someone from the Bay area asks if there is life on mars sufficiently dangers to carry a gun.
Whether Mars harbors dangerous creatures or not, speculation about dangers in a place we have never been will keep you up at night. If there is currently life on the Red Planet, it is probably the most dangerous sort, microbial.
The dead radio silence strongly suggests that higher forms of life are either not present, or keep communications inside shielded raceways designed to stymie potential eavesdroppers.
That might be understandable if an interpretation of data from the Viking lander is correct and there is a glass formed by nuclear weapons present on mars surface. However, that theory hypothesis is being vigorously challenged,
Since I have no access to original data, the best I cam make of the “nuclear war on Mars” hypothesis is a Scots verdict. Not proven.
For my own part, nuclear weapons of the size some speculate were used make a heck of a flash. Unless Mars happened to be directly behind the Sun, I am relatively sure ancient skywatchers would have noticed the flash, added details appropriate to their belief system, and passed the legend down to literate times.
While it is tempting to bring up the nukes on Mars with the scence fiction staple between the martians and the small planet whose brakeup resulted in the asteroids and the asteroid belt. In fiction, let me reiterate.
Until we get vacuum boots on the ground we have no idea of what may exisst on Mars. The maybes include sentient beings able to split CO2 into carbon and oxygen internal and breathe Mars atmosphere.
We shall know soon enough, and perhaps much sooner than we would like.
But in the meantime, referring to the original question of whether or not to carry a couple of pounds of firarm on a tour of Mars surface…
Guns are as much a normal part of a human’s attire as trousers, kilts, skirts, and other forms of lower body and leg covering. Would you go out without your pants on?