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How often do you take your gun when you ride?

Dec. 8, 2019, 4:46 p.m.
Posts: 470
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: Pnwpedal

First off, I'm grateful that we can have an intelligent conversation. On a US forum this would have quickly devolved into personal attacks, threats of violence/civil war, and no real discussion.

The world of today could not be fathomed in 1787. The American constitution is the ultimate foundation of our principles (as it should be in a Constitutional Republic) but there is debate over whether the intent should be followed, or a more modern interpretation. That's outside of my control beyond voting for politicians I believe in so I don't worry about it.

As far as the firearms themselves, the "AR15" of today (a 60 year old design that has become the basis of most modern rifles) is practically equivalent to the flintlock musket of the Revolutionary War - the ubiquitous rifle that most citizens can own. Not necessarily the best, but practical enough to get the job done. Applying the Second Amendment as intended, the right of a citizen to own them "shall not be infringed". (See the previous statement over Intent VS Interpretation)

I do agree that the average American has been conditioned to have a very shallow belief system. The quote of "buying things we don't need, with money we don't have, to impress people we don't like" applies far too often. There is a societal issue without a doubt. I have personally stepped away from watching any national/corporate news, especially the "talking head" style of political pundits giving their spin on the news (Fox, MSNBC, etc). I'll check local news for local events, and if a national event is serious enough it will pop up on one of these sources. Life is better that way. Like most Americans, I want to live my best and happiest life and contribute to a good life for my family. Unfortunately the quiet majority are vastly overshadowed by the loudest voices on the extreme ends of the spectrum...

The only thing I really have an issue with here is trying to draw an equivalence between a musket and an AR15. If you mean it simply in terms of what was available and used by people in their time then I can see the comparison, but for the guns themselves there's no comparison imo in terms of accuracy, projectile speed, magazine capacity, firing capacity and overall effectiveness. As a tool used to kill people, the AR15 is vastly superior to a musket. That's where I see problems with not making any considerations in adjusting a three century old document to reflect current society - can you apply intent from one significantly different time period to another?

Edit - in some respects, I'm glad that's a debate I don't need to have.

 Last edited by: syncro on Dec. 8, 2019, 4:47 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Dec. 8, 2019, 7:49 p.m.
Posts: 33353
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

...right to keep and bear arms...

Define "arms".

Dec. 8, 2019, 9:32 p.m.
Posts: 2220
Joined: May 23, 2006

Posted by: Pnwpedal

I'm a slightly left-leaning libertarian (F#&K Trump; Tulsi 2020).

You should hook up w/my nephew in Puyallup for a beer. Birds of a feather and all. He collects mtn. bikes from the '90's (wtf?). I know an ex-coastie in P.T. who's a Tulsi fan. Great. Hindu nationalist who, like Obummer, likes war, just not "dumb" ones.

Our country was designed to give citizens self-reliance and power over the government, which was the primary motivation behind the Second Amendment

No, eh?

(anyone interested should read the Federalist Papers for background and clarity on the intent behind our constitution.


Anyone who doubts the anti-democratic character of the Founders’ world view should read The Federalist Papers, written by the leading advocates of the U.S. Constitution to garner support for their preferred form of national government in 1787 and 1788. In Federalist No. 10, James Madison argued that democracies were “spectacles of turbulence … incompatible with … the rights of property.” Democratic governments gave rise, Madison felt, to “factious leaders” who could “kindle a flame” among dangerous masses for “wicked projects” like “abolition of debts” and “an equal division of property. … Extend the [geographic] sphere [of the U.S. republic],” Madison wrote, and it becomes “more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength and act in union with each other.”

In Federalist No. 35, the future first U.S. secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton, argued that the common people found their proper political representatives among the small class of wealthy merchant capitalists. “The idea of an actual representation of all classes of people by persons of each class,” Hamilton wrote, “is altogether visionary.” The “weight and superior acquirements of the merchants render them more equal” than the “other classes,” Hamilton proclaimed.


Our Founding Fathers would be appalled at the idea of America having a standing Army, and the federal government wielding power over the populous).

Tea Party? Sagebrush Rebellion? KKK?

Some libertarians believe that since Americans opposed a standing army, as the vocal Anti-Federalists did, the Constitution forbade it. That is clearly not the case. No prohibition is to be found, a fact punctuated by the Third Amendment, which prohibits the quartering of troops in people’s home without consent in peacetime. Obviously, that could be an issue only with a peacetime standing army. (Thanks to Gary Chartier for pointing this out.)

But that’s the least to be said. Congress was empowered virtually without qualification to raise an army and navy, the only restriction being that the military budget can be for no more than two years at a time: “Congress shall have the power to … To raise and support Armies [and] To provide and maintain a Navy.” Moreover, control of the state militias was taken from the states and nationalized. (See Article I, Section 8. In 1783 the Confederation Congress created a committee, chaired by Alexander Hamilton, to plan for a peacetime army and navy. Committee member Madison was unconvinced that Congress had the power to carry out any such a plan.)

You been

 Last edited by: tungsten on Dec. 8, 2019, 9:36 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Dec. 8, 2019, 11:58 p.m.
Posts: 1542
Joined: Aug. 6, 2009

Posted by: Pnwpedal

In the western US, there are areas that get remote enough that you can run across people who don't want to be seen. I've encountered a handful of questionable situations in my life... sketchy drug operations and users, unhinged individuals who aren't happy to see you, people foraging for very valuable plants, etc. The odds of these types of encounters turning violent are small, but they exist.

15-ish years ago I spent a fair bit of time exploring forestry roads in the Chilliwack valley, sussing out approach routes for alpine climbs. It was pretty common to come across large numbers of spent shells, both shotgun and rifle, from weekend shooting parties. You would occasionally hear of climbers & hikers coming back to their vehicle after a weekend in the hills to find bullet holes in windows and doors. Even rarer, but scarier, were reports of vehicles getting shot up while people were sleeping in them. But none of that ever made me think "Gee, I should go and get me a rifle, just in case".

MTB riding with a loaded handgun just sounds like insanity.

I've been on work trips to paper mills in place like Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, and they all have "No firearms on site" signs, but at least one place had a "Check firearms with security" sign. Once, while at the mill in Port Angeles, I was invited to go out at lunch to "Take some shots at seagulls". 

It is such a different mentality from Canada, but it doesn't stop me from travelling in the US by myself, or with my family.  Summer camping in Oregon is awesome.

 Last edited by: PaulB on Dec. 9, 2019, 12:02 a.m., edited 4 times in total.
Dec. 9, 2019, 8:38 a.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: Sept. 22, 2019

Now imagine those idiots armed to the teeth. Thats amerika my Canadian friends. 

Displaying a gun or threatening to get yr gun is playing the facist rednecks favorite game here in the states. 

I ride all over rural Oregon (aka Trumpistan) and have never felt a gun would make me safer in fact probs would be the opposite. A big smile a a "howdy yall" does wonders.

Dec. 9, 2019, 8:45 a.m.
Posts: 326
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

I spent 10 years in the Canadian Army. I don't own a gun or rifle. I have no need for one in Canada or the US or Mexico [specifically the Baja]. I sometimes have bear spray with me on the bike and/or travelling in my truck to bike/camp. That provides as much self-defence as I can see myself needing. 

In the US in 2016 there were 161,374 accidental gun deaths which was the 3rd overall cause of death. In addition to this total there are a number of non-fatal gun shoot injuries, but I didn't find the stats for 2016.

Despite having professional experience with firearms my risk analysis tells me I'm more likely to hurt someone else or myself carrying a firearm mountain biking and travelling to mountain bike than I am to use a firearm to change a negative situation into a positive one.

Travelling in Canada, the US or Mexico to mountain bike by far the most dangerous thing I do is to drive a lot to get to the trail head/camp. If my concern really is on making these trips safer then doing stuff like avoiding night driving/driving when tired, avoiding bad weather, maintaining my vehicle, driving slower, etc... are going to be far more effective than arming myself in order to "protect" myself.

I have a US buddy I have road tripped with who is a gun/rifle owner. I told him if he wants to bring a weapon with him I'm not travelling with him. About the only folks I would trust with a weapon near me are true experts like special forces/SWAT. Normal LEO/military folks nope. Gun enthusiasts/amateurs no f**king way.

I'm really glad that Canada has more restrictive gun laws and I'd happily make them even more restrictive while still making sure that hunters are able to buy and use rifles/shotguns.

Dec. 9, 2019, 9:05 a.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec. 9, 2019

Most Americans dislike Trump.  He lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes and is in office only because of the outdated electoral college system.  Trump mostly represents the interests of bigots, billionaires, and those who are so feeble-minded as to believe Hillary Clinton operated a satanic child prostitution ring out of a pizza parlor.  

Political rant aside, I live in the USA and do not own a gun.  I have been tempted back in my roadie days but I would agree with the prior post that questioned the practicality of doing so.  Never been tempted to buy/carry one on a MTB.

Dec. 9, 2019, 9:25 a.m.
Posts: 1172
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Posted by: Vikb

Despite having professional experience with firearms my risk analysis tells me I'm more likely to hurt someone else or myself carrying a firearm mountain biking and travelling to mountain bike than I am to use a firearm to change a negative situation into a positive one.

And there it is. To arrive at a different conclusion requires a sharp turn off rational thinking street, getting out to lock the hubs putting it in 4 low and powering through some deep sand before yanking the wheel randomly down an unmarked deer trail and blindly fording a couple of too-deep streams with a bounce-off-the-ceiling full gas boulder strewn exit.

Dec. 9, 2019, 9:53 a.m.
Posts: 1466
Joined: April 25, 2003

Mmmmmmmm, the Canadian superiority and scorn about their neighbours (350 million of them BTW!) of the Bush years has returned.

Good times.

Dec. 9, 2019, 11:43 a.m.
Posts: 635
Joined: March 15, 2013

edit - oops

 Last edited by: thaaad on Dec. 9, 2019, 11:45 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Reason: misread a comment
Dec. 9, 2019, 1:16 p.m.
Posts: 214
Joined: March 6, 2017

Years ago I was invited to a friend of a friends house party. I had never been to the house but had directions. Anyway I show up and hear everyone inside so I just walk in. I walk up the stairs into the kitchen and put my beers in the fridge and walk out onto the deck where everyone was. Yup, wrong house and the poor people were sitting on the back deck drinking wine lol. The house party was in the house that backed onto theirs one street over. Anyway I apologized and the couple actually thought it was hilarious. 

Fast forward a couple years and I'm talking to a guy at work about guns. He tells me he wishes he lived in the states so that if someone broke into his house he could blow their head off. Justice served etc. That got me thinking about that couple and how a case of me making a simple mistake could have cost me my life at the hands of a murder hungry redneck. 

The gun culture down there scares the shit out of me.

Dec. 9, 2019, 3:44 p.m.
Posts: 91
Joined: April 26, 2004

Posted by: Pnwpedal
 I'm a slightly left-leaning libertarian (F#&K Trump; Tulsi 2020).

Dec. 10, 2019, 7:14 p.m.
Posts: 2267
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

Unsurprisingly this thread strayed a bit from the original question but it's been a good read. 

The poll is flawed, though: you need to include an option stating that the respondent feels as safe riding in the US as in Canada. Instead it goes from 'only when choosing a riding location carefully' to 'feel safer riding in the US than in Canada'. In any case I realize the poll is secondary to the question. 

I think it's an interesting topic and a use case outside the typical assumption for gun use - at least to people outside the US, whereas for many Americans this question probably doesn't seem out of the ordinary at all. Personally, I've been traveling to the US very frequently since I was very young and can count the number of times I've felt unsafe on one hand: one of those was when driving in Palo Alto and a wrong turn had us driving through a neighbourhood complete with several porches filled with guys that looked like gang members drinking Olde English in the middle of the day. We definitely missed the turn to Stanford. The irony of it all wasn't lost on us, once we had a chance to exhale and laugh about it. 

Anyway, I understand why people feel unsafe in the US but I also think it's irrational. Life is inherently unsafe and driving a car is the most dangerous thing you do on a daily basis. Of course there are dangerous people and your chances of being shot are higher in the US than Canada, but a high number of gunshot wounds are also either self-inflicted or caused by a weapon owned by the injured. Don't carry and your odds reduce significantly. 

But I also understand the American psyche and the attitudes and history that shaped the ideas around self-determination, guns and freedom, having studied it in university and being fascinated by American history for some time before and after post-sec. 

What's funny though is that despite all my time spent down there skiing, riding and golfing - often in remote places - I never encountered the discussion of carrying a gun while riding until about 5 years ago. We were in rural Oregon and bumped into a few fellas also out riding and we ended up shutting back up together. They were friendly and showed us a few trails. We had fun. At some point the topic of carrying while riding came up - I think because we encountered some shells on the ground (not a rare occurrence in Oregon) but one of them may have broached it when mentioning that there were some meth-cook RVs in the area a la Breaking Bad. Whatever it was, the one guy mentioned that he always carries when riding in that area - and always, as I recall. 

We asked if he'd ever bumped into any meth-cookers in the area? 'Yes'. 

Had any of them ever been a problem or made him feel threatened? 'No'. 

Huh. Ok then. America and guns in a nutshell. 

The other mention I wanted to make was with respect to wildlife and protection - bear spray vs guns. Came across this article awhile back and thought it was worth posting for those that are interested.

Dec. 10, 2019, 7:55 p.m.
Posts: 470
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by:

"“Comparing the two studies is like comparing the injury rate for people picking up apples to the injury rate for people picking up live hand grenades,” says Dave Smith"

hahahahaahaha - funniest thing I've read in a while.

thanks for the link!

Dec. 11, 2019, 1:04 p.m.
Posts: 326
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

One more thing I will add to the discussion is that I do consider my GG Smash to be a pretty potent trail weapon so maybe that helps me feel secure when riding despite not packing a gun? ;-)

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