"To my disgust, my favorite wild trout stream in the San Bernardino Mts. is riddled with graffittied rocks and signs within 1-2 miles from the trailhead. Are these not good reasons to encourage the prudent and self-reliant person to carry a means of self-defense?"
No graffiti is not a good reason to carry a gun. I wouldn't see graffiti down the street and turn my car around to go get a weapon for fear of spray paint. As for your brother and the ranger? If if's and but's were candy and nuts we'd all have a merry christmas. More people are murdered outside of national forests and it was by people who don't NEED guns.
"I guess you are more enlightened then the vast majority of your anscestors and forefathers because every single one of them "packed" in the backcountry and hunted which is exactly why your alive today. Yes, noble Native Americans also packed and hunted. They were also a big fan of guns."
Yeah, they were until they were victims of genocide by guns. If you haven't been to a pow wow lately, guns are not a factor.
"My belief is that the thrill of hunting today, is passed down through those genes and the basic need and drive for man to obtain and ingest protein."
I think it's evolution, though, that gives us the LOGIC to think, "I don't need to corral, make miserable, and murder animals or chase down and murder animals, I can go to 7-11 and get a little bag of nuts." What other caveman things are people doing these days?
Also, I am not alive today because of guns. Guns are an extremely new technology in the span of human life (unless you believe the earth is only four years old we rode dinosaurs as creationism has explained). I've been a vegetarian for 9 years so please don't give me any krap about how nuts aren't as good as "free-range, organic" animals who were having the good times before tragically shot by a hunter. This is not doing them a favor as implied because they weren't in miserable conditions. Factory farming is one of the worst ideas by man but I think it's about time all that is left behind, human's should grow, flourish, and become better. Backpacking is the way we connect with nature and I think that's why it's unnerving to imagine slaughter and violence (pot growers, and those who need protection?) in our sanctuaries.