It's been my experience that here in Maine a little bit of prudence and commonsense (i.e. do not approach the baby moose when the mom is near, do not attempt to pet the cute little black and white kitty cat or movable pin cushion) is all you need to avoid the wildlife . . . well there is the chucabra, but I hear that's only in western Maine.
It has also been my experience that most of the wild people and crazies tend to congregate in the cities and not the deep woods of Maine . . .
So in answer to the question . . . I have gone 41 years of hiking, camping, geocaching, sledding and riding the backwoods of Maine and have never yet had a single moment where I have thought I needed a fire arm . . . I think common sense and a bit of prudence is all one needs.
And yes . . . like you . . . I am most definitely not opposed to firearms and have them . . . that said . . . it doesn't bother me if other folks feel compelled to bring them along on the hike . . . it's a personal choice.
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."
"Death is only one of many ways to die."