Recent comments

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    So there is no misunderstanding of which side I am on- for over thirty years I have carried and used a weapon in defense of my country, my comrade-in-arms, my family, and myself. My time is mine now but I see no reason to change at this point in my life. Generally I like this site, finding it to be both useful and insightful. I have been watching this issue for some time, even before the Bush administration directive. I rarely write in to any site but I have been following the ongoing rhetoric here … I have just been busy. I have visited my representative twice for a face to face as well as having written my senators and other representatives many times regarding this issue over the passed two years. I also provided to them supporting documentation to my opinions and concerns as regards this issue. I find that to be a much more productive use of my time when I choose to support or fight an issue. In summary:
    1) The current rule regarding firearms was instituted by regulation in 1983. (i.e. the Reagan Administration). I was unable to find an EIS prepared before this rule change went into effect!
    2) The Clinton Administration issued a directive to NPs to bring their rules in line with state laws where parks were located. And chided NPS on occasion for dragging their feet. Bush administration- ditto.
    3) This issue was discussed at length in Congress during 2007-2008 session. Both the House of Representatives, H.R. 5434, http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.5434: , and the Senate, S3499, http://www.washingtonwatch.com/bills/show/110_SN_3499.html , both of which had the support to pass and become law. Undoubtedly, this bill would have been signed by Bush. However, the suggestion was made that this could be better done by executive order saving the expense and time of passing a bill into law. These bills were shelved in favor of that executive order. NOTE: These bills are the exact amendment attached to the “so called” credit card bill! More extensive than the executive order relating to CCW. Oh well! Start a pissing match…
    4) The NPCA and the Brady Campaign brought suit in federal court over a “procedural issue” and the judge made her ruling specifically not addressing the actual issue of firearms but the procedural issue only. In short, her decision has more meaning than the executive and legislative branches, and DOI combined. That might explain some of the reaction in the Congress.
    5) 2009, both the House and the Senate have exercised their authority as elected representatives of the people to make laws. Effectively overriding two minor organizations and a no longer relevant appointed official, whatever her name was!

    With the exception of the NPCA, The Brady Campaign, and a federal judge everyone else involved here represent as a minimum, the people of a congressional district, a state, or a nation. That’s a lot of people represented there. As far as I can find The Brady Campaign has never been concerned with the welfare of the national parks before. I can only guess what their true involvement is about. While I find my Congressman, Senator, and President to be asses on occasion… it’s still a pretty damned good system we have.

    I find much of your postings to be either misleading or misinformed. Whether this is due to lack of research on your part or to some other agenda on your part I can not say, but it has been prevalent from your earliest postings on this issue. Just a cautionary note- “Don’t drink the Koolaid”.

    Attaching this amendment to the credit card bill was a convenience, not brilliant ploy and far from bullet proof. Your reporting of the vote on the credit card bill is correct, but it is way off base on the amendment. The House used a very rarely used option to split the votes on the credit card bill and the firearms amendment.

    House roll call vote: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/index.asp
    #276: Firearms Amendment , 361 For – 64 Against. Passed before the credit card bill! And the numbers!
    #277: Credit Card Bill : 279 For – 147 Against. Lucky, the credit card bill had enough support to pass too!

    For Ms. Pierno, there has been significant ongoing discussion for some time. Congress did not just allow this to pass. It was most intentional.

    For Mr. Waterman, what do guns and credit cards have in common- ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. SEE THE VOTES!

    For Mr. McElveen, once upon a time Congress endorsed slavery, prohibition, and not allowing the vote for women among other issues. Shall we consider more recent Congressional actions of the issues fundamental reversals of previous Congressional intents and therefore not worth pursuing!

    As for Mr. Wade! So many different venues to address it’s difficult to know where to start. So, just 3 real pet peeves.

    1) “The Survey” preformed by the Coalition and presented as expert testimony and cited by your repeatedly. Did you actually read this?
    My Congressman summed it up best when he told me “Don’t worry, the survey methodology is so obviously poor and most of the expert references are known and generally accepted as being flawed. This crap won’t be seriously considered.” It’s hard to be proud of politician, but damn! Sometimes you just have to live with the embarrassment.

    2) Next up, “The Coalition… over 20,000 accumulated man years of experience” (some of it in law enforcement, no doubt as much as 27 or 28 per cent or so).
    Last count I saw had the NRA membership of active and retired LE personnel at over 2,000,000 (yes million!) accumulated man years of actual “LE” experience in their ranks. Maybe experience does count!

    3) And finally, we all know the quote “…. lies, damned lies, and statistics”.
    The national parks and crime statistics… after researching this I find at best the quoted statistics are downright misleading. The use of smoke and mirrors by consummate bureaucrats. I researched several years, the latest being 2007, but for this post I will use 1996 as my example. Mr. Wade should be familiar with it, since he retired in 1997.

    Only 3 urban parks are policed by U.S. Park Police, others are served by the U.S. Park Rangers. In 1996 NPS reported 5,992 offenses, http://www.the-eggman.com/writings/crime_in_nat_parks.html. Eliminating property crimes such as larceny, vehicle theft, etc. and focusing on crimes against persons such as murder, forcible rape, aggravated assault, etc. there were only 509 offenses with almost 4 million visitors! An enviable record, except that these reported crimes were handled exclusively by NPS. In other words “crimes turned over to local, regional, state, or federal authorities were reported by the authority handling the case” such as the county sheriff, state police, DEA, BAFTE, FBI, etc. Not NPS! How convenient for NPS statistics, read the fine print and notes in the statistics.

    There is no way I know of to correlate the number and types of crimes committed in the national parks that are turned over and recorded by county, state, or national crime statistics so we will never know how many rapes or assaulted actually took place in the national parks. It would not be unreasonably to assume that the majority of these crimes were handled and reported by the U.S. Park Police and occurred most likely in the 3 urban parks patrolled by the Park Police. Using the visitor statistics for only those 3 parks changes the apparent crime rate very drastically.
    Perhaps Mr. Wade knows of some secret record, not generally shared with the public, where all these records are tallied at NPS? Informational backround reports and a formal report done by NPS in 1996/1997 and issued to congress gives rise to the following. There were over 11,000 narcotic related offenses in national parks “…involving gangs, organized crime, and drug dealers…” resulting in the arrest by “…Park Police…”, “…Park Rangers, and other investigators…” ( I like that… “other investigators”) of more than 2,805 people and the seizure of over 310 weapons “including machine guns, automatic pistols, shotguns,…” ( note: weapons not obtainable at the basic local gun shop or gun show!) and the confiscation of drugs in excess of $100,000,000. And yet, not even an honorable mention in the NPS stats! Handled and reported mostly by DEA and BATFE. If I can divide correctly just having NPS report this item alone would increase their violent crime rate by a factor about 21. Of course, given today’s budget a $100 million dollars probably isn’t worth a drug dealer killing or assaulting anyone over. Then again… I could be wrong!

    Bottom line here. These organizations have done themselves a serious disservice by so obviously having an agenda counter to the mainstream (remember that vote!), basing their “facts” on shaded statistics, half truths, and innuendo geared towards playing to emotions. Anything these groups, or any other for that matter, has to say to you… look into their facts for yourself or pay the price for you own laziness and stupidity. I will be highly suspect of anything these people have to say in the future. They will now need to go above and beyond to convince me to assist them with anything again.

    These groups set themselves, a judge, and a “procedural flaw” up against Congress and a point of law. The outcome is what it is. You just can not blow that much smoke up even a Senators butt!

    A parting shoot so to speak- “Guns in the Park? Do We Need Them?” Would you consider changing that headline? Allow me to paraphrase – “ NPS, Above The Laws of the Land? Or Not!

  • Don't Take National Park Landscapes for Granted   5 years 23 weeks ago

    [b]Just thought I would add some "Food For Thought" Several years ago Rush Limbaugh did an "Earth Day Show". On this show

    Charlton Heston wanted to read the foreword of Jurassic Park, the book by Michael Crichton.

    The Following is that reading:

    HESTON: You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity.

    Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There’s been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multi-cellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away — all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval.

    Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us.

    If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in Arctic ice.

    Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears the earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It’s powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. Do you think this is the first time that’s happened?

    Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive glass, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being, a hundred years is a long time.

    A hundred years ago we didn’t have cars, airplanes, computers, or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can’t imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven’t got the humility to try.

    We’ve been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we’re gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.

    Semper Fi
    Omar

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Now is when we find out if Obama has any guts to stand up for his principals or if he is indeed just another politician running for reelection from the moment he was sworn in.

    You've got to be kidding! A Chicago machine politician with joking Joe Biden as his VP! What do you think we're dealing with here other than the obvious? What you see is what you get.

    The rosy romanticism and syrupy idealism you run into on this site is sometimes quite hard to comprehend.

    He's a freaking power mongering politician! Did you really think he was something other than that?

  • National Park Mystery Photo 3: It's All In the Patterns   5 years 23 weeks ago

    To see this perspective one needs to hike up onto the top of the "pile," where glaciers not only have sheared off the ends but polished them quite nicely

    There's a bare spot just off the trail where you can see the tops of more columns, still buried underground. It looks like a tiled floor. You have to look carefully to see it, I almost missed it. It is smaller than the spot pictured. It's pretty cool, it means there are more of these things than what is famously exposed by erosion.

    =========================================================

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    What I'm not seeing mentioned here is that this law, as written, is infinitly worse than the Bush version. This law could allow not only concealed weapons but openly carried including shotguns and semi-automatic weapons......just what we want in our National Parks.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 23 weeks ago

    It is interesting that parks are now posting signs not to leave valuables in cars. Interesting that they want me to leave my weapon in my car. Dumb move as it is safer on my person. At the age of 21 I became a Michigan State Trooper, I carried a gun on duty and off duty. Because I did not retire as an officer I can not carry except where my CCW allows. Funny that at 21 I could be trusted but at 64 I might shoot someone. Even dumber as an officier I was required to become involved in crime, as a private citizen I walk away. Only if it directly involves myself, my wife or an actual hostage or person taken will I react. I don't want to be taken to court or hurt someone. I have carried (CCW) all waking hours for over eight years in 30 plus states as I know what happens, I've seen it from an officers view. As carry numbers increase - crime goes down.

    As I travel state to state every winter I see more crime each year.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Another example of gutless Democrats. We have two parties in this country: Republicans and Republicrats! Obama should veto this bill and insist on a "clean" copy. Sneaking laws though in this manner is just plain wrong. No debate on the merits of an amendment...just sneak it onto a bill that is popular and needs to be passed. We need a law that requires amendments to bills to be related to the original bill; and we need a line item veto. Perhaps Obama could play a "Bush" and sign the bill with a note saying that he is not going to implement that amendment. Now is when we find out if Obama has any guts to stand up for his principals or if he is indeed just another politician running for reelection from the moment he was sworn in.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    18 USC § 930 has been officially interpreted to mean only administrative facilities. In other words, the NPS has been directed that visitor facilities, historic buildings, and the like, are not covered by this law and guns cannot be excluded.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 3: It's All In the Patterns   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Kurt, need more mystery nature photo's like this on NPT. Rather see this nature stuff then some fancy pants handgun bull---- on another blog.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Why is that everyone has to carry a weapon? If we are a country of peace then it shouldn't matter if you can't carry your weapon in the National Park System.

  • Missed Portage Leads to Death At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Chance -

    Thanks for providing some valuable insight into the area.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Dan P -

    Thanks for your comments.

    I will beg to differ on a key point. You state,

    The old regulation required that a gun be rendered "inoperable."

    The version of 36 CFR 2.4 that I'm referring to does not impose that requirement on those traveling by vehicle. It reads,

    ... unloaded weapons may be possessed within a temporary lodging or mechanical mode of conveyance when such implements are rendered temporarily inoperable or are packed, cased or stored in a manner that will prevent their ready use.

    That "or" is an important distinction that did not impose an onerous burden on most people who were visiting a park. Yes, the reg was an inconvenience for those with CCL who were just passing through a park, and a problem for those who might be hiking. I agree that was a valid concern. That's all moot at this point.

    If I'm in error, please correct me.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    "How did this country ever get into this mindset?"

    We didn't "get" into this mindset. Being armed is a pillar of freedom and a natural right.

    Jefferson states it best:

    A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.

    One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.

    We established however some, although not all its [self-government] important principles . The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed;

    No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I think many would respond that free countries remain free in part to it's citizens having the liberty to arm themselves. Where did this country get this mindset? The Revolutionary War would be a good starting point.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Rangertoo asked:

    "Will guns be allowed in the Statue of Liberty, Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell? If not, what law will stop them?"

    Specifically? 18 USC § 930. It is still unlawful to carry a firearm in a federal building, with the usual exceptions (law enforcement, military, &c.). The new law overrules federal regulations, but not other federal laws. In the outdoor spaces of Independence NHP, the laws of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia will prevail, so you'll need a license to carry. The rules in New York City are especially restrictive, and I suspect that the ferries to Liberty Island are still restricted.

    Jim wrote:

    "Therein lies one of the misconceptions about the previous regulation. It did not prohibit anyone bringing a legally possessed firearm into a park, so there was no need to "skip visiting" any park. Visitors carrying a weapon that was legal outside the boundary of that park simply had to unload it and secure it in the trunk of the vehicle or similar secure location while they were in the park. The system worked well for years for the vast majority of park visitors, but of course that's now a moot point."

    Some people carry guns in their cars, holstered, out of immediate reach, and otherwise in accordance with state laws. The regulation as it existed required that anyone who intends to do so consistently stop before entering a park, unload, and stow the gun and ammo seperately. Then, after passing through the park, to stop again and put it all back together. It's not just a matter of time and inconvenience, but also subtlety. The point is to have it if you need it, but not to go making a big production of it. A responsible gun owner doesn't want to stand in a parking lot, in a gateway community, loading, unloading, stowing, and retrieving a gun.

    And then there's the matter of law enforcement discretion. The old regulation required that a gun be rendered "inoperable." That's usually interpreted as "in the trunk." But not all vehicles have trunks, some have trunks that are readily accessible from inside the cab, and not everyone enters the parks by car. (Imagine walking the Pacific Crest Trail! Personally, I wouldn't want the extra weight, but I'm happy to grant my countrymen their own discretion.) The fact is, the regulation says 'inoperable.' So to be in full compliance, in some cases we required visitors to field strip firearms, which goes back to that subtlety thing I was talking about. (Not to mention that my .38 doesn't break down that easily.)

    No doubt, none of these arguments impress you. That's not the point. "The system worked well for years for the vast majority of park visitors..." Sorry Jim, but "the smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." If we governed strictly by what worked best for the majority, well, I wouldn't want anything to do with that country.

    Wrote Mike D,

    "I just wish the pro-gun people would at least acknowledge for once that some people feel more safe with less guns around. Their argument should therefore be: "I know you feel less safe and you fear for the safety of yourself, wildlife, and other natural resources in national parks, and worry that some people are not responsible enough to carry firearms, be it legal or not, but I nonetheless feel that it's more important that I be able to carry my gun so that I can feel safe."

    Sorry, Mike, but I can't make that statement, because "feeling safe" has nothing to do with it for me. What I can say is this: I know you feel less safe and you fear for the safety of yourself, wildlife, and other natural resources in national parks, and worry that some people are not responsible enough to carry firearms, be it legal or not, but I nonetheless affirm that the rule of law is paramount if we are to be a civilized people, and that the Constitution explicitly forbids the Congress to infringe the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Moreover, I believe that American citizens are free men, who should be guided by their own judgment.

    Now comes the straw-man argument that, since I believe gun rights should not be infringed, I must think that kindergarteners should be allowed to go armed in class. Of course not, so stow it. I do believe that gun laws, like restrictions on freedom of speech, should be kept to the barest minimum possible. That's exactly what the Coburn amendment did--eliminated an unnecessary restriction on a constitutional right.

    Wrote Frank C:

    "Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would." -- John Adams

    Nice quote. Very nice. Thanks, Frank.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    It's all just so sad that so many people feel they must arm themselves to be safe. Worse is the visceral, emotional attachment to firearms. How did this country ever get into this mindset? If we feel we must be armed at all times the criminals have already won - they have caused us to fear and cower in our own homes, stores, and now parks. Somehow, lots of other advanced, prosperous, free countries manage to live peaceably and safely without being armed to the teeth. Why can's we?

  • Missed Portage Leads to Death At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I worked last summer at Big South Fork, and hope to clear up a few points of confusion here. Before I do, however, please understand that I do not speak for the National Park Service - only for myself, as a private citizen, and that this is how I understand the situation at Angel Falls (it could have changed after I left the park, or I could be altogether mistaken).

    I often would meet park visitors who planning a trip from Leatherwood to Station Camp, and when asked about the lack of signage at Angel Falls, my standard response was that there used to be a sign many years ago, but that it continued to wash away in seasonal flooding. The sign was eventually never put back up because of liability issues (eg - if someone floated the river, expected to the sign but never saw it (for whatever reason), then NPS-BISO could be held liable for not keeping the sign there). Park staff keep a small photo album at the front desk of the main visitor center showing the Angel Falls area that is used when talking with folks about to float this part of the river. Just before you reach the portage, there is a large, long cliffline that is the traditional landmark for the portage. It is the only such exposed cliffs you will see between Leatherwood and Angel Falls. Park staff have always gladly made copies of the photo showing the cliffs for people who ask for one.

    As far as cell phones (and sometimes park radios) go, good luck getting a signal in the river gorge. Unless Verizon or someone else plops a cell tower in the river, chances are your cell phone will be useless.

    Angel Falls itself is a deathtrap except for in extremely low water conditions. It is a place that is beautiful to hike to and observe safely, but it has claimed even the most experienced of boaters.

    A death at Big South Fork is always a tragic event. It's something that affects everyone, including the closely-knit park staff, and my deepest sympathies go out to the families.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 3: It's All In the Patterns   5 years 23 weeks ago

    It's Devil's postpile in California.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Irony. The defenders of the anti carry bias from NCPA has resulted in a broader bill that allows carry for all not from people that have had their backgrounds checked . The intial rule change was an attempt to address the fears of the public about making sure that responsible people only would be allowed and that the weapon would be concealed so not to scaree the public. Now that is different.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    This is completely nuts. It shows how far to the right the politics of this country has shifted that this kind of radical legislation can sail through the Congress with barely a whimper. However, it is revealing that the proponents of this legislation, led by ultra-reactionary Sen. Coburn, recognize that most American citizens would oppose it if it were exposed to the sunshine. So, they made sure there were no public hearings.

    They knew that public hearings would show:

    - The current regulations, put in place under the Reagan administration, have worked just fine.
    - There is no evidence that there is any need to change the regulations.
    - There are lots of reasons why this legislation is a really bad idea for wildlife, historic artifacts, visitors, and park staff.
    - All responsible groups involved in parks, public lands, and conservation oppose the legislation.
    - A long parade of respected citizens and organizations would line up to testify against this legislation.

    Instead, we had the kind of back room dealing that was the hallmark of the Bush administration and Republican Congress. Except this bill is even more radical than the Bush regulations. It is clearly a gift to extreme gun advocates in the Republican base, enabled by spineless Democrats who are afraid to stand up for our parks against the gun lobby. I am totally disgusted.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    This isn't getting as much attention, but I think this rule also applies to national wildlife refuges. That may be more alarming. I just wish the pro-gun people would at least acknowledge for once that some people feel more safe with less guns around. Their argument should therefore be: "I know you feel less safe and you fear for the safety of yourself, wildlife, and other natural resources in national parks, and worry that some people are not responsible enough to carry firearms, be it legal or not, but I nonetheless feel that it's more important that I be able to carry my gun so that I can feel safe." That would at least be a more honest argument. Instead they just talk about their rights and how they're responsible. Likewise anti-gun people should acknowledge that some people can safely use firearms, maybe even the vast majority. But all I ever hear about is rights and fears about criminals lurking in national parks but no statistics or responses about crimes that could have been prevented by allowing gun-toting visitors.

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Peter -

    To follow up on Kurt's comment, a key problem with the Coburn Amendment doesn't have anything to do with CCW. The issue is the vastly expanded, immediate access to loaded rifles and shotguns in parks by those intent on breaking the law, along with the drunken idiots who are just out to "have a good time." The supposed restraining influence of a CCW permit doesn't apply in those cases.

    The previous regulations reduced the immediate availability of those loaded guns to criminals in parks, and the idiots who use firearms irresponsibly, because they at least had to keep them out of sight and out of immediate reach to avoid attracting attention. When they didn't, and when rangers spotted those weapons, they could take appropriate action without being forced to wait until shots were fired or another serious problem occurred.

    Under the new approach, that restraining influence over that small percentage of people who will act stupidly with guns has been lost, until they do something that may endanger others. When state law allows (and that's often the case) the criminals - along with the honest folks - are now free to keep those loaded rifles right there in the gun rack of their pickup truck during their visit to a park.

    Yes, I realize that's the norm outside the park in many states, so parks can now become just like the rest of the country. I'm glad that makes some people feel safer while visiting a park. I'm not one of them.

    Parks are not the same as the rest of the country for a lot of reasons. One of those is easy access to wildlife, including some prime specimens that plenty of people would like to see hanging on the wall of their den. The new law makes it much easier for that to occur.

    Here's a common scenario from my years of working in parks that illustrates my concern.

    It's midnight, and a meadow next to a park road is full of elk, including some trophy-quality bulls. Two good ol' boys are driving slowly down the deserted road through the meadow, and they're both holding a loaded, high-powered rifle in their lap. What might they be thinking? Perhaps they're just being prepared to defend themselves in case an evil person suddenly appears out of the dark and threatens them.

    If you believe that one, you're probably good a candidate for some financial advice from a guy named Madof.

    I'll repeat my suggestion made on a different post for an appropriate title for Coburn's amendment, because it goes far beyond allowing the carrying of handguns for self defense by CCW holders. A good title for this bill is the Poachers and Vandals Stimulus Act.

    I hope I'm wrong...but I'm not betting against it. Time will tell.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    "Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would." -- John Adams

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Re: Mr. Burnett
    Under the previous regulations, there were at least some controls to reduce the immediate availability of loaded guns, including rifles and shotguns, in parks. The idiots who use firearms irresponsibly at least had to keep them out of sight. When they didn't, and when rangers spotted those weapons, they could take appropriate action without being forced to wait until shots were fired.

    --

    I have worked law enforcement for the NPS and in a city in a state that allows open carry of a firearm. The notion that a Ranger has to wait until shots are fired to take appropriate action is an inaccurate statement. Your statement opens the door to reader visualizing gangs of armed thugs waving guns around in our parks, and the Ranger waiting until shots are fired until he / she takes action. Any law enforcement officer worth his salt, can at most any time, find a legal violation that prompts law enforcement contact and further investigation.

    In my experience, criminals generally don't like to highlight and draw attention to themselves to law enforcement or the general public. Criminals who bring weapons into parks after this bill is implemented, would have brought them into the parks before this bill was implemented. The difference now - law abiding park visitors have legal means to protect themselves.

    Personally, I am still on the fence with this issue. I find this bill appropriate for some parks, and not for others - which logically does not hold water. Ultimately I side with the law abiding citizen having the opportunity to protect him/herself.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    To answer Rangertoo , Why not? The point is that having a gun openly or concealed is not to be considered an indication of criminality. The person who uses a weapon to hurt, intimidate, steal has then comitted a criminal act. It is the people's criminal actions that are the problem, not they tool they use.

    Now decent folks can be armed and defend themselves. So if a vistor is seeing the Liberty Bell they can be armed either open as PA law allows or conceealed. Philly had a different authrority under the law so those partcular laws may apply. Washington Monument goes under DC law at the moment and carry is not allowed so that will not change until DC law is changed. DC is still fighting the ruling to allow posession of guns in DC the carry portion has not been raised in court yet.

    As to the appropiateness of gun carrying pulic in MLK home, well MLK carried a handgun most of the time. So does not seem inappropiate. I see no reason that those murdered should be sanctified that requires that others should be defencless also.
    VT fought a change in the law that would have allowed students who had CCW to be allowed that priviledge on campus, When it got shot down. VT said now their staff and students could feel safe. A couple months later Cho shot over 50 people and killed over 30. The perception of saftey from a rule barring CCW did not provide that reality There were students on that building that had CCW permits and professors also that were capbale of defending themselves but did not have the means when a killer stalk the halls. Instead the other classerooms tried to barricade doors and jump put window or play dead an allow more bullets to be pumped into their bodies.

    This change has not passed and Obama may not sign it. But more agree with my viewpoint than the antigun folks. That is reflected in the vote total in Senate and House