Slain Mount Rainier National Park Ranger 9th In Park Service History To Be Murdered In Line of Duty

When Mount Rainier National Park law enforcement Ranger Margaret Anderson was shot and killed on New Year's Day, she became the ninth ranger in the history of the National Park Service to be murdered in the line of duty, according to Park Service records.

The following is a list of National Park Service rangers and U.S. Park Police officers who’ve been killed in the line of duty by assailants, with malice aforethought, listed in reverse chronological order. (Note: Other rangers and US Park Police officers have been killed in the line of duty while performing an array of tasks – the following list is limited to those who were murdered.)

January 1, 2012--Ranger Margaret Anderson, Mount Rainier Natioanl Park, Washington. Murdered by a suspect thought to be fleeing from a shooting in Seattle.

August 9, 2002--Ranger Kris Eggle, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona. Murdered by a Mexican drug dealer who fled across the border from Mexican authorities.

December 12, 1999--Ranger Steve Makuakane-Jarrell, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park, Hawaii. Murdered by a transient in a confrontation over the man’s dogs being off-leash.

June 21, 1999--Ranger Joseph Kolodski, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Murdered by gunman who was threatening park visitors.

May 26, 1990--Ranger Robert McGhee, Gulf Islands National Seashore. Shot and killed by prison escapees during a traffic stop.

August 5, 1973--Ranger Ken Patrick, Point Reyes National Seashore. Shot and killed by a game poacher.

June 14, 1940--U.S. Park Police Officer Ike Thompson, National Capital Parks. Shot and killed while attempting to make an arrest for a traffic violation.

August 7, 1932--U.S. Park Police Officer Milo Kennedy, National Capital Parks. Attacked and killed by a mob.

March 12, 1927--Park Policeman James Cary, Hot Springs National Park. Murdered by bootleggers to possibly prevent his testimony at a future trial.

Comments

While Ken Patrick was indeed murdered by folks out looking for a deer to poach (or so they said), it is notable to mention that these poachers just happened to be members of the Black Panther "party." Changes the dynamics slightly. I believe his murderer still seeks parole based on the fact that he is a political prisoner. Sigh.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Anderson family. As my daughter is currently attempting to get a job with the Parks Service after college graduation, it is a stark reminder of the role that the rangers in the Park Service have. A senseless act of a mentally deranged individual. This is also a reminder of the Park Service family who have given their all for our National Parks.

People say that Mr. Barnes was deranged and heavily armed. That the 2010 law allowing loaded guns in national parks does not and did not affect his murder of Ranger Anderson. I disagree. Where did Mr. Barnes on the lam decide was the best, most easily accessible place to get back into the back country. Mt. Ranier National Park. Parks are for visitors whose intent to enjoy, recreate and learn and help support the preservation of precious national treasures, natural and cultural. If Park Rangers had observed those guns in Mr. Barnes' vehicle at the welcome kiosk, this new law would have prevented them from taking those guns from Mr. Barnes. Are we safer or more at risk now? I say, we are more at risk. Park Rangers have to screen all visitors. At a million and a half visitors I don't think they would be able to screen and safely disarm those who are dangerous. That's why I think the law should be overturned. No guns in National Parks. Simple. Plain. If you are seen with guns, you will be stopped, and told to leave park or leave guns at the entrance of the park. Hunters cannot hunt in National Parks so those who are legally hunting, which I do support, do not enter National Parks with their guns. Leave guns at home when you are entering National Parks. Leave the Law Enforcement Rangers to protect visitors. I believe that if Mr. Barnes had known that NPS Rangers would at the front gate welcome kiosk seen and taken his guns, he would NOT have made the fateful decision to choose his backcountry road access by way of Mt. Ranier National Park. If Mr. Barnes had chosen another way to get into the backcountry I am not saying he wouldn't have shot others, and perhaps even killed others. But...not going to Mt. Ranier National Park on Jan. 1st, would have certainly saved the life of one person, Ranger Margaret Anderson.

" If Park Rangers had observed those guns in Mr. Barnes' vehicle at the
welcome kiosk, this new law would have prevented them from taking those
guns from Mr. Barnes."
Anon - Do you have any evidence that Park Rangers saw the guns and let him pass because of the new laws? Of course not, so your total argument is bogus.

Regarding "anonymous", I would hate to tell him/her that a law to keep
guns out of the park would not have kept this individual from doing this
senseless act and any thought to the contrary is not facing reality. He
had already shot several individuals in Seattle, which my recollection
tells me, is not in the Park. Thinking that a law would stop him after
that act is only on an anti-gun rant.
Again, my thoughts and prayers to the Anderson family and her Park Service family.

As I said in another article: A law against firearms in parks would not have stopped this man. It's against the law to kill someone, but he did it anyway. It's against the law to discharge a firearm in a National Park, but he did it anyway. It's against the law to blow through a mandatory check-point, but he did it anyway. One more law broken wouldn't have mattered to him. He was at such a breaking point that if a ranger in an entrance booth had seen the weapons and asked him to leave, that ranger would have probably been shot too. And 4 other rangers were shot and killed while it was against the law to have firearms in parks. The law didn't stop those criminals either.

Is there a more tired or misleading mantra than "if you outlaw guns only criminals will have guns?" It fundamentally misses the point – perhaps intentionally? Law Enforcement is not just about stopping criminals, it is first and foremost about correctly identifying criminals -- knowing who should be stopped and who should not be "harassed." This is an increasingly important point the more time you take to stop and think about it.

So in the former (and hopefully not too distant future) scenario of "no guns in national parks" it becomes immediately obvious who the criminals are -- the ones that have already broken the no-guns-in-parks law. Next question the Law Enforcement officer and vigilant citizens should ask becomes, "Hmmm? I wonder what other more serious laws this person is also willing to break? AND I wonder if the gun he/she has is part of that law breaking plan?"

Imagine you are a park visitor in the car directly following Barnes into Mt. Rainer National Park. Imagine that when you get to the entrance station, you happen to see through the rear window of Barnes’s car to the outline of that gigantic assault rifle (he's photographed posing with) under a blanket in the back seat. You’d be damn sure to tell the entrance station ranger of your discovery in a "No guns in parks" world. However, currently you might not give it a second thought.... first thought being "Oh yeah that's right, thanks to NRA attaching a rider to the Credit Card Reform Act of 2010, that's now considered an appropriate camping accessory, and since I don't want to look "political" or stupid, I guess I won't say anything. See the difference? If so, do you want to live the difference? If it's okay with you all, I don't want to die the difference.

Finally, to those that would say “Yeah, but I need my gun for protection from park criminals,” I would counter that stopping crime is a job, not a hobby. A job that NPS rangers are particularly good at. Remember that it was the NPS that captured Charles Manson? What about the rangers on horseback at a full gallop who chased down a van full of explosives, shooting the terrorist driver before he could crash it into the Washington Monument? Preventing crime is not a hobby, something that you do on vacation – say in a national park – that would be vigilantism, which is also a crime.

Is there a more tired or misleading mantra than "if you outlaw guns only criminals will have guns?" It fundamentally misses the point – perhaps intentionally? Law Enforcement is not just about stopping criminals, it is first and foremost about correctly identifying criminals -- knowing who should be stopped and who should not be "harassed." This is an increasingly important point the more time you take to stop and think about it.

So in the former (and hopefully not too distant future) scenario of "no guns in national parks" it becomes immediately obvious who the criminals are -- the ones that have already broken the no-guns-in-parks law. Next question the Law Enforcement officer and vigilant citizens should ask becomes, "Hmmm? I wonder what other more serious laws this person is also willing to break? AND I wonder if the gun he/she has is part of that law breaking plan?"

Imagine you are a park visitor in the car directly following Barnes into Mt. Rainer National Park. Imagine that when you get to the entrance station, you happen to see through the rear window of Barnes’s car to the outline of that gigantic assault rifle (he's photographed posing with) under a blanket in the back seat. You’d be damn sure to tell the entrance station ranger of your discovery in a "No guns in parks" world. However, currently you might not give it a second thought.... first thought being "Oh yeah that's right, thanks to NRA attaching a rider to the Credit Card Reform Act of 2010, that's now considered an appropriate camping accessory, and since I don't want to look "political" or stupid, I guess I won't say anything. See the difference? If so, do you want to live the difference? If it's okay with you all, I don't want to die the difference.

Finally, to those that would say “Yeah, but I need my gun for protection from park criminals,” I would counter that stopping crime is a job, not a hobby. A job that NPS rangers are particularly good at. Remember that it was the NPS that captured Charles Manson? What about the rangers on horseback at a full gallop who chased down a van full of explosives, shooting the terrorist driver before he could crash it into the Washington Monument? Preventing crime is not a hobby, something that you do on vacation – say in a national park – that would be vigilantism, which is also a crime.