You''re right, this is an old chestnut.
I used to believe the way you seem to. But some recent events, such as Peter Blake''s unfortunate demise, and discussions with some folks in the Caribbean who''d had first-hand experience with pirates in South America, made me change my mind. Odds are, they will be packing more heat than you will be, by far, and will have less to lose if they pull the trigger. They usually don''t give you much warning either--it''s often at night, at anchor
, while you''re asleep.
Not that piracy is common--it isn''t.
Some might say (and I used to be of this mind) that having the gun hidden on the boat somewhere is good insurance. Just having it doesn''t mean you''ll use it, right? But it''s there if the "right" bad situation develops.
But a killer (no pun intended) problem for the full-time cruiser is, what are you going to do with it when you come into port? Clearing customs is getting harder and harder all the time. I don''t know the custom laws for firearms around the world, but I do know you''d better not have one on board in the BVI or Mexico if the customs or guara folks decide to search your vessel. Especially a hidden one.
Stay alert, anchor
near others, talk to locals about your proposed route, don''t draw attention to yourself in port...
Just my .02, of course.