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Guns in the Parks: A Bad Idea


    Senator George Allen of Virginia, you might say, is leaving Congress with his guns a-blazing.
    The Republican, who was ousted by Democrat Jim Webb, evidently has introduced legislation that would allow gun owners to bring their weapons into national parks, as long as the states the parks are located in don't prohibit the practice.
    Mike Kinsey, writing for Ohioans For Concealed Carry, says, "The arbitrary prohibition of your right to self-defense in a National Park needs to end."
    "Your life is not worth less while visiting one of our country’s beautiful parks than it is anywhere else you may be," argues Kinsey. "Personally, I believe that lonely wilderness trails may be one of the places that I would most want to have my self-defense firearm."
    Great. That's all we need, a backcountry full of pistol-packing hikers ready to take you on. This guy seems a little over the edge to me.
    "...any location that is known to be frequented by tourists would probably be very attractive to criminals," he goes on. "Tourists are generally carrying a lot of money and are unfamiliar with their surroundings. I am certainly not a criminal mastermind. If I can see that this environment makes one more vulnerable to violent attack, I am certain those with less scruples have realized it as well."
    Gee, Mike, we seem to have made it into the 21st Century without a spate of backcountry holdups (although there were a handful of stagecoach holdups back in the early 1900s in Yellowstone).
    Do we really want to legalize toting guns around in national parks? Frankly, I'd feel safer in the backcountry knowing that guns are prohibited rather than worrying that the next person I encounter might be packing heat.


I'd love to read Ranger Gord's take on this one.

In a PERFECT world, the most dangerous thing being carried in a National Park would be a pair of binoculars. Sadly, we do NOT live in a perfect world. There are already a number of people carrying firearms in National Parks. "THAT CAN'T BE!!", you say. "It's illegal to carry firearms in National Parks!!" Yes, it is. That's the whole point here. The law-BREAKING bad guy has his gun WITH HIM!! The law-ABIDING good guy has his gun locked up in the TRUNK OF HIS CAR!! Senator Allen proposes only that law-ABIDING citizens be allowed to carry they're legally-licensed weapons to facilitate their own defense.

Unfortunately, human and drug smugglers are carrying weapons in Organ Pipe and Big Bend. And the drug cartels defend their pot patches in Sequoia and Redwood N. P. with automatic weapons.

Why do some people think "forbidding" firearms causes their worried little butts to be "safer?" Criminals don't follow laws. Stick with me here Sunshine, but that's why we call them "criminals." We "forbid" murder, rape, robbery, etc., yet these are everyday occurences. The gun control types are more than happy to let others with guns "protect" them. In fact, they demand it. That they won't undertake such a responsibility for themselves is a direct result of the nanny-state mentality we've all been raised in.

Modern psychologists say that fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. I'm willing to set aside the authors emotional state and talk bout the bill of rights, or just plain common sense. I'm a 4th generation native of Montana. We don't venture out in the wild without protection from the wild animals. At least you can predict their behavior. Unfortunately you can't always predict the behavior of the human animals you might meet along the way. Liberals always forget this.

All good comments. In addition, I'd point out that the only reason guns aren't allowed now has to do with fear of poachers. Fine. If someone is poaching - prosecute them. But just because I have my Colt with me doesn't mean I am up to no good. The other point you fully miss in your post is that the National Park Ban isn't just about carrying on the trails, its about possessing guns in the parks at all. In many parts of the country, this means that individuals with no business in the park at all are forced to travel hundreds of miles oout of the way in order to avoid traveling through a park (as is the case for people trying to get from one side to the other of Shenandoah, Great Smokey Mountains, and Zion National Parks just to name a few I am familiar with) or to disarm completely and leave their guns at home (which doesn't work if your going hunting or simply excerising your 2nd Amendment Rights.

btw, while I really hate to criticize folks on blogs that I just discovered (and like, I really do think this is a neat idea - and well done) this statement I'd feel safer in the backcountry knowing that guns are prohibited rather than worrying that the next person I encounter might be packing heat. Is about as asinine a statement as I've heard in a while. Who cares how you'd feel. Feel fine now?? Why would you feel any different? The only thing likely to change - based upon trends nationwide over the last few years in states that have allowed private citizens to carry guns - is that the parks will be safer.

While I certainly understand that criminals carrying firearms in national parks is a scary thought, I am not sure how this line of reasoning should apply to law abiding citizens. Criminals are criminals beacause they do not respect nor care about the law. I may be mistaken, but I believe the Appalachian Trail has had quite a history of murders & rapes. I am sorry but your logic is flawed. You say that your concern is for a bunch of pistol packing.... etc etc... "ready to take you on." Well, if by "you" you mean a criminal intent on causing death or griveous injury, then I feel much safer knowing responsible citizens are armed and ready to defend themselves or others. PS Jim Webb is likely to be just as supportive of this legislation.

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