Not long ago, I walked to the mailbox, and along my route I saw a Copperhead snake. For those who are uninformed about this particular snake, it is venomous. A healthy adult probably will not die from the bite, providing that they receive medical attention promptly. However, children, and elderly, will find the bite far more deadly. Not to mention pets. Everyone on my street has dogs, and I have cats as well. Additionally my neighbor is in his 80’s, and he would probably find the bite life threatening. So this snake was a danger to my pets, my neighbors, and the children who live a quarter mile away. I pulled the pistol I habitually carry, and shot the snake. I was in my yard, in my neighborhood, if you can call it a neighborhood to live in such a rural area. Yet I was armed, because this is not the first wildlife threat I’ve found myself facing. We also have Wild Boar, which are very aggressive and potentially dangerous or deadly. Coyotes are heard from time to time as they roam along the wooded areas that take up a vast majority of the space out here. I did not go looking for the snake. I did not go out of my way searching for it. I found it on my normal path, walking to the mailbox in my rural area, on my land. In my yard, the area with grass and such. So why carry a gun? Because if I had to turn around and rush to the house to get the pistol, the snake may have moved, and been difficult, or impossible to locate. Perhaps he would have returned to the woods, where I sometimes walk, to check the property, but never in a hunting frame of mind. That snake might have bitten my dog, my cats, or my neighbors pets. It might have bitten my neighbor, the old man who has his mailbox positioned next to mine. It might have bitten a child. The best you could hope for is an expensive trip to the Emergency Room, sucking your cash out to pay for the care you would need to minimize the danger. There is much truth in the old saying. It is better to have, and not need, than to need and not have. There are. Probably a dozen more Copperheads within two hundred yards of where I sit. In the woods, or marshy areas. Hunting and living, and just as much of a danger to the neighborhood as the one I shot. I did not break the law. In Georgia, you can kill venomous snakes, but not non venomous snakes. The experts tell you to take two steps back, and run away if you come across one. That is not my way. It leaves the problem for another. It leaves the danger for my 80 year old neighbor, his dog, or the dogs two doors down who meander over to say hello now and then. It leaves the danger for the children, who ride their bikes up and down the dirt road. So why do you need to carry a gun? Because there are more dangers than the odd robbery, or attempted murder. Because the world is filled with threats, two legged, four legged, and even no legs at all. With a gun, you have a much better chance of survival than without. With a gun, you do not guarantee survival, but you increase your odds dramatically. Yes, accidents are going to happen, just as they do with cars and drivers. Yes, people are going to use the gun to criminally harm another. And yes, people who have guns are going to die before they can get the thing into play. I didn’t say it was a miracle answer, I just said it increases your odds of survival. No one can guarantee your safety or protection. The best that they, or I, can do is give you a fighting chance at survival. Be it from a Copperhead, or a Shitheaded thug. If you choose to take no action to protect yourself, that is your choice, and I’ll respect it. But do not try and take that right from others, because I won’t respect that.