i hate to get this thread going (cause i know where it will go!), but i'll relate a chat i had with a guy in ashland while hiking the pct.
he couldn't believe i was out hiking without a gun to protect myself in the wilderness. i told him that the things i was most concerned about were stream crossings, hypothermia, heat stress, or an injury from a fall. and that i wouldn't be able to shoot any of those things. (i guess i could shoot the stream crossing, but that wouldn't help much).
i think on a scale of risk assessment, the risks in the backcountry that can be mitigated by carrying a gun pale in comparison to lots of other ones. i'd rather carry a pound more of food, water, plb, knife, fire starter, or anything else.
i also think back to a dayhike i was on a few years ago, and went past a family (husband, wife, and two kids). he had this huge handgun and ammo clips on his belt. he said he was ready for bears and mountain lions. we hiked in and back out, and passed them on the way out as it was getting dark. they were out of water, and had no jackets or other layers in the cold of the evening, and they weren't doing too well. i was thinking "dang ya brought the gun and plenty of ammo to protect your family against mountain lions, but didn't think to bring jackets, water, food, etc. for a long dayhike."
anyway, just a coupla thoughts.