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  #21  
Old 09-24-2010, 07:42 PM
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Default More than one reason to "carry"

I am pushing 55 and for as long as legally able I have always traveled with a handgun for self defense and defense of my family. Sad to say, these days the "safe" or "good" side of town isn't always as safe or good as it used to be.

Places that once seemed fare enough removed from civilization to afford a sense of safety and security, no longer afford such a refuge. The murders of the elderly couple hiking near the Blue Ridge and also the young lady over toward North Georgia, murdered by the same individual just a couple of years ago is proof. Not to mention the fellow just a few years ago that seemed to make it his life's work to murder innocent and unsuspecting hikers along the AT.

The only problem I have encountered with carrying a weapon is my reluctance to leave a gun in my hotel room or in my car. I just refuse to leave a weapon I purchased for my defense, unsecured and available for whoever happens to decide they have a right to burglarize either my car or my room. Not only would I hate to return and find someone with my gun in their hand waiting to rob or harm myself, I would hate and refuse to provide them with a weapon that could be used against others.

I don't see in Owl's post any indication of his intention to act in a vigilante or threatening manner. The way I read his post is that he refuses to surrender to the possible threat of intimidation by those who may be ill intended or threatening. As I read his response, he also advocates dealing with this by reasonable and legal means rather than being or acting as some "trigger happy" self appointed enforcer.

To each his own, if you aren't comfortable or have no desire, see no need, etc to provide for your own defense, that's fine and I won't think any less of you for making that choice. But even you will now be safer because of the recent loosening of restrictions on those who can and do "legally carry". Several years ago In Florida, you may recall the rash of car-jacking type robberies that began taking place near airports and such. When this was researched out by law enforcement it came to light that rental cars and those who were obviously out of state tourists were being intentionally targeted. It later was confirmed by some of the thugs that were caught and explained that with Florida at the time having loosened restrictions on concealed carry by it's citizens, had made it (In their own words) "too risky" to rob locals or folks with Florida plates, because "they might be armed"! As time has progressed and reciprocity between states has widened, affording not only the locals but even the out of state folks to carry, crime dropped overall.

I have unfortunately been in a position of having to defend myself and family from a home invasion. I am thankful I didn't have to take a life, but even more thankful the intruder was unable to harm any of his intended victims. By the way, he knew the house was occupied and had taken the time to cut the phone line...but as he broke the glass on the front door and I invited him to come on in and notified him that I also was holding a gun...he took off running, never again to be seen!

Any and every time I carry my gun, I pray that I will never have need for it's use. However, I also take comfort in knowing that should I need it, it will be there! Most folks I know that carry, also seem to find themselves more aware of and seeking to avoid areas that might be more apt to produce a need for self defense.

In closing, I am thankful for Owl and others who have been proven to be folks that are stable and of good character, that are willing and do take upon themselves the responsibility to not only carry but receive certified training to do so responsibly.

Mike
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  #22  
Old 09-24-2010, 09:15 PM
psnapp psnapp is offline
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Pmike -- didn't intend any negative reflection on Owl for his position, and I appreciate your respect toward my position. I have a monitored home security system and a couple of loaded weapons in my home to protect my family, so personal protection is important to me. I respect anyone's legal right to carry arms, but I choose not to carry a weapon while pursuing recreational activities. The 2 awkward situations I mentioned in my earlier post were related to wild animals --- one a wild pig with piglets and the other a hunting dog chasing a black bear upstream toward me! Other than those 2 occasions, I have never felt the need to be armed on the stream since I started fly-fishing in 1980.

I do respect the rights of others to legally bear arms wherever, but I do not think that is an effective method for dealing with poachers in GSMNP or any other locale.

Phil
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  #23  
Old 09-24-2010, 09:29 PM
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Default No offense intended

Hey Phil,

My long-winded point was to simply say that IMHO, Owl wasn't saying or trying to imply that he or anyone would or should use their "Glock" to deal with poachers. Owl or anyone else can correct me if I am wrong about that. What I took from his words was that while he would not invite trouble, he was not defenseless should trouble uninvited arise

In some ways i am with you and I would rather not carry a weapon, or perhaps I should say I'd rather not see or feel the need to do so.

Mike
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  #24  
Old 09-24-2010, 10:07 PM
psnapp psnapp is offline
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Pmike -- we're cool! Hope to meet you on the stream sometime!

Phil
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  #25  
Old 09-24-2010, 11:53 PM
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Yea, lets get those poachers Who knows, the 2 poachers could be armed as well, what now? Make the call, leave the heroics to law enforcement. Bad people scare me, scared people with guns terrify me

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Last edited by flyman; 09-25-2010 at 12:06 AM.. Reason: 42
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  #26  
Old 09-25-2010, 09:03 AM
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Default Sounds good to me

Thanks Phil, sounds good to me!

Mike
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  #27  
Old 09-26-2010, 09:46 PM
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" scared people with guns..." Sorry, don't know anyone like that. All the guys I know that carry daily are alot less "scared" from any potential threat than the people who think a firearm is going to jump out of it's holster and shoot everyone in the area.

What I meant was that legally carrying a weapon for self-defense can keep you from feeling as if you're in danger. It can keep you from having to leave an area, because someone is being a jerk to you. It can also keep you from ending up a statistic. For most people, learning to carry daily for self-protection and all the information and philosophy about self-defense that is inevitably learned along the way increases your awareness of your surroundings. When you're more aware of your surroundings you increase the chances that you'll be ready should a situation come up that may put you in danger. Danger like poachers, drug users, trail criminals, or liberal fishermen who decided to do a little mushroom eating at lunch. You know, whatever.

There really wasn't any reason for anyone to assume that I was making the point for vigilante justice because someone might be poaching a few fish. How ridiculous is that.
I believe I stated that I would call LE and let them deal with it. However, if you decided to approach them and let them know that fishing with bait was illegal and they decided to do you harm, I doubt the bad guys would be so kind as to wait for you to get a cell signal and call the Sheriff. And even if they did, you'd have to ask them to wait another hour or so to give LE time to get there. Does that sound like a reasonable scenario? Maybe the bad guys would suddenly have a change of heart and just sit down on a big rock for a time out?

As absurd as it is, I'm not all that surprised that a few would like to suggest that mentioning a firearm for self-defense translates into a "scared guy" with a gun.

In truth, what I was trying to explain was the following:

You're 4 miles above Elkmont. You meet 3 suspicious looking people on the trail. After they pass you and notice you have $1000 worth of nice flyfishing equipment on you, they let you get 50 yards up the trail and then they turn and follow you at a distance. You stop to adjust your gravel guards or tie a boot lace and notice them closing the distance between you at a high rate of speed, and one of them is now carrying a knife. Your first thought is - " I'm in trouble. What am I going to do now? "

In the minutes that follow, what would you rather have in your hand?

A cell phone? A pocket-knife? A wading staff?

Or a .40 caliber automatic firearm with 12 rounds of 185 grain hollow point defense ammunition?

Maybe you'd rather have a cell phone, because you don't like guns. I have no problem with that, as long as you don't have a problem with not infringing on my right to choose something other than that phone.
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  #28  
Old 09-26-2010, 11:30 PM
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I'll probably regret jumping into this pool.

I just don't think there is a right or wrong answer to the firearm for personal defense debate. Yes, I choose to carry a firearm. I am very well trained in its use, have been trained as a firearms safety instructor and have fired well over 150,000 rounds of ammo in my life. I'm comfortable with firearms and they don't scare me (unless I were to be looking down the barrel of one pointed at me).

Avoiding a fight is always the best action. There's no shame or dishonor in backing away from a fight. I have no desire to bring harm to another human if it can be avoided.

There are those times when someone would want to do harm and the fight cannot be avoided (the scenario Owl mentioned above could well be a time like that).

Is it highly probable? nope. Will most of us go through our lives and never encounter a situation where use of deadly force is required? Yep.

However, most of us have homeowners insurance even though most of us will never have our house burn down. Most of us have liability insurance on our automobiles although most will never be involved in an at-fault accident where personal injury is involved.

We have insurance not to prevent a bad thing from happening, but to help mitigate the risk of exposure should a bad thing happen.

I see carrying a firearm as a type of insurance. It's not going to prevent bad things from happening nor is it going to increase the risk of bad things happening. What it can do is help mitigate the risk to me and my family in the unlikely event something really bad does happen.

Carrying a firearm actually would make me much less likely to argue or get into a fight with someone. I don't want to shoot anybody and as fast as situations can get out of control, I'm much more likely to back away and avoid the fight while carrying.

A person making the choice to not carry a firearm is also a perfectly legitimate decision. It's not for everyone and it's something each individual would need to examine to determine what is the right choice for him/her.

Anyway, like I said, I'll probably regret posting this....

Last edited by jeffnles1; 09-26-2010 at 11:32 PM.. Reason: I can't spell
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  #29  
Old 09-27-2010, 06:05 AM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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All--I've hesitated to comment on this thread simply because it is controversial. However, I've finally decided to do so. I'll simply make a few basic points. For starters, the Second Amendment permits firearm ownership. Similarly, federal law now allows properly licensed individuals to carry a weapon in national parks. Those holding such licenses have gone through intensive training, and that training includes detailed coverage of thretening situtions. Like it or not, reality tells us that it is possible, and increasingly so in today's world, to encounter someone with evil intentions while in the Park backcountry. In such situations, you have to rely on your own resources. Whether those resources include carrying a pistol is a personal decision, but it's legal and should not be questioned by others. Personally, I consider folks who have passed concealed carry training to be far safer and more responsible than the population as a whole.

Me? I've handled and owned guns, many of them, all my life. I'm an honest and patriotic citizen (although I did get stopped for going 57 in a 45 mph zone one time).

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  #30  
Old 09-27-2010, 11:50 AM
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It could be said I'm not anything if not naïve, and I know we are not dealing with being in a Christmas spirit when it comes to the serious subject of injury or death to innocent people. On the other hand, I think we should take into account the integrity of typical Smokies visitors and the differences in being four miles above Elkmont versus on some of the high risk areas of the Appalachian Trail. From my little bit of research it seems most of the trouble on the AT happens near where road crossings are, because they say the perps are not typically going to get far away from their vehicles or "dens" in the nearby towns. (Even trout are smart enough to hold near both their “food” source and cover, if I may offer a dark analogy.)

I suppose we could start angling in parties of three or more to even out the odds in a confrontation, but then we run the risk of over fishing the streams and worse still, being profiled as bait fisherman ourselves. I know... one guy could carry the one fly rod, one the pepper spray, and the other... just sayin'.

I was an Optimist Club member for many years. (Hmmm, maybe that factors into why I look at things the way I do.) Anyway, our big fundraiser was selling Christmas trees at pretty outlandish prices (for a good cause, of course), but then each night the same pricey trees would remain on an un-guarded lot at a busy intersection. The very few trees that went missing from inventory usually walked off just 1-2 days before Christmas. We chose to believe these went to a good cause as well.

For the record, I've had a 12 guage Winchester for over 40 years and it is at the ready in the event of a home invasion. I hope to one day afford a handgun for use in similar situations. Optimisim can only take one so far.

JF
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Last edited by JoeFred; 09-29-2010 at 10:47 AM..
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