"Devon, you should show the natives respect and pack heat in case they decide to kill you anyways."
I completely disagree in that instance and for the bear scenario.
Let me first say I am not anti-gun. I have taken certified gun safety courses and am planning on attaining my concealed permit (pretty easy to do in Texas).
That bing said, if I am in south Dallas broken down, the very worst thing I could do is let them know I have a gun. First, guns are a way of life in that neighborhood. I have experience shooting my handgun in a perfectly safe environment where I have to follow strict rules to shoot to make sure everyone is safe. Those rules and perfect environment do not exist in that neighborhood. Gunshots happen frequently and any one wishing me harm in that neighborhood is surely packing heat. They know how to draw quickly. They know the signs to look for when someone might draw on them. They know how to move like lightning if someone beats them to the draw. They outnumber me.
I know how to shoot at a target perfecting my stance and taking all the time I need to aim correctly.
Given that scenario, my odds are much better being respectful and, if faced with a group wishing me harm to ask for mercy instead of drawing my firearm. Yes there is a big part of me (the gung-ho macho side) that thinks defending myself and drawing my weapon is the way to go. Odds (which if one is thinking intelligently is what should be used to reason with and not one's pride when it comes to life and death situations) is what matters. Odds for survival when confronted by a couple of armed men say to keep your gun in your holster.
It's a little different defending on my own turf however. In my neighborhood or areas I am use to, I would agree with you.
Given the bear scenario, for a bear to be close enough to maul you, you are not going to be able to draw and even if you can, you are just going to make it mad.
I spend a lot of time in Riodoso NM as my family owns a cabin there. Black bears roam the streets there and are smart enough to get into the supposed bear-proof dumpsters. They pull the hummingbird feeders off of the trees they are hung on, sit on their ass like a human and hold the huming bird feeder between their hind feet and un-skew the top with their front feet and then drink the syrup like it was a mug of beer. These are very smart creatures that are basically cohabitating with humans and don't turn into Rogue animals like some suggest happens when a bear eats human food. The folks in Riuodoso know to respect them and give them distance.
I have been on the porch of the cabin eating Cheetos when a bear came around the corner, looked at me as if to say "drop the Cheetos and go inside for a while" , which is exactly what I did and the bear ate my Cheetos and walked to the neighbor's yard. If this can happen on a regular basis with no maulings, then a gun in a state park to protect against a bear is rediculous. If a bear is in the park you are in and you are awake you are going to be able to see it in time to walk away. If you are asleep it will leave you alone as long as you leave it alone...at least the chances are so slim that you will be attacked that preparing yourself for that attack is about as unnecessary as putting on an electrically insulated rubber suit to protect you against a lightning strike. Furthermore, by bringing a gun you put put people at higher risk of harm than the amount of safety you recieve by carrying it.