“A pistol is poor defense against a bear attack and will likely get you hurt or killed.” How often do we hear that? It’s printed in most of the guide and hiking trail books I have on my shelf. Mountain communities in bear country newspapers repeat it almost every time someone has an encounter with a bear. Liberals in grizzly country are horrified that the grizzly may be delisted from the endangered species act and legally hunted. We are told that bear spray is the most effective defense against a bear attack.
We never get any evidence of pistol failures to back up the claim that carrying a pistol in the back country is a false promise of safety. Now someone has written a pretty good piece on this with lots of examples of pistols saving lives. Where Are All The Bear Attack Pistol Failures?
Maybe there are examples of pistols making the attack worse and proving detrimental. If so, where are they?
Many of the people who say pistols are no good against a bear attack are probably in good faith. There is so much propaganda you can’t blame them for believing it. But I think there is a dirty little secret of what motivates the True Believers. In a human-bear conflict where only one is likely to go away alive, they want it to be the bear.