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Secretary Salazar Calls for Review Of Gun Rules in National Parks

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The rule change to allow national park visitors to arm themselves is starting to develop an administrative life of its own much like the Yellowstone snowmobile issue.

The latest news is that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has asked the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to spend three months looking into the environmental consequences of allowing national park visitors to arm themselves.

This review will be conducted against the backdrop of a legal battle over the rule change.

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"Environmental Impact"? People armed in a National Park will have no more impact than staying on a marked trail. To the chagrin of those who flap their arms in panic at the thought, I don't know one person that visited a park WITHOUT a concealed firearm. This was before CCW holders were allowed to. When you encounter hikers on a trail, I would place money on at least half being armed.
People assume everyone they meet on a trail is a good person such as themselves.
Around Ross Lake in Washington state, the trails are quite often used by both drug and human traffickers.
Do you want to meet a group of smugglers, or covert marijuana growers 20 miles from the trailhead?
I've been hiking and camping for 25 years, and I have never, yes never, encountered a ranger on a trail. So, I know I can't count on that to protect me. Any personal protection has to come from me.
I was camping in an established campground in Washington, walking to the restrooms at night. Three dogs of a "notorious vicious breed" charged me out of a campsite full of drunken campers. Thankfully I had a flashlight that put out 120 lumens, so I hid behind a wall of light. But those dogs made every effort to flank my light, had they succeeded my choices would have been to let them maul me or shoot them. After one of the drunken campers called them back, the only authority figures to be had were sleeping camphosts.
What ever feelgood measures are passed to ban guns in parks, I will continue to be armed, and should you run into trouble on a trail, I'd be happy to help.
J.


Another backdrop in this issue is the recent controversial decision by Obama's Justice Department to defend the lawsuits.

Does one hand know what the other one is doing here?


In response to the first post.

For the DOI, or this may not even be an issue of visor safety.

As hard as it may be to hear, the documents that formed the NPS and help protect the parks that Americans love, put the rights of the park and its inhabitants above those of people that visit the park. That is not a bad thing. If we let people do what ever they wanted the resources would quickly become damaged.

It also means that all decisions made in the parks must undergo a level of scrutiny that is in someway equal to the potential level of impact. And Encouraging people to carry defensive mechanisms that are capable of killing wildlife could have an environmental impact in some parks.

If the EIS finds no significant impacts than you will likely be awarded your right to carry.


Oh please, anonymous...

I don't know one person that visited a park WITHOUT a concealed firearm. This was before CCW holders were allowed to. When you encounter hikers on a trail, I would place money on at least half being armed.

I would take that bet in a heartbeat. One thing that's funny is that those who own and carry weapons with them regularly are more likely to feel threatened or in danger in normal every day situations...like say hiking in a national park.

Do you want to meet a group of smugglers, or covert marijuana growers 20 miles from the trailhead?

You better be one helluva shot or be carrying an uzi, because they're going to have much more firepower (and a willingness to use it) than you. Whipping out a gun would likely result in your own injury, and certainly could intensify the situation for all the other hikers on the trail. And here's a quick note: drug smugglers smuggle drugs...they aren't looking to make contact and certainly aren't going to risk their load on a hiker in a random national park.

I've been hiking and camping for 25 years, and I have never, yes never, encountered a ranger on a trail. So, I know I can't count on that to protect me. Any personal protection has to come from me.

Never encountered a ranger? Wow, that's tough to do.

I was camping in an established campground in Washington, walking to the restrooms at night. Three dogs of a "notorious vicious breed" charged me out of a campsite full of drunken campers.

Oh, great, let's start shooting in the dark in a campground - great idea. I wonder how long it'd take those drunk campers to whip out their own and "defend" their dogs with shots back in your direction. Bet that would make for a "safer" campground for you, the drunk campers, and the rest of the campground inhabitants.

The ban on firearms has more to do with the problems of poaching than safety. Allowing loaded guns in national parks makes it far easier for those poachers and more difficult for the park service to control poaching - both of which are violations at the core of what it means to be a national park.


For the past 50 years I have frequented regional, state and national parks. I have hiked the trails and camped for days at the time on and off trail. Not ones have I encountered a situation requiring a gun.

No doubt "anonymous" sees enemies under every rock and behind every tree, commies most likely.
I bet that he hates foreigners, homosexuals and Hillary Clinton as well.

Cheers,
JC


I understand that if the rules require an impact study and it was not done to get it done. But I fail to see how CCW impact the environment negatively compared to human regular allowed use.


@RAH: We had that before: Many animals are well known for "bluff charges". That is particularly true for black bears and grizzlies. When they charge an intruder in their comfort zone, they intend to scare you away, not kill. Actual attacks in the National Park System happen a few a year, bluff charges every day. Those law abiding CCW carriers are people who are afraid of their own shadow, people who perceive their live and environment to be full of deadly dangers, and they feel not only entitled, but obliged to protect themselves, their loved ones and every one else from these perceived threads.

I see a real danger, that those self proclaimed protectors of the universe will whip out the guns when they encounter a charging bear. And guess what, instead of a bear who defends his realm by a bluff charge and a human who retreats full of respect,we will have a very angry bear, because it doesn't like those hot needle wounds at all and probably a dead human defender of the universe. Because a gun you can carry concealed is useless against a bear who really means it.


@MRC....I beg your pardon! You really think that peole who have a CCW license are "people who are afraid of their own shadow", blah, blah, blah. I can usually handle the fact that people disagree with my right to carry a gun, after all everyone is entitled to their opinion, but then there always seems to be someone who takes it upon themselves to not only disagree but denigrate those whom he disagrees with. My husband and I have been going to Yellowstone for 15 years and usually I feel the need to carry more here at home than I do in the park. But, if I am allowed to carry in the park it would probably only be on the long hikes that my husband and I like to take, and if, and I mean if, we run into a bear who decides to charge us he will first get the pepper spray and if that doesn't work then you can bet I won't hesitate to use other means of force. I am a mother of six and grandmother of seven and I resent sanctimonious people who think that they can just pigeon hole everyone according to their standards.


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