NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks

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

Could be that maybe one of those fools who are permitted to carry, might just save your life one day.

"I definitely agree with the Coalition that the current gun regulations should not be changed. I feel safer when I visit a National Park knowing that some fool is not carrying a gun that could endanger my life or anyone else's life. And just as important, wildlife is safer and can do there own thing in their habitat, not the humans habitat. Please do not change this law!!!!!!!"

How is it safer knowing that some "fool" is not carrying a gun illegally??? I carry a gun and I would protect anyone. It is safer having people like me, who are licensed to carry, around in any situation. Fine, you don't want to allow us to carry our legal sidearms in parks...fine...just don't come crying to me if there is someone there with an illegal weapon pointed in your face and no permit holder there to help you.

Moderator's note: This comment was edited to remove a personal attack.

Just a couple of questions for you Anti-Gun, Anti-Loaded Gun Types.

1) What does a criminal look like?
2) What does a rapist look like?
3) What does a child molestor look like?
4) What does a murderer look like?

My point is, you can not tell the differance on looks alone. Criminals don't care about the law as it is, so why restrict the law abiding from protecting themselves against the lawless. Trouble never makes an appointment, it never scheduals a time when it will strike and make you the victim. Just because you have the tool doesn't mean your going to use it for illegal purposes like poaching or worse. Heck if I were a poacher in the park, I sure would not use a firearm, bowhunting is actually more quiet and bows are perfectly legal to carry in the parks as there is no law that I know of preventing it.

When law abiding citizens carry concealed firearms, and the criminal element knows that they could run into an intended victim that just might be able to protect themselves, the crime is less likely to occure. It is far better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it as I did one time out away from everyone, out in the country where I had a guy pull a knife on me. His mind was change abruptly, as he dropped his knife and headed off in the other direction. Had I not been armed with a LOADED FIREARM, the results would have turned out differantly.

As an ex-cop with 20 yrs experience, I welcome more people legally licensed to carry and defend themselves.

And oh yes, the reason I carry a concealed firearm, it's simple.... because a cop is just to large and heavy to carry around in my back pocket.

As usual, who's the bigger fool? You or the ones your calling "Fool's". These people you are calling fool's are law abiding citizens, that have gone through the rigorous and sometimes expensive task of getting CCW's, ( Carry Concealed Weapon) licenses after a complete back round check, by the FBI and complete proficiency test to be,( Honored) as you would think , with their constitutional rights to carry a weapon for self protection of themselves, their families and even you, in the event they are around when you are in trouble! Yes, they might even help you or yours? They are not the Criminals, they are the Honest Law abiding Citizens that ignorant people like you call fools! Get a dictionary, look up criminal, and you will find the definition of the people that you should be afraid of, very afraid!! My only hope is to have brought an ignorant person up to light of what is really going on in today's society!!!!!!!!

"When seconds count law enforcement is only minutes away" I learned this first hand.

Well, all I have to say about this is
IT'S FAR FAR BETTER TO BE TRIED BY 9 THAN CARRIED BY 6.

Also there are those that feel that something is only illegal if you get caught.
Our government works that way and so does Wall Street.

It wasn't that very long ago that the NPS would NEVER recommend going into the back country "unarmed" I have older park brochures that can verify that.
It was only changed recently at the behest of some people that persuaded Pres Regan.

It would appear that NPCA needs to moveon.org
http://www.bighammer.net/timeline.html#12/05/08

Final regulation approved by DOI will allow weapons.

Is that all you got, name calling law abiding citizens. Get a grip

As a gun owner who is also a concealed carry your argument does not have merit when you say (the fear factor would go away if one could had a firearm) When I am carrying a gun concealed or other wise I am very mindful of my responsibility and fear does not go away because I have a gun. Only a fool would think such a thing.

Well said!!!

Concealed Weapons holders are the most law abiding segment of the public at large. They are hardly the fools that this anonymous coward intimates. They are much more likely to err on the side of caution and sensibility than are the general public. It is a fools argument to say that people will feel safer if they know no one is carrying a firearm, when they have no way of knowing if any one in their proximity is carrying a firearm. In addition it is at least as likely that a criminal or lawbreaker will have an illegal firearm and I certainly would feel very uncomfortable visiting any Federal park if I was unable to protect myself with my legally owned and concealed firearm. That is the purpose of concealed. Know one knows except the concealed License holder. What I suggest is that those who do not want to carry a firearm, not carry a firearm. I find some books to be much more dangerous to the uninformed than a trained person with a legally owned concealed firearm. I will respect your rights in the park and you respect my inherent right to protect myself and my family from harm, legally.

The Macy's Christmas Baby of 1938
approves this message.

Editor's note: Today's developments are certainly not surprising. The reaction from those in support of the regulation change and those against it is not surprising, either. However, please respect the opinions that are espoused, even if you do not agree with them, and do not resort to gratuitous attacks. As long as those two simple rules can be adhered to, the Traveler is interested in hearing what you have to say.

All anyone has to do is read Mr. T-FLY to realise what a twit he is? He accuses the "goobers" of using lots of caps and exclamation points all in caps and exclamation points. His argument is as inept and illogical as is his undeniable assumptions. Have you ever had an original thought in your life, T-FLY, or do you just normally go around in a daze? See my previous post for the truth about concealed weapons and ownership. The most law abiding segment of the public at large are concealed weapons holders. Significantly more law abiding per capita, than our illustrious congress in Washington.
The Macy's Christmas Baby of 1938
approves this message.

T-Fly You pose a bigger problem to visitors to the parks pgrowing your illegal weed there and somking it !!

Kurt, I thank you for the privilege of commenting on this site and am glad to see you taking a stand on ad hominem attacks. (I again apologize for falling prey to this trap in my earlier comments here.)

However, I don't believe that we should necessarily respect opinions. I've quoted Jonathan Rauch before, and here's a paragraph from Kindly Inquisitors that I have repeated for the last dozen years:

. . . only after an idea has survived checking is it deserving of respect. Not long ago, I heard an activist say at a public meeting that her opinion deserved at least respect. The audience gave her a big round of applause. But she and they had it backwards. Respect was the most, not the least, that she could have demanded for her opinion. Except insofar as an opinion earns its stripes in the science game, it is entitled to no respect whatever. The point matters, because respectability is the coin in which liberal science rewards ideas that are duly put up for checking and pass the test. You may not get rich being show to be right, you may not even become famous, and you almost certainly will not be loved, but you will be paid in the specie of respectability. That is why it is so important that creationists and alien-watchers and radical Afrocrentrists and white supremacists be granted every entitlement to speak but no entitlement to have their opinions respected. They should expect, if for any reason (including minority status) they refuse to submit their ideas for checking by public criticism, that their opinions will be ignored or ridiculed—and rightly so. Respect is no opinion’s birthright. People, yes, are entitled to a certain degree of basic respect by dint of being human. But to grant any such claim to ideas is to raid the treasury of science and throw its capital to the winds.

I'm very glad to see this passed. As a law enforcement officer, I recongnize, unlike many others, that there are hundreds of tousands of folks just like myself who carry a concealed firearm while off-duty, solely for the protection of myself and others.

Criminals don't care about laws. With the old law, the criminals would still carry their weapons onto the federal land, while the law abiding citizens would follow the law and not carry. That would create federal lands, with only criminals having firearms.

With the passage of this law, you may still have the criminals carrying guns where they aren't suppose to, but at least you will also have people like myself there able to defend my own family, and maybe even yours.

It is common sense, but unfortunately many people don't have that, it just can't be taught...

Wow, the comments of many in here are downright scary at times and simply retarded at others. The simple fact is that someone who goes to the trouble, training and expense of obtaining a CCW is 99.99% of the time a person I, and my family, are not in any way shape or form concerned about having a firearm on their person. The simple fact is there have been many instances of people being prayed on in a national park, not only by criminals, but yes, wild animals. You people do realize that wild animals do exist in a National Park don't you? How would you like to come across a bear with your young children and realize you have no way of protecting that child should a wild animal decide to attack? This does not mean that any gun owner wants to have to shoot an animal, or a person for that matter, ever! It means last resort, me, my child, or a bear I'm going to protect my child and my family. If you want to be a victim, if you want to be forced to stand by while you or your family are attacked, you go right ahead, however, the Constitution of this country states that I have an implicit right to self protection and an implicit right to a firearm for that protection. If you don't like it then that same Constitution has a mechanism to change that Constitution and you are free to try and do so. Until that day, tough beans. And for the record, I am a gun owner, I don't have a CCW and I have never felt the need to have one nor carry my gun, but that doesn't mean I, or anyone else doesn't have that right. If you can't handle that, then as I said, change it or go somewhere where you don't have those rights. If you're a Park Ranger and you don't like, retire, go do something else, but don't you dare for a second think you have the right to take away my rights. We employ you, not the other way around.

Hello all

So very few people understand the issues guns and safety. We have those that are totally opposed and only have or use certain data to back up their beliefs and we have those for that do exactly the same. Well I look at it completely objectively.

First it's sad that we need to carry guns to begin with. But there is a climate in this country that makes is so that some of us feel safer if we have it.

When I go out in the wild I carry one but never with the intent of killing anything but rather just protection in case some situation comes up. That's all. I also am far more apt to carry one if I have my family or friends with me. You simply never know what might happen. It can be looked at as an insurance policy if you like.

Now about concealed guns in our national parks. Let's face it, they are being carried today and have been for years. There is that segment of our society and it's much larger than you think that carry concealed guns where ever they go. Whether you walk the streets of LA or are out in some park makes no difference, the ones who have them now are the ones that are truly dangerous and have a superior feeling or power knowing that it's highly unlikely that an ordinary citizen has one because the law says they can't. So the criminal has the advantage and knows it.

Now something that few people know is the fact that criminals are afraid of people that carry guns or have them in their homes. A prison psychologist once told me the reason that home invasions are rare is because they are afraid of being shot by the homeowner. The point is that when law abiding citizens can carry concealed guns the criminals become hesitant about randomly targeting people. Florida is a prime example of that. They adopted the concealed carry law, people against it predicted dire consequences which didn't happened and in fact just the opposite happened. Shooting went down.

The truth is that all people whether they carry or not will be safer in parks and the streets. Law abiding citizens are just that, they will always be law abiding, carrying a gun doesn't make them stupid. That concept is relegated to the movies. This is only one point of many I want to make about carrying guns, owning guns, etc. Learn about the issue OBJECTIVELY and HONESTLY and keep your emotions out of it and stop making these statements that invoke fear, you aren't selling life insurance. BE HONEST about it and we'll do just fine.

Side note here: Now do you want to honestly do something about violence then get rid of the violence in the entertainment media, TV, movies, games! Stop teaching our children, young people and adults to be violent. The violence in this country comes as no surprise certainly not at the levels we have now. I'll add one more thought. Gun violence in this country and the globe for that matter is truly at this point a cultural and ethnic problem. I'm yes I don't believe in political correctness. Political correctness is nothing more than avoiding the truth.

nuff said and it probably doesn't matter a bit anyway. This country over all is getting to darn dumb on all issues.

Dennis

The media is typically liberal and there is a good reason for it. Has to do with learning styles and the type of person that gravitates towards a job in journalism. Plain and simple and I wont' take the time to explain it now.

Kurt wrote"Will park visitation drop off if the gun regulations are rewritten to make weapons more available in the parks?" It probably won't. Most likely it won't affect it at all. And remember if there comes a time when there is a gun problem the law will be reversed almost immediately. So this is an question that is addressing the extreme. After all there will be people there with concealed guns anyway and highly likely they are career criminals just visiting and they too seldom use their guns but they have them just the same. And they truly are more apt to use them if the opportunity might arise. If we all can carry the guns, those opportunities to the criminal will become less because he's not going to know if the person he's interested in attacking is armed or not.

Kurt wrote:""That's a good question, one that needs to be thought through extremely carefully by the folks at Interior. But I fear they are driven too much by politics to think clearly. Personally, I don't worry too greatly about it because I head to the backcountry where relatively few others do. But if I was heading to a campground, where folks sit around campfires and drink, where kids get into things when their parents aren't watching, yeah, I'd probably think twice about it."""
You focus on the extreme and irresponsible scenario. This truly is rare. Gun owners that I know are so darned diligent about guns and the education of their children. I"m 61 and I remember in Wisconsin living on the farm that every one of our neighbors had a gun cabinet usually in the living room with all the guns and ammunition right there. We knew and we never touched them!!!! Because we knew!!!! We knew the dangers and we were responsible. And not once did I or any of my friends or did I ever hear of anyone of them suggesting we take a gun without permission and go out and shoot it. Not once!!! Because we knew and even as kids has a strong sense of responsibility about it. I detect you deal in fear mongering and your opinion of gun owners is completely wrong.

Kurt wrote: ""Too, if you've read many of the comments that have been directed at me over this issue the past 2-plus years, you'd be rightfully concerned about the stability and focus of quite a few of the so-called good and law-abiding gun owners."""
This statement is a testimony of your perception of what a typical gun owner is. You are so wrong. I know you have never hung around gun owners or gone to a shooting range and become one of the members nor have you had a chance to mingle with them. I've had people come and visit that in some cases were against guns or some didn't know. And I would take them out to shoot and in some cases take them to a competition. It without exception changes their mind. The point is their source of education about guns has been the the news media and the perceived power of the guns on in the entertainment industry. Guns are now where as powerful as seen on TV.
\

Kuet wrote:"""And what about the young adults who might have just obtained their CCW permit and head everywhere they go with their firearm? """

This tells me that you have a low opinion of young adults and believe they are irresponsible. Put yourself in the shoes of a young adult interested enough to get a concealed carry permit. I'm afraid you are driven by prejudice. That's a sad commentary on your thought process and what makes it worse is that you sent this message to others when you were in the media business and you are wrong. Shame on you.

Kurt wrote:"""What if they're hiking down a trail, figure they're far away from civilization and rangers, and decide to take some target practice? What if they miss their target and hit a hiker coming the other way that they didn't see?"""

This is an extreme case. Can it happen, certainly. However it's much more likely to happen with a person that is carrying the gun illegally. They are the ones that don't care after all the gun laws don't pertain to them.. What you don't understand or feeled compelled to research and believe is that when people take on responsiblities they respond in a positive way. Just think of all the killing in this country, how many of them are committed by people with legally owned or carried guns? I'll bet that probably 99% or more are committed by people who have the weapon illegally and couldn't own one legally anyway! Think about LA, I've lived there! And it wrong to know that when you walk the streets that only the police and the criminals are carrying. And we have to walk the streets essentially completely vulnerable.

Kurt wrote: """What about bluffing grizzlies? Many times they'll charge you to intimidate. Will a gun owner resort to pulling the trigger rather than taking more appropriate action and either wound or completely miss the bear and end up worse for it?"""

I have to chuckle here. Being a gun owner and knowing my guns, the last resort would be to pull a gun and shoot. And it's so for the vast majority of gun owners because they know their guns and the power they have. If I carried to ward off a grizzly it would be to make a lot of noise with. I would not shoot the grizzly. However I suspect that if you have a gun, and you were threatened that you would. You essentially state that. You aren't a gun owner and know little about them and it shows! And again you are creating an extreme scenario which is what people like you do. It sad that people resort to that type of persuasion tactic.

Kuet wrote: ""Why are ranger groups and police groups opposed to expansion of CCW regulations?""" Is it because they're macho organizations that want to consolidate firepower, or do they have legitimate concerns over the frightening array of loosely written CCW laws and the increasing availability of weapons?""" The heads of these organizations are frequently anti but the people within aren't. I know. The chief of police in a town is probably more than not an anti gun person. The reason being is that the politicians that promote these people will mostly likely only put into that position a person of the same conviction. The vast number of police or members though are pro gun. That's just plain the truth and comes from one that's been there. The head seldom reflects the opinion of his subordinates.

Kurt wrote: """I don't question that the majority of gun owners no doubt are responsible and conscientious. It's the minority that worry me"""
So what are we going to do, take away our rights because of the minority? And yes the minority scare me too and they aren't the ones that are going to go for concealed carry laws because they can't legally own a gun anwway!!!! Do you think for one second that any gang member in this country can get a concealed carry permit? Somewhere along the line you have to make a sincere differentation between the rights of law abiding citizens and the rights of criminals. It's not fair to take away our rights because of the behavior of criminals.

Suppose we use your logic when it comes to cars. There are those people that insist on driving drunk and they kill people. Many of them can't and don't have a valid drivers license. But because people are killed by drunk drivers I know that we can eliminate the killing of innocent people by outlawing the use of cars. We will ban all cars. Then no one can kill them. In addition statistics show that the peak for safe drivers is around 55 years of age. So let's thing about taking away the right to drive for those older than 55. If this logic sound foolish, it's because it is. But this is essentiall what so many people do with guns.

One more thought. If and I think it will probably happen that guns will be eventually outlawed. I will guarantee you that a new business will be established in the form of an illegal market for guns just like the drugs. The only problem will be that the only one dealing in guns will be the criminals. And as every business goes, this one would grow and eventually I'm confident that it would include military weapons. Weapons far more dangerous than what our criminals have now.

Well that is my answer to you. If you ever took the time to be honestly involved in a gun club and get into organized competitive shooting you would come away with a completely different opinion of guns. And if you did and get good enough to compete at the Nationals in Camp Perry, you would be amazed at the people and their professionalism. And your image of the typical American gun owner would be forever changed. You typical view of an American gun owner would become one of them being the exception.

thanks for the time you take to read this

Dennis

I hope those like Kilroi1 who worry about the extremely small risk of a bear attack will gather a some information before planning to use their concealed handguns to defend themselves against a bear. If you're really concerned about a bear attack, here are two suggestions: (1) educate yourself about proper outdoor behavior to avoid most problems with bears in the first place; (2) keep your handgun in a safe place and carry and know how to use bear pepper spray for the rare cases when defensive measures are needed.

An excellent summary of the subject is found in a U.S. Fish and Wildlife article, "Bear Spray vs. Bullets - Which Offers Better Protection?" The full text is found at this link, but here's an excerpt:

"When it comes to self defense against grizzly bears, the answer is not as obvious as it may seem. In fact, experienced hunters are surprised to find that despite the use of firearms against a charging bear, they were attacked and badly hurt. Evidence of human-bear encounters even suggests that shooting a bear can escalate the seriousness of an attack, while encounters where firearms are not used are less likely to result in injury or death of the human or the bear. While firearms can kill a bear, can a bullet kill quickly enough -- and can the shooter be accurate enough -- to prevent a dangerous, even fatal, attack?"

"The question is not one of marksmanship or clear thinking in the face of a growling bear, for even a skilled marksman with steady nerves may have a slim chance of deterring a bear attack with a gun. Law enforcement agents for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have experience that supports this reality -- based on their investigations of human-bear encounters since 1992, persons encountering grizzlies and defending themselves with firearms suffer injury about 50% of the time. During the same period, persons defending themselves with pepper spray escaped injury most of the time, and those that were injured experienced shorter duration attacks and less severe injuries....a person’s chance of incurring serious injury from a charging grizzly doubles when bullets are fired versus when bear spray is used."

"Awareness of bear behavior is the key to mitigating potential danger. Detecting signs of a bear and avoiding interaction, or understanding defensive bear behaviors, like bluff charges, are the best ways of escaping injury."

If this rule change for guns holds up, it would be both tragic and ironic if it leads to people being killed or injured in an extremely rare bear attack, simply because they used a handgun in a situation where it is not the safe or appropriate response. Are some people counting on a handgun to keep them safe from a bear attack? Read the previous comments on this site for the answer.

WOW! I did not know the thousands of local,state and federal agent's and police officers,who usually have more than one firearm in the home,have such high rates of shooting accidents, suicides and homicides in thier homes. Being raised in the home of a peace officer,I am suprised that my family and I are still around in light of the Brady info.

Victory for Human Rights! We can now carry in National Parks legally.

Hooray!

I carry a weapon in my fanny pack each time I take my kids hiking. Pragmatically, it is impossible for the NPS people to protect me and my children. I'll continue to do so and when we pass each other on the trail you'll see nothing but a big smile and a 'how ya doin' from me and the kids. You won't have any reason to fear me or feel threatened.

I think it is obvious that the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees is implying that they know better than the rest of us concerning the impact of concealed carry in National Parks when they joined the Brady Campaign to sue the government for allowing concealed weapons on federal parks. Indeed, the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees makes only vague references to environmental impact and human safety, but they haven't produced any studies. As a former law enforcement officer, I can attest with confidence that armed citizens are safer and more responsible than those who would deny them their right to bear arms, I could also suggest that the leadership of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees review the statistics in the National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics if they have concerns about law abiding armed citizens on public property and around animals. Illegal users of firearms and criminal behavior against persons and property in National Parks is nothing new and should be the only issue here, that is why law abiding citizens should be able to readily defend themselves. Perhaps addressing the issue of crime should be a greater concern of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, than pushing a non-scientific political agenda.

Why should our 2nd Amendment rights suddenly be stripped once we step foot into a national park? I wish everyone entering the national parks was highly trained in the use of personal protection firearms and had passed FBI background checks. Then, I wish it was well known that qualified people were legally carrying guns in national parks. I am being serious. That would deter criminals from preying on people because they would have to assume everyone was armed.
Thanks for reading.

Bill

This debate will always be just that, a debate. If you do not want to carry a weapon for self defense, don't carry one. But don't deny me the ability to protect myself. I am retired and travel with my wife in many national parks during the year. I have never feared wildlife, only respected it. However, people are another problem. One individual mentioned a 'war zone'...well, he's kind of right. Many people in this country do not have the same values as Americans once had 40 years ago. Forty years ago, I would of never feared people anywhere I went. Unfortunately, that doesn't hold true today. I believe in being a good boyscout and being prepared. I probably have more training in firearms then any park ranger and have a concealed weapon permit. But why would you fear me? I am not the problem, but could be the solution if a threatening criminal came into our campground. But you'll never know I'm armed, I'll be the gray haired guy at the campfire showing off pictures of his grandchildren, not his firearm. Please don't get jerk knee over this new regulation, I saw the same thing when states went to concealed carry and it never became the problem the naysayers said it would.

Do the Park rangers own the National Parks ?, would banning guns from National parks stop criminals from bringing Guns into the Parks ?, Should Park Rangers be allowed to carry firearms ?.
You need to ask yourself these questions before you jump on the Ban Firearms band wagon.
The truth is, as I'm sure you will someday find out, is that no Firearms banswill stop firearms in the National Parks if criminal intends on using one.
If you want to ban Firearms than I would agree if National Park Workers were also banned from having Firearms, after all why do they need them ?.

I agree with your statement 100%, I have carried a Firearm for almost 40 years and have never used it in a crime, but I have used it to save a Woman from being Raped, an LEO that made an arrest on an individual by himself that was overpowered and subdued because the criminal was bigger and armed with a Kitchen Knife.
The truth is people have far to many unfounded fears of people that are legal carriers of Firearms and fearing them is akin to fearing someone of another Race because they don't know them. Oh and for those that are scared of Guns, please look at the latest FBI study, their study clearly shows you are 3 times more likely to die from a simple Medical procedure than a Firearm, so maybe we should ban surgery ?.
BTW, The reason I'm armed is because it takes almost 15 minutes for the Police to come when you call them, while it only takes 1 second for a criminal to kill me.

So, it's been just over two years since the new law has been in effect for our national parks. Have the "killing spree's" that were predicted happened? I’d like to see the statistics but am unable to find them online.

QUOTE

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-park-retirees-caution-that-visitors-to-americas-national-parks-are-likely-to-see-more-guns-84022602.html

Members of CNPSR strongly opposed this new law for several reasons:

1) More guns in national parks increase the likelihood of shooting at wildlife and some historic resources, such as prehistoric petroglyphs.

2) More guns in parks increases the risk to rangers.

3) More guns in parks increases the risk to visitors in places like campgrounds where disagreements, often fueled by alcohol, sometimes occur.

4) National parks have always been hospitable to visitors from around the world and are seen as "sanctuaries" where people could get away from the routines, threats and risks they face in their daily lives. But more guns will change those perceptions.

5) Until now, one regulation pertaining to firearms applied to all 392 areas in the National Park System. But now each of those areas will be subject to the laws of the state in which it lies. This is likely to lead to significant confusion by visitors traveling though parks in a number of states.

6) Federal buildings in parks will now have to be signed to prohibit firearms and conceivably security devices will need to be used.

END QUOTE


I would be willing to bet that overall crime against persons has dropped and crimes against wildlife has not increased.

Well - recently someone with a CCW permit just killed a 17-year old kid who was walking home from a convenience store. It doesn't give me the warm fuzzies thinking that people like that who probably dreamed of being able to use a weapon on a person (especially a F&&@#&g C**n as described in his 911 call) sometime in his life.

Any your evidence that the same thing wouldn't have happened if he didn't have a CCW?
"people like that who probably dreamed of being able to use a weapon on a
person (especially a F&&@#&g C**n as described in his 911
call) sometime in his life." don't need a CCW, or worry about gun laws in the first place.

"I would be willing to bet that overall crime against persons has dropped [because of folks carrying handguns in the parks?]"
I doubt it. Doesn't make sense.

Doesn't make sense.
Makes perfect sense to me and the work of Gary Kleck at the Florida State University College of Criminology supports that contention. What doesn't make sense is to think that someone that is going to use a gun criminally would refrain from using it if it weren't allowed.

"What doesn't make sense is to think that someone that is going to use a gun criminally would refrain from using it if it weren't allowed."

That same person now won't use a gun criminally in the park because they are allowed?

Anon @ 4:32,

Are you really suggesting that in the mind of a criminal about to use a gun, the consequence of going to prison and law enforcement rangers are not deterrents, but the off-chance that a random hiker or family on vaction might be armed is a deterrent?

Anon - 10:10
What I am stating is that there are far more "random hikers" and "families" on vacation than there are law enforcement rangers and so they are a more likely deterent. Furthermore, they will be more able to defend themselves should a criminal approach them. Research has shown that 1.5-2 million people use a gun in self defense every year. Research has also shown that having a CCW does not increase the likelihood of using a gun criminally. Again, I point you to the research of Gary Kleck at the Florida State University College of Criminology.
I am unaware of any research that supports your claims that allowing the carrying guns in the parks would increase risk to park visitors or wildlife.

"What I am stating is that there are far more "random hikers" and "families" on vacation than there are law enforcement rangers and so they are a more likely deterent."

I'm not sure why the "number" of visitors to the parks are a more likely deterrent. Does a criminal intent on using a gun think that because there are more people in the park they are more likely to be armed? I don't follow the logic. That criminals would be more likely to use a gun because of the change in the law seems dubious.

"Research has shown that 1.5-2 million people use a gun in self defense every year."

I'm not sure why that stat is relevant. We could also quote stats on the number of accidental shootings that occur every year.

"Research has also shown that having a CCW does not increase the likelihood of using a gun criminally."

And I doubt it would prevent anyone one else from using a gun criminally. Why would it?

"I am unaware of any research that supports your claims that allowing the carrying guns in the parks would increase risk to park visitors or wildlife."

I haven't made this claim. I have different objections to carrying guns (openly) in the parks.

Meant to say, "That criminals would be less likely to use a gun because of the change in the law seems dubious." Oops.

Does a criminal intent on using a gun think that because there are more people in the park they are more likely to be armed?
Yes - it is the uncertainty of not knowing who is or is not armed that is the deterent. If there are 50 people "visitors" around that is far more deterent than no law enforecement officers.
I'm not sure why that stat is relevant.
Because it shows the positive aspects of citizens carrying guns
"We could also quote stats on the number of accidental shootings that occur every year.
Go ahead - give us the statistics. I think you will find that tricylces typically cause more accidental deaths.
Why would it?
Pretty simple - Because the victim might shoot back -
I haven't made this claim. I have different objections to carrying guns (openly) in the parks.
OK - those were the claims of NPS Retirees. What exactly are you objections?

"Meant to say, "That criminals would be less likely to use a gun because of the change in the law seems dubious."
And yet research has shown just that. You find it "dubious" that a criminal would be less likely to use a gun if someone in the room may have one than if he knew nobody had one? To me, that is only common sense.

"Yes - it is the uncertainty of not knowing who is or is not armed that is the deterent."

Then it would seem strange that we have so much gun violence in the U.S., even where there is CCW. (And again, I think this dramatically misreads the mindset of someone intent on using a gun criminally.)

"Go ahead - give us the statistics. I think you will find that tricylces typically cause more accidental deaths."

"Firearm injuries are the second leading cause of injury death in the United States"--CDC/National Center for Health Statistics, 2004.

(I admit I don't know if tricycles are first.)

"OK - those were the claims of NPS Retirees. What exactly are you objections?"

I don't really have an objection to CCW. My objection is to carrying guns openly in the parks because I don't know if that person is mentally stable, what his or her intentions are, whether he or she is reckless, well-trained or not, etc. If the ethos of the country were different, I might not feel this way. But given how dramatically problematic America's relationship is with firearms (compared to that of the rest of the industrial world) these aren't the concerns I want to confront when I'm spending time in the parks. Guns change the scenery.

"You find it 'dubious' that a criminal would be less likely to use a gun if someone in the room may have one than if he knew nobody had one?"

No, because I didn't say that was dubious. Noone's talking about a criminal in a room somewhere.


Then it would seem strange that we have so much gun violence in the U.S., even where there is CCW.
But research has shown it is lower where CCWs are available.
"Firearm injuries are the second leading cause of injury death in the United States"--CDC/National Center for Health Statistics, 2004
But the vast majority of those aren't accidental - which is what you originally suggested. - ie. your statement ""We could also quote stats on the number of accidental shootings that occur every year." Actually, the rate of accidental injury by guns is extremely low. 3.1 per 100,0000. In comparison dog bite is 128, cycling is 181, and falls are 2746.
Source CDC Surveillance for Fatal and Nonfatel Injuries, US 2001
My objection is to carrying guns openly in the parks because I don't
know if that person is mentally stable, what his or her intentions are,
whether he or she is reckless, well-trained or not
So what? You don't know that any place else either. Do you worry about the same thing about the other drivers on the road? Should we ban cars because you are worried?
Noone's talking about a criminal in a room somewhere.
In a room, in a hotel, in a campsite, on the trail, the concept is the same. The possibility the victim could defend himself is a deterrent.

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

Only if you ignore the mountain of research that says it does not. An easy wikipedia search lists research that contests your claim about what the research shows: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concealed_carry_in_the_United_States

"But the vast majority of those aren't accidental - which is what you originally suggested"

You're right, anon. The stat I quoted was about injury deaths, not necessarily accidental injuries/deaths.

"So what? You don't know that any place else either. Do you worry about the same thing about the other drivers on the road? Should we ban cars because you are worried?"

That's my point. If I were crossing high-speed traffic or contending with drunk drivers in the backcoutry of the national parks, then this might be a concern. But one of the appeals of the parks is that I don't have to.

"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.

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.

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.

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.

"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.

Never argue with a True Believer.

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.

"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 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-bc01-5838-8efd-46488d9f7346.html

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-police-belair-road

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

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?id=2392867&item_index=592&all=1&sort=NULL

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