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View Full Version : Crime, Fear, Saftey, etc.



ScottP
01-08-2008, 15:03
There's no reason to be afraid. The trail is far safer than most of the rest of the country. Meredeth's case is awful, but there's an average of around 44 murders a day in the US (there are actually more than that, but in many areas administrations rig the statistics to make it appear that they're doing a good job). Far more still die to car crashes, and even more still die after having spent most of thier lives wishing they could do something as awe inspiring as thru-hike, but never doing it.

Sensational news stories such as Merideth's shock us, as they should. But what's even more shocking are how frequent such crimes are.


To females (this post began as a response to Cindy's thread in the female forum, but I felt that this forum would be a more appropiate place to post it) : As a female you are statistically much safer in a group of strangers than a male is.

"In 2004, 1,807 females in the United States were murdered by males in cases in which a single offender killed a single victim. In more than nine in ten of these cases (92 percent), the victim was murdered by someone she knew."

Most victims and perpetrators in homicides are male
Male offender/Male victim 65.3%
Male offender/Female victim 22.7%
Female offender/Male victim 9.6%
Female offender/Female victim 2.4%

There's always a reason to be careful, but in general the trail is a safe place. A Million people a year use the AT, and in the last two decades only a few have been murdered. For every 100,000 americans, around 5.5 are murdered every year. There's no way to match those two statistics accurately to each other, but they do give the feel that the AT is a far safer place than much of America as far as crime is concerned. Factor in the lack of traffic deaths on the AT, and the health benifits of hiking, and spending time on the AT is really one of the safest, healthiest things you can do for yourself.

Waterbuffalo
01-08-2008, 15:46
I agree... how many miles have we hiked with out any problems before? This one just hit a little closer to home.

Bob S
01-08-2008, 16:30
Statistics are great to quote, but when a woman is out on the trail with no one but herself to keep herself alive and prevent being rapped statistics don’t feel so good.

Statistics say yy house is not going to burn down anytime in my life, statistics say it’s unlikely my home is going to be broken into, statistics say I won’t have an auto accident if I go shopping today. statistics say I won’t have any major medical problem

But I still have home insurance. I still lock my doors at night; I have coverage on my car, and I have medical coverage.


If we follow your argument to it’s logical conclusion, we could stop buying insurance, never lock out doors, and don’t have to pay for expensive medical coverage. We never have to worry about what could happen because it’s extremely unlikely to happen.

But in the real world things do happen, homes burn down, people get sick, cars bump into other cars, things go wrong and criminals prey on people. So the smart person plans for things like this and do what they can to be protected and to minimize the chance of problems.

JAK
01-08-2008, 17:07
I don't think you are really implying that insurance is the answer in this case, but it is funny sometimes how people sometimes talk of insurance as a preventative measure. It is of course only a contingency measure. Regardless of the statistics if I was a female I would make my own choices, but I'm not so I won't make them for them. As a father of one I'm still figuring some things out.

maxNcathy
01-08-2008, 17:15
Let us do this day
Our daily hikes
Let Karma come
To do as it likes

We are spirit
Can never be hurt
We can not be covered
In the dirt.

No body
No dream
Knows who we are
We live beyond all this
By far.

There is no death
Only its belief
There is no sorrow
Beyond this grief.

We think we are here
A mere mortal waif
While always at home
Within our Source..completely loved, invulnerable and safe.

Sandalwood

Bob S
01-08-2008, 17:21
I don’t think you are really implying that insurance is the answer in this case

No I’m not. I’m just pointing out that a wise person takes precautions.

Personal awareness of what could happen and then taking action to prevent the rape & murder is what I see as the answer.


For the most part police don’t prevent crime; they take reports of crimes, and then try to find out who committed the crime so the courts can punish the culprit. Police generally come onto the scene after the crime, they mop up the mess. The only way police prevent any crime is through the threat of being arrested, but on an isolated trail this police threat seems small, this empowers the criminal.

When a woman is out on the trail, there is only one person that is able to protect her, herself. Not an abstract law against rape or murder.

Powder River
01-08-2008, 17:28
Statistics are great to quote, but when a woman is out on the trail with no one but herself to keep herself alive and prevent being rapped statistics donít feel so good.

Statistics say yy house is not going to burn down anytime in my life, statistics say itís unlikely my home is going to be broken into, statistics say I wonít have an auto accident if I go shopping today. statistics say I wonít have any major medical problem

But I still have home insurance. I still lock my doors at night; I have coverage on my car, and I have medical coverage.


If we follow your argument to itís logical conclusion, we could stop buying insurance, never lock out doors, and donít have to pay for expensive medical coverage. We never have to worry about what could happen because itís extremely unlikely to happen.

But in the real world things do happen, homes burn down, people get sick, cars bump into other cars, things go wrong and criminals prey on people. So the smart person plans for things like this and do what they can to be protected and to minimize the chance of problems.


These are good points, however the problem here is that getting "insurance" against being attacked while hiking requires significant lifestyle changes, such as carrying a gun (illegally) or refraining from doing what you love. I think insurance on a home, car, health or anything else requires a lot less of a sacrifice lifestyle-wise. However if protecting yourself from these things required you to always drive in groups of two cars or more, or always be at your home to prevent fire I think we would be a lot more resistant to taking those steps. In the end, we do what we can to be safe but we just have to keep on living. Thats why statistics can be comforting, because if you're not going to let this kind of madness alter your enjoyment of nature, then you just have to trust that you'll be alright.

That is why I have a very high respect for people like George Washington, Stonewall Jackson and George Patton. All of these guys were absolutely fearless on the battlefield, because they put their trust in God. Jackson said that he felt just as safe on the battlefield as he did in his own bed, because when the lord decided it was his time, then it was his time. Patton believed that there was either a bullet or shell out there with his name on it, or there was not. Nothing he did would change that, so he might as well be as fearless as possible to inspire those around him.
:-?

Lone Wolf
01-08-2008, 17:30
you pack your bible, i'll pack my gun. see who lives. it's all about choices

rafe
01-08-2008, 17:31
you pack your bible, i'll pack my gun.

I'll pack lunch. :rolleyes:

Lone Wolf
01-08-2008, 17:34
your choice. you choose to be a defenseless victim too

rafe
01-08-2008, 17:36
your choice.

Pastrami on rye, with mustard. Yumm.

Waterbuffalo
01-08-2008, 18:07
I took from the 1st post we shouldn't use this tragic event as a reason to avoid/ fear our passion of the AT. We all chose how we are prepared.

Camper Fun
01-08-2008, 18:12
you pack your bible, i'll pack my gun. see who lives. it's all about choices

Daniel carried only a slingshot and used a stone to slay the giant.

envirodiver
01-08-2008, 18:17
I agree waterbuffalo. If we let an act of senseless violence like this keep us from hiking or doing anything else that we would do prior to this event, then the bad guys win.

No-one ever promised us that it would be safe on the trail. There are many things that can happen out there and cause us damage or death. It just shouldn't be our fellow man.

What we can or should do is increase our vigilence to protect ourselves and our fellow hikers. If you are out in the woods you must be prepared to protect yourself. Whether that is with a gun, a hiking pole, pepper spray a big stick whatever.

Being a victim is not noble and I for one am not willing to turn the other cheek to someone that is out to injure me or mine.

dessertrat
01-08-2008, 18:20
I'll pack lunch. :rolleyes:

I'll take a bible, lunch and a gun. Ain't that heavy.

SGT Rock
01-08-2008, 18:24
There is a saying in Islam. Mohammad trusted in God, but still tied up his camel.

Nearly Normal
01-08-2008, 18:26
your choice. you choose to be a defenseless victim too

Just asking.
How do you pack so accessible?
Don't get me wrong, I believe in a persons right to carry.

I can see where you might defend your personal shelter rather handy but that short access time while hiking or resting.

This latest incident seems to have had to be done very quickly with the victim unaware.

Even "Wild Bill" holding aces and eights went out surprised I'm sure.

While hiking it's not like you can put your hand on your pistol everytime you interact with another.

Powder River
01-08-2008, 18:53
There is a saying in Islam. Mohammad trusted in God, but still tied up his camel.

And Oliver Cromwell had a little saying: "Put your trust in God but keep your powder dry."

And I certainly am not saying that Stonewall Jackson wasn't packing heat. (Army of the Shenandoah, I would say, is some serious heat) However there comes a point when we have taken all of the practicable steps of prevention and have to decide when to take risks to accomplish our goals. I would say that for hiking, you have to draw that line somewhere. On the one exreme end is to A. jump in the bushes and hide every time you pass another hiker. B. draw your gun and keep it trained on every person you meet, until they pass or C. Not go hiking at all.

Those, I think would be the absolute safest options. However, being that those may be impractical for some you have to figure out where to scale that back to. Do you take a gun? If so, how are you going to draw it and use it when you need it? In other words, how do you keep a gun invisible yet somewhere you can "outdraw" a criminal? Nevermind that you would be carrying illegally through the national parks. I think anything less than options A, B or C would expose you to considerable danger to any determined criminal you meet. That being said, what control do we really have over such a situation?

Me, I like the food idea. But as far as weapons go I will have two guns (left arm, right arm), two hiking poles and of course the head on my shoulders. If I am in a situation that requires more than that I am probably in over my head anyways.

The bottom line here is that the trail is no more dangerous today than it was on December 31. In fact, it is probably safer. Just like the skies were probably the safest to fly in late September of 2001. So do whatever you were doing before, and don't worry about these nutjobs because they are just that - nutjobs, and they can find you in your bed at home, on the street in your town, or on the Appalachian Trail.

Nearly Normal
01-08-2008, 18:58
If I thought I needed to take a gun hiking I would quit hiking. I know others disagree.

SGT Rock
01-08-2008, 19:00
And Oliver Cromwell had a little saying: "Put your trust in God but keep your powder dry."

And I certainly am not saying that Stonewall Jackson wasn't packing heat. (Army of the Shenandoah, I would say, is some serious heat) However there comes a point when we have taken all of the practicable steps of prevention and have to decide when to take risks to accomplish our goals. I would say that for hiking, you have to draw that line somewhere. On the one exreme end is to A. jump in the bushes and hide every time you pass another hiker. B. draw your gun and keep it trained on every person you meet, until they pass or C. Not go hiking at all.

Those, I think would be the absolute safest options. However, being that those may be impractical for some you have to figure out where to scale that back to. Do you take a gun? If so, how are you going to draw it and use it when you need it? In other words, how do you keep a gun invisible yet somewhere you can "outdraw" a criminal? Nevermind that you would be carrying illegally through the national parks. I think anything less than options A, B or C would expose you to considerable danger to any determined criminal you meet. That being said, what control do we really have over such a situation?

Me, I like the food idea. But as far as weapons go I will have two guns (left arm, right arm), two hiking poles and of course the head on my shoulders. If I am in a situation that requires more than that I am probably in over my head anyways.

The bottom line here is that the trail is no more dangerous today than it was on December 31. In fact, it is probably safer. Just like the skies were probably the safest to fly in late September of 2001. So do whatever you were doing before, and don't worry about these nutjobs because they are just that - nutjobs, and they can find you in your bed at home, on the street in your town, or on the Appalachian Trail.

I tend to agree with you on the safety of the trail. The sociopaths of the area will probably avoid it like cockroaches avoid the light as every person in ever trail town starts scrutinizing the vagrant looking folks around. I have noticed more intense scrutiny of myself in the last 4 days whenever I am around town folks or even other hiker (but so far only day hikers on the BMT other than me). The last two places I stopped at they were talking about ever vagrant looking guy that had been through in the last year trying to decide if they were axe murderers. I imagine that local police will start hassling people living out of cars.

Add to that the fear of more people bringing guns. I am personally more worried that someone that is packing heat, doesn't know what they are doing, and has never been in a true shoot/no shoot situation will decide someday I am the crazy hillbilly and shoot me first thinking I am the threat for some obscure reasoning they have. What would really be a capper on all that is two gun totin' frightened hikers pulling pistols on each other because they both sense a threat and both prove themselves right.

There is such a thing as getting too worked up.

Skidsteer
01-08-2008, 19:08
Daniel carried only a slingshot and used a stone to slay the giant.

I think you meant David.

Daniel got thrown to the lions with no weapons.

Cindy from Indy
01-08-2008, 19:09
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/images/icons/icon1.gif RE: Thoughts about my hike after tragedy @ Blood Mtn
Quote:
Originally Posted by HIKER7s http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/wb_style/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=495577#post495577)
yep, AND the infection now crawling around the hearts of the new people on the trail, such as currently attempting a thru or gearing up for one. THERE HAS to be a percentage of these people now re-considering.

Nope, not re-considering at all!! I refuse to be fearful. Careful, yes, but not fearful! I am more determined than ever now!!! I'll have pink bows on my hiking boots in Meredith's memory!! The rock cairn at Blood Mtn is a great idea.

I am so mad I could spit!!! :mad: These stupid pyscho jerks are everywhere, not just on the trail. If a lady carries herself with confidence and purpose and uses some common sense, she'll be alright. But, as someone else said, if a person really wants to kill you, they will. But that's true everywhere, not just the trail.

My hike is about hiking. It's not about getting to go into town or to party. I will need to go into town for re-supplying, however, my relations with people will be strictly with other hikers on the trail.

This website has such awesome and sage advice. All hikers, but especially the newbie lady hikers, should take all this advice into consideration. Do whatever makes you feel safe and able to sleep at night.

GA>ME '08 OR BUST!!!!

Just my 2cents.....:D

Lone Wolf
01-08-2008, 19:56
If I thought I needed to take a gun hiking I would quit hiking. I know others disagree.

well if you bring bear spray, water filters and such you better quit hikin

Jaybird62
01-08-2008, 20:14
I agree with you cindy, just like after 9-11, we can't live our lives in fear or else we are letting them win. Good Luck on your hike - you will be in my prayers.

spittinpigeon
01-08-2008, 20:22
Statistics are great to quote, but when a woman is out on the trail with no one but herself to keep herself alive and prevent being rapped statistics donít feel so good.

Statistics say yy house is not going to burn down anytime in my life, statistics say itís unlikely my home is going to be broken into, statistics say I wonít have an auto accident if I go shopping today. statistics say I wonít have any major medical problem

But I still have home insurance. I still lock my doors at night; I have coverage on my car, and I have medical coverage.


If we follow your argument to itís logical conclusion, we could stop buying insurance, never lock out doors, and donít have to pay for expensive medical coverage. We never have to worry about what could happen because itís extremely unlikely to happen.

But in the real world things do happen, homes burn down, people get sick, cars bump into other cars, things go wrong and criminals prey on people. So the smart person plans for things like this and do what they can to be protected and to minimize the chance of problems.


Moral of this story, always bring maps on the trail. And always treat your water, or wait...the cool people don't treat water. And when walking through the ghetto, never look the locals in the eye.

MOWGLI
01-08-2008, 20:23
That's the spirit Cindy!

SGT Rock
01-08-2008, 20:26
Yes, be strong and be safe.

PhoenixGSU
01-08-2008, 20:31
If I thought I needed to take a gun hiking I would quit hiking. I know others disagree.

I've never been in a serious accident but I still wear my seatbelt. What's wrong with that?

SGT Rock
01-08-2008, 20:34
I think it is the level of effort involved. If you really wanted to be safe you would have your car reinforced with a roll cage and have a helmet and fire suit. If you had to do all that to feel safe driving you might give it up.

Having a gun won't make you safe just like having a piano doesn't make you a musician. There is a lot of work involved in using it, and a lot of decisions required besides what pocket to put it in. It is an honest assessment of ones' self to decide you cannot meet that.

Actuary
01-08-2008, 20:51
I think it is the level of effort involved. If you really wanted to be safe you would have your car reinforced with a roll cage and have a helmet and fire suit. If you had to do all that to feel safe driving you might give it up.

Having a gun won't make you safe just like having a piano doesn't make you a musician. There is a lot of work involved in using it, and a lot of decisions required besides what pocket to put it in. It is an honest assessment of ones' self to decide you cannot meet that.

ITA. I contend if scores of inexperienced people start packing heat on the trail we'd have a lot more injuries/fatalities, most by accident/misunderstanding. Should that girl who was harassed by that creepy fellow with the shark tooth necklace this Summer in Maine have had the right to fire on him since she perceived him as a threat?

If someone really wants to kill you, then they probably will be successful unless you're extremely paranoid and mistrusting. Given others have decribed this current monster as amiable and friendly and that he had a cute dog, I'd bet he came off as a decent guy and I speculate Meredith understandably let down her guard, even if it was for just a few seconds that's all it takes for someone to visciously attack you and get the upper hand. Should you stare down every person you meet like they're a rabid animal, never taking your eyes off them? Is that anyway to live your life and treat other humans because there's a 1 out of a several million chance they're evil?

Lone Wolf
01-08-2008, 20:55
ITA. I contend if scores of inexperienced people start packing heat on the trail we'd have a lot more injuries/fatalities, most by accident/misunderstanding. Should that girl who was harassed by that creepy fellow with the shark tooth necklace this Summer in Maine have had the right to fire on him since she perceived him as a threat?

If someone really wants to kill you, then they probably will be successful unless you're extremely paranoid and mistrusting. Given others have decribed this current monster as amiable and friendly and that he had a cute dog, I'd bet he came off as a decent guy and I speculate Meredith understandably let down her guard, even if it was for just a few seconds that's all it takes for someone to visciously attack you and get the upper hand. Should you stare down every person you meet like they're a rabid animal, never taking your eyes off them? Is that anyway to live your life and treat other humans because there's a 1 out of a several million chance they're evil?

you're not a woman i guess

Critterman
01-08-2008, 21:10
The men who do these evil things are basically cowards who pick victims who they feel are weaker than they are. Their next move is to use a ruse, charm, or guile to put the victim off guard and then disable them without much risk to themselves. They are not going to give you a chance to shoot or fight back. Your best defense is to be wary of strangers, be sure to keep your distance, stay alert, be willing to leave an area if necessary and don't be gullible.

general
01-08-2008, 21:12
there are nut nut's in every corner of the world, on trails, in cities, where ever people live and most likely where people don't live too.

glock: the ultralight's firearm.

pray, hope, or do what ever you do, but my security delivers justice 13 rounds at a time.

PhoenixGSU
01-08-2008, 21:14
I think it is the level of effort involved. If you really wanted to be safe you would have your car reinforced with a roll cage and have a helmet and fire suit. If you had to do all that to feel safe driving you might give it up.

Having a gun won't make you safe just like having a piano doesn't make you a musician. There is a lot of work involved in using it, and a lot of decisions required besides what pocket to put it in. It is an honest assessment of ones' self to decide you cannot meet that.

I understand all that, I'm just saying theres nothing wrong with being prepared. I'm not saying everyone should do it, just that people shouldn't be characterized as being crazy or fearful for carrying.

And for the record I am experianced with guns.

Nearly Normal
01-08-2008, 21:21
well if you bring bear spray, water filters and such you better quit hikin

Don't take bear spray.
Have taken filter.
The AT aint Alaska. I suspect I would take a gun there. A big one.
I thought we were talking about hiking the AT.

SGT Rock
01-08-2008, 21:24
I understand all that, I'm just saying theres nothing wrong with being prepared. I'm not saying everyone should do it, just that people shouldn't be characterized as being crazy or fearful for carrying.

And for the record I am experianced with guns.
Sure, but the other end of that is you are not going to be safe if you have a gun just because you have a gun. It could actually be more dangerous for you and the people around you.

Pedaling Fool
01-08-2008, 22:03
Sure, but the other end of that is you are not going to be safe if you have a gun just because you have a gun. It could actually be more dangerous for you and the people around you.
True, having a gun does not make most safer. Carrying a gun day-in and day-out, 7-days a week requires a special mind-set many don't have.

maxNcathy
01-08-2008, 22:34
Was the hiker, Miss Emerson on the AT when she was attacked? If so any details at what mile from Springer Mt?

ed bell
01-08-2008, 22:44
I think it is the level of effort involved. If you really wanted to be safe you would have your car reinforced with a roll cage and have a helmet and fire suit. If you had to do all that to feel safe driving you might give it up.

Having a gun won't make you safe just like having a piano doesn't make you a musician. There is a lot of work involved in using it, and a lot of decisions required besides what pocket to put it in. It is an honest assessment of ones' self to decide you cannot meet that.This is the crux of the issue, IMHO. I have limited experience with firearms. I am totally in favor of them, yet I'm not confident that having one with ME is the best reaction to what happened in GA. I'm not commenting on others' right to carry, but I am in agreement with Rock in saying that arming yourself with a gun on the trail is probably the last step after many other steps leading one to being proficient in self-defence with a firearm.

take-a-knee
01-08-2008, 23:09
Sure, but the other end of that is you are not going to be safe if you have a gun just because you have a gun. It could actually be more dangerous for you and the people around you.

Buy a Glock 19 and sign up for Handgun 101 at Cumberland Tactics with Randy Cain. This guy not only knows firearms, he knows how to teach marksmanship and gun handling. Being a bad shot can get you killed in a gunfight, having poor gunhandling skills gets your neighboors and kids shot or killed. This guy has been running a "hot" range for fifteen years, teaching doctors, nurses, engineers etc and he's never had an accident. The only people in the US Army running a hot range (everybody is locked and loaded at all times) are Special Forces units.

http://www.guntactics.com/

Skidsteer
01-08-2008, 23:09
Was the hiker, Miss Emerson on the AT when she was attacked? If so any details at what mile from Springer Mt?

Around mile 29.5 more or less.

SGT Rock
01-08-2008, 23:20
The good news is the rest of the Army is trying to catch up. The biggest problem I had running hot ranges was at Ft McCoy. But that is a whole nother issue.

take-a-knee
01-09-2008, 00:15
The good news is the rest of the Army is trying to catch up. The biggest problem I had running hot ranges was at Ft McCoy. But that is a whole nother issue.

I'm glad to hear that. My National Guard unit was the last unit in SOCOM to undergo mandated close-quarter battle training. EVERYTHING in the period of instruction was a violation of Big Army regs. The NCOIC of the course said the stack of waivers was an inch thick. A general at SOCOM had to call and verbally order the state guard commander to sign the waivers and allow the training. That mindset gets people killed when the steel and lead start whizzing by.

Runsalone
01-09-2008, 00:15
This guy not only knows firearms, he knows how to teach marksmanship and gun handling. Being a bad shot can get you killed in a gunfight,

Being in a gunfight can get you killed in a gunfight. Marksmanship and gunhandeling are not the same as the level of mental fortitude it takes to put rounds on their mark when your life is in real peril. Those things can go to hell in a hurry when bullets are zinging by your head. Awarness is key.

What happend to Meredith is horrible and hurt and touched us all. Going about hiking ready to go to war is probably not the answer. I know it hurts, I feel it to. We hear stories like this all the time but this one is close to home, one of ours, so to speak. Its not the A.T. that is unsafe, its this guy, this horrid monster, that brought his own demons to it.

I LOVE that in this country we have the right to bear arms (for now) and I bear mine proudly, 24/7 even. Still I leave them at home when hiking. Just dont see the need. I understand what feelings are being expressed here, I think, that any one of us only wish we couldve been there at such an appropriate time to come to this young ladys aid. We feel pain for her family and friends, and maybe a bit betrayed by the notions that wilderness is a seperate and pure refuge from the evils without. But if you search your heart it really still is isnt it? This is still the exception, in saying I do not mean to diminish the recent situation whatsoever.

Bringing a firearm into play escalates things from a confrontation to combat, its not just safe gun handeling, marksmanship, and target practice, in real life. Reality is its violent and dirty and the good guy dosent always win. The bad guys dont wear black outfits and masks and shoot it out with you, like on T.V. They sneak up on you when your least expecting it and hurt you before you can hurt them. Thats why there the BAD guys. They cheat. This peice of human garbage that hurt Miss Emerson was such Im sure. From what I understand if hed have slipped up and given her half a chance she might very well have wiped the trail with his sorry butt.


Im sorry if Ive gone on and on but this story has broken my heart quite a bit, and I hate to hear people hurt and wondering if they need to carry firearms on the trail because of it. Please do what you feel you need to do to feel safe. Sorry to rant on............HYOH:(

4eyedbuzzard
01-09-2008, 00:27
The men who do these evil things are basically cowards who pick victims who they feel are weaker than they are. Their next move is to use a ruse, charm, or guile to put the victim off guard and then disable them without much risk to themselves. They are not going to give you a chance to shoot or fight back. Your best defense is to be wary of strangers, be sure to keep your distance, stay alert, be willing to leave an area if necessary and don't be gullible.

I agree with your situational awareness thoughts.

But analytically,:-? are they cowards in the usual definition? It's just not really about the typical noble warrior or machismo bravery stuff. They're not out to prove their bravado or chivalry in terms you and I understand. They're out to satisfy their need(kill). And like any accomplished killer they are going to do it with as little risk to themselves as possible. In a sense their version of bravery manifests itself in the extreme risks they take in abducting their victims, hiding out, toying with investigations, etc. I think we tend to assign the coward label to these monsters more out of our own frustration so we can hate them more for lacking yet another attribute we consider a virtue, and thus feel better about ourselves. It further separates us from them, and us from the primal, predatory, evil part of our own psyche, one we all have but may not like to recognize. We want these predators to attack US ("strong men") personally, so we can take them out more brutally than they did their victim. But a fight with us to prove their bravery isn't part of their needs. And in that sense, sadly, they always win.

Bob S
01-09-2008, 00:52
Those of you that donít like the idea of a person having a gun on the trail, keep saying that you would never be able to use the gun because the criminal would magically be able to jump you before you even knew he was there is simply wrong. If this were the case, why do cops, undercover FBI types, and military people have guns? After all your expert opinion (a person that in truth probably has never carried a gun) says itís pointless. They carry them because they do stop crime, either by shooting the bad guy or the threat of being shot.

You say the best defense is to be aware of your environment and that you generally know when a situation is not right. If your instincts say something isnít right, why do you think a hiker with a gun will not have the same instincts as you? And maybe put his or her hand in the pocket with the gun and be ready to pull it out. Answer: you donít like guns and will say anything to strengthen your argument no matter how illogical it sounds. Somehow you tell yourself that if a hiker has a concealed they are somehow dumber then you and canít analyze their surroundings as good as you because they have a gun. This argument is stupid.

If you find yourself in an uneasy situation you say you will get away, well the hiker with the gun will do the same, but if the low life criminal follows and then attacks, the gun caring hiker has options you donít.

Donít like guns great, but donít tell people that want to carry them that they donít have the same Jedi-awareness of their environment as you.




PS even a Jedi has a weapon, because he understands the world (universe in his case) has bad people willing to do bad things.

rafe
01-09-2008, 01:00
Bob S., thank you for providing such a splendid, textbook-perfect example of a straw man argument. Nicely done.

Bob S
01-09-2008, 01:01
Bob S., thank you for providing such a splendid, textbook-perfect example of a straw man argument. Nicely done.


?????:-?

ed bell
01-09-2008, 01:05
?????:-?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

troubletown
01-09-2008, 01:14
We may as well hang ourselves with hypothetical nooses. Want to carry a gun? Do it...just keep it to yourself...keep it where it belongs. I believe in one's personal responsibility for one's own safety. Do what you have to do. Will I carry? I just might. Will anyone ever know? I sure hope not. It's all about responsibility, not laws...not weight. I look foward to hiking the AT this year. I intend to do so without fear. I appreciate this forum, but can we let people just do what they feel is right. Before this latest tragic death I heard very little about guns on the trail, and the little I did hear was shunned. As far as I'm concerned: pack 'em if you want 'em...if you don't, hey man, that's cool too.

Bob S
01-09-2008, 01:21
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man


I was not questing what a straw man was, but rather what about my post he takes to task.

rafe
01-09-2008, 01:32
I was not questing what a straw man was, but rather what about my post he takes to task.

Pretty much all of it. :rolleyes: But I don't argue with straw-men.

Let me put it this way.... the topic itself is as volatile as gasoline and there's no middle ground, apparently. Partisans on either side will never understand each other, let alone convince each other. I'd have preferred not to discuss it at all on WB but it wasn't my call...

ed bell
01-09-2008, 01:41
I was not questing what a straw man was, but rather what about my post he takes to task. Wasn't posting the link to be snarky, thought you hadn't heard the term. No worries.:sun

SGT Rock
01-09-2008, 09:24
Well I think the best way to convince someone they don't need a gun is to convince them that if they plan to carry one to go through the right training. After you discover what is legal and illegal, how that can affect you, what the consequences are if you do eventually shoot someone, how vigilant you have to be to carry one, the maintenance requirements of keeping it operational and not rusting. The weird things you may have to do to keep it accessible to make it even work. then you may decide that avoidance of certain situations is better than carrying a gun.

And if that ain't enough, then the actual carrying of a gun for about 30 miles on the trail will eventually convince you that you probably don't need a gun on the trail.

NICKTHEGREEK
01-09-2008, 09:32
Daniel carried only a slingshot and used a stone to slay the giant.

I think DAVID was the guy with the sling and the giant, and Daniel was the vet who pulled the thorn from the lion paw. Regardless, neither used a bible.

Critterman
01-09-2008, 10:00
I agree with your situational awareness thoughts.

But analytically,:-? are they cowards in the usual definition? It's just not really about the typical noble warrior or machismo bravery stuff. They're not out to prove their bravado or chivalry in terms you and I understand. They're out to satisfy their need(kill). And like any accomplished killer they are going to do it with as little risk to themselves as possible. .......


Coward may not be the right term and their choice of victims may also be part of fufilling sick fanatasies. My point is that you will almost never get a chance to fight back if you are unlucky enough to let one of these people trick you in to letting your guard down. They work by ambush. You and I agree on that I think.

Nearly Normal
01-09-2008, 17:32
A question that comes to light after this murder is how hikers in the near future will react with one another until this fades in memory.

4eyedbuzzard
01-09-2008, 17:57
Coward may not be the right term and their choice of victims may also be part of fufilling sick fanatasies. My point is that you will almost never get a chance to fight back if you are unlucky enough to let one of these people trick you in to letting your guard down. They work by ambush. You and I agree on that I think.

Yep, I agree. I'm just guilty of playing armchair psychologist outloud. I hate the idea that there are quite a few of these sickos out there, and we always seem to be one step behind playing catch-up.

Kirby
01-09-2008, 19:29
Not to mention the fact that there are several large sections of the AT where you are not allowed to carry guns.

Kirby

Jaybird62
01-09-2008, 19:56
A tree branch could fall out of a tree- or you could do a faceplant- maybe we should all wear full face helmets when we go hiking:-?

Jaybird62
01-09-2008, 20:23
Sorry, didn't mean to step on no toes, just tryin to lighten' things up a little.

Lone Wolf
01-09-2008, 20:30
Not to mention the fact that there are several large sections of the AT where you are not allowed to carry guns.

Kirby

this means nothing. there are NO sections where one is permitted to carry dope but a large number of people do. folks who carry concealed weapons don't advertise. dopers are smoking openly all the time.