Having dinner with our friends Rob and Susi the other night, the conversation turned to the most recent sighting of our Mountain Lion (affectionately known as “Joaquin”.)

Andy revived a new argument.

“I think we should get guns.”

“We have a gun. My father’s old Winchester that will be cleaned, and displayed as artwork and never fired.”

Boys being boys, Rob had to jump in on Andy’s side.

“You’ve gotta get guns. What if you come around the corner and the Mountain Lion is there?”

“Well my first instinct isn’t going to be to pump him full of lead. Besides, Mountain Lions hunt by leaping on you from above and severing your vertibrae. If you see one, he’s going to run away. If you don’t see him, you are probably already doomed.”

Rob wasn’t giving up.

“Not if you had a Magnum. You could ask him if he feels lucky.”

From there, the conversation just got silly with Andy and Rob coming up with ever more extravagant ways to arm themselves.

“We could buy surplus weapons from the Russians.”

“We could mount a submachine gun on the back of the ATV. No Mountain Lion would mess with that.”

Exasperated, I tried to inject some sense into the conversation.

“Why is your first instinct with wildlife to kill it?”

Andy took offense.

“That isn’t my first response. I wouldn’t shoot an animal unless it was attacking me.

Or bothering the livestock.

Or tresspassing.

Or looking at me funny.”

At this point, just to stop the madness, I agreed to CONSIDER the latest idea which was to get me a classic ladies’ deringer — the kind old Belle Starr wielded.

It was either that or their Plan B: a rattlesnake gun that sprayed buckshot in a wide path so even a lousy shot could kill something. Most likely, a few terriers.