"About the only effect that .32 caliber popgun is going to have on a bear is to gain you his full and undivided attention"
---There is no denying that, but why shoot a bear if it isn't charging/attacking you?
"I've had professional guides tell me that if you shoot a black bear, the odds are 50/50 that he'll charge rather than run away. With a grizzly, it's 100/0."
--- Again, a person would have to be stupid to shoot a bear that is not attacking/charging. And IF a bear were to charge, I would advocate firing a warning shot or two if there is time (and better options are exhausted). I have seen video of a fishing group who were charged by a mother grizzly. She was with cubs and a quick shot from a gun caused her to abort and back off from the human intruders. In addition, most black bear experts advocate fighting black bears IF they do attack. In this rare case I would definitly rather use a compact gun than a knife or fists, but hopefully bear spray and warning shots could be utilized prior to such a terrible event.
"And a Taser..........how do you plan to get those tiny contacts through all that fur and into his skin? Answer - you won't, and the electrical charge won't reach him."
---Admittedly, this was just a silly musing, but since you mentioned it, I decided to look it up. I found that a tazer can penetrate up to 2 inches of clothing! This is, of course, probably measured at close range etc, and so who knows if it would work? I wouldn't bet my life on it.
"Bottom line: Leave Yoggy alone and he'll return the favor. Why look for trouble?"
---Agreed! Don't totally discount the discussion though. What about two legged problems?
1. Human and animal attacks DO occur in the backcountry.
2. Some people choose to pack guns, legally, illegally, or both.
3. One day it might pay off to be properly trained and equipped , but that would be a very rare event indeed.
4. IF a person chooses to pack, there are important tradeoffs to consider btw weight, power, and usability.