I have patiently "endured" reading the various opinions on piracy
Having been a paid crewmember (Engineer) aboard a yacht whose owner was a tad more than paranoid (and a few fries shy of a happy meal). I have the following feelings about guns aboard a boat
If you want guns....that's fine with me.
Keep in mind that they make not only Coast Guardsmen but also local LEOS very nervous. When they board your boat
you had better answer yes...to "The Question".
If you are in Maryland
....leave them ashore......
More importantly is your choice of cruising destinations.
Cruising in harms way is foolish in my opinion.
One or two items on your vessel is worth more than what some of these impoverished, desperate people make in a year. They have no hope, no options.
Life is not held in such high regard.....look at their life expectancy in the grinding poverty they sail from.
The AK47 or Soviet RPG are the two weapons that have defined armed combat and insurrection in the 20th and 21st Century. They are as unsophisticated as their users.
To try to defend yourself will probably find you at the "short end of the stick".
The bottom line for me is either go in a large group if you must transit the area, take your chances solo, or avoid the area altogether.
Would you go thru the worst area in your hometown with money hanging out of your pockets, with your family
The tactics of piracy
are stealth, swiftness and overwhelming force.
I doubt if any crew is going to be on guard for that....that wouldn't be enjoyable cruising in my opinion