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NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks

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The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees opposes a change in gun laws in the national park system.

The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees sees no need to change gun laws in the national parks, saying that allowing the public to carry weapons in the parks could jeopardize the safety of visitors.

Last month, you might recall, the Traveler pointed to an effort by nearly half the U.S. Senate to allow concealed weapons to be carried in the parks. Current Park Service policy allows permitted weapons to be transported through the parks, but they must be unloaded and stored so as they're not readily accessible.

Forty-seven senators, led by Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, don't think that's good enough. He says varying gun laws on federal lands can be confusing to gun holders. (The New York Times pointed out, though, that if gun holders are confused, perhaps they shouldn't be permitted to carry guns.)

In a letter to Representative Nick Rahall, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, the coalition asked that if legislation proposing a change in the current regulations reaches his committee, that it not gain favorable consideration.

We believe that to change these regulations so that visitors might wear or keep firearms close at hand in national parks - guided by differing state laws -could significantly increase the danger to visitors in national parks. Equally worrisome is that such a practice would almost certainly put wildlife in many parks at greater risk, wrote the coalition. Poaching would become easier. And visitors who believe that carrying a firearm provides them with extra “security” and the authority to shoot animals would be far more likely to use deadly force whenever they feel the slightest threat. Information gathered by State and Federal wildlife management organizations throughout the country overwhelmingly indicates that both people and wildlife are safer when guns are not the first choice when people feel threatened.

Comments

I realize most gun shops are typically robbed at night. There's one in my hometown that seemed to be a constant target for thieves to the point where they placed barriers all around to reduce the chance of a truck being used to knock down the front entrance. However, there have been invasion style gun shop robberies in broad daylight.

Midday robbery of Willy Street gun shop 'very brazen
http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime_and_courts/article_d32426af...

Owner of gun shop killed in robbery 2nd man wounded
8 suspects arrested
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1991-09-12/news/1991255005_1_gun-shop-p...

Authorities catch second suspect in gun store robbery
http://weatherforddemocrat.com/local/x1155993132/Authorities-catch-secon...

A video piece describing the previous robbery:

Gun Shop Robbery
An employee at Fort Worth Arms gun shop in Reno, Texas traded gunfire with a robber Thursday. (Nov. 14, 2008)
http://video.star-telegram.videos.vmixcore.com/vmix_hosted_apps/p/media?...

Reward offered in gun store robbery
http://www.covnews.com/archives/17171/


"So if it doesn't increase crime - why ban it in the parks?
Oh - and I have spent much time in the backcountry and it has its fair share of drunks or otherwise impaired people.
The reality is that you have no facts to justify banning in the parks or to support the contentions of the NPS Retirees. You are relying solely on your anti-gun "feelings" and I suspect you would be just has happy to have all guns banned."
 
Wow.


I never claimed it leads to an increase in crime.

So if it doesn't increase crime - why ban it in the parks?
Oh - and I have spent much time in the backcountry and it has its fair share of drunks or otherwise impaired people.
The reality is that you have no facts to justify banning in the parks or to support the contentions of the NPS Retirees.  You are relying solely on your anti-gun "feelings" and I suspect you would be just has happy to have all guns banned.


Never argue with a True Believer.


"There isn't anything that says that legalizing the carrying of guns increases crime. And do you really use Wikipedia as your definitive source?"

I never claimed it leads to an increase in crime.  You claimed the research says it lowers it.  I clealry didn't use Wikipedia for my definitive source; I pointed you to the bibliography of scholarship on the subject via Wikipedia. 

"Really? There is no high speed traffic or drunks in parks?"

Nope, not in the backcountry--there aren't any highways and very few, if any roads, hence; not really any drunk drivers.

"Because it is a deterent - not a prevention."

Not according to the research.


 Heck - I know of quite a few gun shops being robbed even though nearly all the employees are armed.

Really?  Why don't you name those guns shops and identify the date that they were robbed while armed employees were inside.


Only if you ignore the mountain of research that says it does not.

So there is plenty of research that says it reduces crime and some that says it doesn't.  There isn't anything that says that legalizing the carrying of guns increases crime.  And do you really use Wikipedia as your definitive source?

But one of the appeals of the parks is that I don't have to.

Really?  There is no high speed traffic or drunks in parks?

Then why are people still getting shot where there is CCW?

Because it is a deterent - not a prevention.


Anonymous:"But research has shown it is lower where CCWs are available."

"The possibility the victim could defend himself is a deterrent."

Then why are people still getting shot where there is CCW? Again, see link above to wikipedia bibliography.

   I'm not necessarily for a ban on CCW permit issuance per se, but I always got the sense that the CCW proponents' claims that they're safer or feel like they're safer with guns is way overblown.

I for one am worried about the possibility that someone in a campground might start shooting at an otherwise scared bear and hit someone. There was a guy who failed to secure his food in an Eldorado National Forest campground (placed a cooler in a covered gazebo tent), and was legally carrying a .45 in a holster. He heard noises, investigated it, and eventually started shooting at the bear which probably just wanted to get the heck out of there. This wasn't necessarily a CCW issue, but definitely one where I certainly hope I don't find someone like this in my campground, who has a sense that his gun is the way to handle a situation which would have been better handled by not doing something stupid like keeping food outside in a known bear area. I'm also wondering what the heck was he doing sleeping with a gun in a holster. If myself, my wife, or my child are in another tent, I just hope that we don't get hit, since nylon isn't really an effective barrier against lead projectiles.

I remember the shooting at a church, where the daughter of the pastor was killed by a CCW holder who was showing a gun to another patron thinking of buying a similar model. He cleared the magazine but didn't clear the chamber. The bullet went through a wall and lodged in the girl's head.

I don't think the possibility that someone else might have a gun runs much through the minds of criminals. Violent crime rate often has a lot more to do with poverty and reduced contact with others. There are low violent crime rates out in the middle of nowhwere, like Wyoming or Alaska. There are states where the violent crime rates are high even with easy CCW permits, such as Florida and Texas. I highly doubt that the criminal really thinks that much that someone else will be armed. They just think they'll "get the drop" on someone else. Gang members still engage in gang shootings against other gangs they know will be armed. People still rob banks even though there's armed security. Lowlifes still rob convenience stores even though many managers keep weapons. Heck - I know of quite a few gun shops being robbed even though nearly all the employees are armed. A lot of people have deep fears about random crime, but the vast majority of violent crime isn't random. It's gang violence or violent acts against people who are known to the perps.


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