Just picked up the May/June Countryside (we still buy at the market) and have been reading with great interest the letters regarding the tragedy suffered by the Davidson family in our home state. This story surfaced an argument which my wife and I periodically will have regarding the necessity of firearms on a small farm. Neither Linda nor I have ever owned a gun - I shot a .22 riffle once in the scouts and Linda did a couple of times in Gym class. It is not because of any strong political feelings we have (Iâm not trying to start an argument about the second amendment), but rather because we just never before lived in an environment which warranted then ownership of one. It just seems to me that owning a gun is such a huge responsibility - keeping it in good repair, cleaning, storage etc. and that it is something that you always have to be on top of â day, night, home, on vacation, sick, one too many glasses of homemade wine . . . that why would you want to take all that on unless it was absolutely necessary. I guess my question is; Is it absolutely necessary? How do I go about determining if it is for us in Central Maine? How do I find out about the things living in my area interested in eating me? I mean I know there are black bears here (in addition to the University of Maine Black Bears). I donât think there are many wolf because I just read an article about the University reintroducing wolves into the Maine environment, but Cougars â man I wouldnât have guessed in a million years!!! If it is necessary, how much of a priority is it? I mean they are pretty expensive arenât they. I looked around the internet at places that I know (Winchester, Remington etc.) and see that they cost several hundred to thousands of dollars. We are going to be pretty tapped out just getting the house. Should this be one of the first things we save for? Also, maybe someone could recommend a brand/model for us â cheap as possible, able to stop whatever it might need to stop, but safe as possible (I like my fingers and toes where they are). Again, Iâm sorry for what must seem like a real green-tree question, but this is something that really has us a bit nervous. Thanks in advance.