spray is. Wasp spray will go 20' or more and is another defense item; don't know about it in Canada.

Guns are very dangerous. Statistics prove a lot of people are shot with their own guns. Few people, even those who say they can, can actually shoot another person. They may easily get the shakes and hit something or someone else. Bullets go far and in a campground, may go through the rather thin sides of trailers and motorhomes. Even well trained people miss the target lots of times. There are lots of people in a campground or a rest stop. If you hit them, you are in lots of trouble. I think your choice not to have a gun is a good one.

Dogs: it is more and more difficult to have a dog. There are a lot of places you can't bring them. Leave them in a car or truck and people are ready to think they will die, even in mild climates. Leave them in the trailer and you are probably violating park rules because dogs are assumed to bark. If you can't leave them in any vehicle and can't take them inside, what do you do? You have to pick up after them—that's a lot of fun. Dogs are great companions. We both love dogs. It was a lot easier to have a dog a generation ago. They can be a problem nowadays and they can be expensive too.

Over the past few decades there has been an amazing amount of opinion that danger is everywhere. Local TV "news" is full of fear, so are many newspapers. Movies get more and more vivid and destruction and death are crowd pleasers. Horror movies are not subtle anymore and are now slasher movies. Guns are everywhere and fear has been promoted by politicians to get votes. I refuse to be intimidated by this atmosphere. Canada restricts gun ownership and is a lot safer place to be. So, get some martial arts training, take some bear spray if there will be bears around, and go to Canada. You'll be fine.

As for deuxrite's story, I've met him and his wife and have no reason to believe he made it up. Things do happen, but not often. I guess I would have gotten right back in the truck, started blowing the horn and started the engine.

Gene
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:23 PM   #63
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Can you bring sprays of any kind with you across the border into Canada?
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:25 PM   #64
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Can you bring sprays of any kind with you across the border into Canada?
Hi, on our last trip to Alaska, we were told that Bear Spray is OK to have. [by Border guards]
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:31 PM   #65
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Talking

This may be a solution for those who like to travel light:

RoboDog- NEW COMPUTERIZED BARKING DOG ALARM!

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Old 03-02-2012, 02:53 PM   #66
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You know, that's a pretty darned good idea! I think I'll go ahead and shop for one. Thank you!

Lynn
You're welcome -- you can buy plastic ones in outdoor shops, just for this purpose, but I think the brass ones, while heavier, will carry further, noise-wise. Could just be my imagination, of course!
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:36 PM   #67
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Boy, I wish lions were that way. The conventional wisdom is to try to fight them cat-psychologically and, if necessary, physically by biting, gouging eyes, anything you can think of under the difficult circumstances of being ripped apart. Running from them just excites them even more. (Of course, in my case, they'd have to run through all that brown stuff when trying to catch me, but that's another story.)

Humans are really the least of my concern as they react pretty well to human psychology, which I do better with than with cat psychology.


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We were always taught in martial arts to feint and run like hell, because otherwise you have to try and kill them. A Green Beret friend of mine says he was taught the same.

ETA: oops, sorry, he wasn't a Green Beret, he was a Navy Seal.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:46 PM   #68
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IMHO dogs are there to serve as a warning system, so the size is immaterial. A smaller dog is also far easier to manage than a dobie or German Shepard. The problem with the larger breeds is that the ones that have a prey instinct MUST be well trained. They are large enough to cause harm and therefore you must be the kind of owner who can exert control over the dog (or go to obedience training and learn). That's a lot of responsibility. Don't get me wrong, I love some of the bigger dogs but lackadaisicle owners and big dogs can be a bad mix. My smaller dogs have been attacked by a neighbors German Shepard (on my property) with devastating results. One should also be aware of the costs of owning a dog because vet care has become increasingly expensive. Personally I can't imagine not having a dog in my life! So my vote would be to adopt something that you connect with and don't focus on the breed or size.

Guns are better left to law enforcement and gun enthusiasts. I grew up around guns, my Dad was foreman of a large Sturm Ruger Plant. Even having experience and a gun friendly attitude, I would never carry a pistol for self protection. Why? Doubt my ability to use it on another person. A baseball bat, a stun gun, pepper spray? No problem and highly recommend. Also am a huge fan of carrying a pen knife in my pocket.
I agree perfectly. I thought I would see more women than men posting here, go figure! My dog is for companionship but the "barker" feature is a real boon for alerts. Usually we just huddle in bed together listening ...

I'd rather switch than fight.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:29 AM   #69
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Although I had a doberman pinscher that rode in the patrol car with me, raised them for ~20 years, and loved them until the day they were put down ... unless they have proper training for the animal, the value as a deterrent is questionable. Most security folks will advise that a smaller breed is better to "announce" potential intruders / prevent hassles.

For a firearm consideration ... first get proper training, then select a firearm that matches your ability as to size and caliber ... one that you can handle single- handed and not lose control and have it taken away from you. That opens for consideration the shotgun class of weapons ... it is your life and your decision. Are you really prepared to take a life? What about collateral damage from the misses? Simply brandishing a weapon is illegal in most areas ... perhaps OC or taser might be a better option; that is why we carry the range of "tools" on our duty belts.
Yes, we do have a pinscher on board albeit a miniature as well as several firearms ... and I am concerned -even as a leo - about liability when we travel. As well you might consider a firearms class with a practical portion which culminates with a qualification for concealed carry permit.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:58 AM   #70
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I would like to respectfully suggest,if you are not a DOG PERSON, DONT GET ONE! If you are unsure about firearms,DONT GET ONE. You might be better off with the BEAR SPRAY and a good Stun gun.
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