Recent comments

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Anyone have a link to the pre 1979 (?) NPS rules (exactly) before they initiated the ban on open weapons in the parks?

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Very well stated. I concur. I don't understand the panic of having a licensed and trained hiker or camper in the wilds with you. Some of these writers must go to some very trashy and over crowded campsites. Drunks? Guess I get too far off the beaten path in most cases. As far as wild life dangers go, I've never had a problem because I didn't do anything stupid like leave food out or not watch what was going on around me. Never had to kill a snake and move rattlesnakes out of the road. Am aware there are the occasional rabid animals that will attack and defy all the "normal" behavior patterns and that's when you want a sidearm.

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Capt:

    Thank you for your thorough arguments here. I must say I do enjoy a good debate.
    And I applaud you for your conviction to your beliefs, as I would hope you would so for me. Believe it or not, I try embrace all viewpoints and do not automatically dismiss those whose opinions differ from my own. But this being a forum set up for comment and debate, I cannot resist the invitation.

    I will tell you that I am not an employee of the BATFE. (The standard abbreviation is actually ATF.)
    So, someone who feels as strongly as I do about keeping guns out of our National Parks could only be an employee of a Federal law enforcement and regulatory agency? A fair question, and one that I would probably ask if I were on your side of this debate, feeling as passionately as I do. However, I am not an ATF employee.

    I guess I feel so strongly about this because I was not brought up in a household that owned guns. But then again, there are many gun owners and enthusiasts that also believe personal firearms have no place in the parks. Only time will show us all how this new rule will play out.
    Again I will say that I do not wish to overturn any law, governmental, universal, natural, or otherwise, that you feel grants you a right to protect yourself. I would however hope that we are all following the same rules set forth for the society we live in, and operating within the established guidelines to effect change if we see fit to do so.

    Thanks to you, Capt., and all bloggers here, I have enjoyed this debate a great deal. I think we can all agree that no matter what happens with this new rule under the incoming administration, the debate will never go away.

  • NRDC Calls For Endangered Species Act Protection for Whitebark Pine Tree   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I was able to meet Louisa Wilcox of NRDC in person for the first time the other day at a presentation I and my group were giving on the buffalo situation in Yellowstone. She has a lot of great ideas of things.

    On the whitebark pine and grizzlies, I've got a more general question. I've read that grizzlies are highly adaptive and have for instance taken a liking to a lot of exotic species that have replaced what used to be their habitat. Is there some hope that grizzlies could survive even if the whitebark pine continues to decline?

    On the other hand, do we need to justify our concern for the whitebark pine because of its importance to other species? Should we not be concerned for the trees because of their own qualities? It's interesting to me how we seem to have expanded the moral community to include large wildlife - it's obvious that they need protecting - but we still haven't gone a long way toward other species only deemed important if they provide something in the moral community some other good. I guess we are still moving in the right direction, though, on Aldo Leopold's scale.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • The Green Blood of the Coalition of NPS Retirees   5 years 36 weeks ago

    The real scandal is the government policies that forced the NPS to reduce or in many cases eliminate the seasonals. Some parks are left with aging managers, and no seasonals, no new green blood. I don't think I "toe" anybody's line, but you will think so when I tell you, Frank C, that I think -- I know -- we have had several generations of Presidential Administrations that WANTED to deplete the morale and capacity of the National Park Service. Maybe other agencies, too, but I know for sure they wanted to drain away the blood of the NPS. And there was no better way to do it than drain away the eager idealists, and sow division between people within the NPS, and between the NPS and other preservation organizations. "Starve the Beast" they call it.

    Doesn't exactly make the case for continued federal government administration of these areas now does it?

    Yes, it's my broken record and I'm sticking with it, especially when others can make the case of what an obvious disaster federal management has been just as forcefully and with the same gusto and disdain.

    I don't mind saying it again: It's time for totally new management and a transition away from the politics and shenanigans of Washington, DC by pointing these parks towards independent and self-sustaining models of administration. Now more than ever, since the federal gummit is flat busted broke, we need to seriously consider how to save these areas from the incompetence and self-serving motives that are the hallmarks of federal control.

    Nuff said?

  • Interior Department To Be Sued Over Cape Hatteras National Seashore Plover Habitat Decisions   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Everone = taxpaying Amercians All are welcome at Cape Hatteras it,s the few who want to take it away

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Warren Z

    You do want to put words in other peoples mouths don't you ?
    Where did I mention the Bible ? or the Torah ? or the Koran ? Upanishads ? Medicine Wheel ? Any Organized Religion ?

    YOU might be talking about the united States of America but I was discussing the right to defend myself. That exact same right shared by every living thing in every country of the world and all of the oceans as well.
    Why do you suppose the Acacia tree has those thorns ?
    Are they landing places for insects ? Or a defense against herbivorous predators ?

    The Natural Laws of Life I was referring to are such things as; Keep breathing or die, Eat to survive or die, Defend yourself or die.

    You seem to be intentionally missing the point. Do you work for the BATFE ?

    To All ....
    Have you ever asked yourself ... If guns are so bad that we need to completely control them why do we allow government employees to carry them ? Are government employees more trustworthy than you or I ? What does it say about a government that thinks you [all of its citizens] are not to be trusted ?
    The Department of Agriculture Agents need guns ? Agriculture ?
    Are the corn plants in open rebellion ?
    Has the wheat harvest threatened secession ? Why are not the farmers up in arms ?
    What are the Agriculture Agents doing to American citizens that requires that they carry firearms to defend themselves ?
    Whatever it is must be pretty horrendous ?
    LIKE FOOD RAIDS IN OHIO !?! Yes, you read that right.
    Scroogle scraper[scroogle dot org] this: LaGrange,Ohio +Food Raid. You may or may not be amazed, shocked and angered.
    Vicky Weaver was murdered over 3/8ths of an inch of wood too short on a shotgun stock and the $200 fine it incurred because of that length discrepancy. Her 14 year old son was murdered by a gunshot from the same sniper that same day.
    Scroogle Ruby Ridge or Lon Horiouchi. Our government and our citizens.

    The framers of the Bill of Rights put The Second Amendment at the number two place because it was that important to them. Not number eight or ten but number two right behind freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and redress of grievances.
    How do you redress grievances to an armed tyrant that seems intent on ignoring and abusing you ? Ta Da .... the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is not about saving hunting rifles or shotguns .... its about saving our Republic from tyranny whether foreign or domestic. Now where did I hear that before ?

    And while I am on the subject of antique documents that the government ignores If you will read the Militia Act of 1792 you will find that All males from 17 to 45 Are REQUIRED to own a gun and the ammunition for it. That law has NOT been struck down by the way. 216 years old and still in force.
    So .... the militia is not about "helping" the standing army it's about defending the common citizen FROM the standing army in the event of a tyrant trying to usurp the protected rights of the People.
    And where have we heard that recently ?

    I have spent a considerable time in some of our National Parks and I have yet to see an incident where firearms were used. I know it has happened and that I was not and am not omnipresent but it sure seems to me that this whole brou-ha-ha sure is "Much Ado About Nothing".

    Anti-gun proponents raise enough hue and cry you would think that every single gun was operating itself and attacking the populous by itself. There are Hundreds of Millions of guns in this country why haven't they killed us all off before now ?
    Guns don't kill people, people kill people and if you're a government employee you can kill without punishment, right Mr Horiouchi ?

    A law abiding citizen should be able to openly carry a firearm or a two handed sword if s/he desires. The framers thought so as well. They wanted us to have and carry the same arms as our own army. It sure makes a possible tyrant planning a takeover think first doesn't it ?

    I am done here.
    I want to thank the National Park Service for the excellent job they have done of keeping up the parks for the People of these united States of America. And I would like to thank them for this opportunity to express my opinion here in public about this rule change which I heartily endorse but you must have figured that out by now.

    Liberty for All,

    Capt

  • MSNBC’s Top 10 National Park Lodges List Draws Curmudgeonly, but Gentle Criticism   5 years 36 weeks ago

    For the bargain hunter, the beauty of Yosemite can still be enjoyed with an inexpensive stay at Yosemite Pines RV Resort & Family Lodging. The resort is now offering Yosemite-area lodging starting at only $29.00 for two nights for a yurt that can accommodate up to five people. Yosemite cabins start at only $39 for two nights for a basic cabin that can accommodate four people. With the Yosemite National Park entrance fee of $20 per car for unlimited entries for seven days, a family can spend less than $100 for two days of Yosemite-area lodging and admission to the park. These special rates are available at http://www.yosemitepinesrv.com/yosemite-lodging-camping-specials.html during the fall and winter season. Some restrictions apply. Yosemite Pines (http://www.yosemitepinesrv.com/) is an RV resort, campground, and lodge located near Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Pines offers Yosemite camping near Yosemite National Park with full hook-up RV and campsites ( http://www.yosemitepinesrv.com/yosemite-camping-rv-tent.html). Yosemite Pines also offers Yosemite lodging and cabins near Yosemite National Park with cabin and yurt rentals ( http://www.yosemitepinesrv.com/yosemite-lodging-cabins-yurts.html). Amenities include a clubhouse, gold mine, gold panning, petting zoo, swimming pool, hiking trail, general store, children's playground, horseshoe pit, and volleyball.

  • The Green Blood of the Coalition of NPS Retirees   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I agree that there have been several presidential administrations that have impacted the amount of seasonal work force. The funding for my first interpretive job was cut under the Clinton (whom I voted for twice) administration in 1995. As bad as Bush was for the environment, his budgets for the NPS were nothing new. Funds for middle management never seemed to be cut; seasonal positions were always the first go go. Expendable. Anyway, I didn't mean to turn this conversation to this direction, so I'll bow out of it now.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Rangers attempting to investigate the episode - and who wisely went armed - were forced to kill two aggressive bears while trying to retrieve the bodies and personal effects. Even armed to the teeth, the rangers "were cutting it thin" to escape being attacked themselves, according to Park Ranger Joel Ellis. Ellis reportedly had to fire 11 rounds from a semi-automatic handgun to bring down one attacking animal, as two colleagues stood by with shotguns at the ready.

    No firearms reportedly were found at Treadwell's campsite. They're prohibited in this part of the Katmai, as they are in all national parks in the lower 48.

    NoGunsInParks your link all but supported the reason to carry guns here is a clip from it

    "But had the bear enthusiast the inclination and legal right (and with all due respect, the common sense) to venture into bear country with a more effective means of self-defense than a camera tripod, perhaps he and his companion would be alive.

    There's always a "perhaps" in such cases. The mere possession of a firearm is no guarantee it will save anyone in every possible eventuality. In the wilderness, much depends not only on having the means to defend oneself, but also the opportunity and know-how. So there's no guarantee that packing a rifle or handgun would have saved Treadwell and friend.

    But had he elected to do so, he would have been breaking the law - which just doesn't make sense in this and similar circumstances. And the fact that some people don't have the desire or inclination to arm themselves in self-defense isn't a reason why everyone else should be denied that right and opportunity in a national park."

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Erik. you stated that a person in front of you told the clerk he had a permit, and then showed the clerk a gun, one, that is called brandishing and you should have called the cops on him. If he was a legal CHL holder, he would lose it and go to jail PERIOD. I have multiple CHL's and am able to carry legally in 33 different states. All people in order to get a CHL must pass a federal background check and have your finger prints placed on file. There are very few people that know I carry and I want it that way and it should always be that way. I can count on my hands how many people know, and all but 2 are direct family members. People that carry have many things to think about to protect them selves from litigation, gun type, caliber, bullet type just to name a few. This is not because you want that "Dirty Harry" gun, it is because if you do not and you do defend yourself some lawyer is going to tear you apart for it not matter what.

    There are clear faults in the original arguments, people with CHL are not gun nuts, they are not going to hunt out of season nor use a pistol for this. When I carry, I am there to protect my wife and myself. I am not a police officer, nor do I want to be. If you think that no one in the parks carry a gun, think again the person that does most likely does not have a permit and would not stop no matter what.

    The fear that Mr Wade talked about is just a fear tactic used to scare people into one view or another. Here is a fact that he would not tell you,
    states with legal CHL have lower crime rates that states that do not allow concealed carry. Washington DC enacted a ban on hand guns to lower the crime rate, in the 20+ years that law was in effect, the crime rate went up. Criminals do not care about gun laws, tell me one gang banger in DC that thinks, "I better not do this for they do not allow guns here".

    When going to court a criminal has more rights than the gun owner he was intending to rob. There are many cases to prove this. A few states have Castle laws, that state if you use a gun to defend yourself, and the police determine it to be justified you are protected from all law suits against you. I am glad they have made this law, it is an easy law to follow which the article tries to make it sound so difficult. So here it is,

    1) Are you in a state that allows CHL's to be issued? YES (go to question 2) NO, don't bring a gun into the National Park (NP)
    2) Do you have a Valid CHL for the state for the NPS you are going to be in? YES, Welcome have a great day. NO-Don't bring your gun into the NP

    The sign is easy and would not cost that much for the parks (misinformation). Placed at each entrance "Firearms are not permitted in National Park unless you have a current and valid permit to do so, any violation can result in a fine and/or Jail time"

    Lone Hiker - There are always going to be people that pull a gun and are willing to shot, but I would rather be defending myself about killing a person that was in my house, or pulled a knife on me or my wife to harm us than to be the victim in a murder trial. I hike when I can, and carry every time, this is to protect me from some animals that are out there, and that it is not uncommon to run into in Oregon and I do not want to be bear food. When I lived in California, I would carry no matter what when I was hiking, for people grow pot in the forest lands and you have no clue when you might walk up on one, and be faced with a situation that you did not want to be in.

    Having a CHL is not for everyone, legally able to get one or not. It takes the mental ability to fire and kill a person if you are in imminent danger. If you are not mentally ready for this, then having a gun or any defensive firearm it not right for you. I carry because I value life, yes I said value, and the one that I value most is my wifes and myself. I want to see the sunrise and if it comes down to someone that means me or my wife harm, then that person will miss something truly worth seeing and I will get a good night sleep, knowing that tomorrow I get to see my wife.

  • The Green Blood of the Coalition of NPS Retirees   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I have seen seasonals treated badly, and I've seen park managers do all they knew how to support seasonal rangers.

    It seems to me, a lot of that, either way, is how individuals behave, and not symptomatic of the National Park Service as an institution.

    For me, though, the main thing is the seasonals are the heart and soul of the NPS. For the permanent rangers, the seasonals are the people whose dedication and zeal bring everything to life, and really make everything about working for national parks real.

    The real scandal is the government policies that forced the NPS to reduce or in many cases eliminate the seasonals. Some parks are left with aging managers, and no seasonals, no new green blood. I don't think I "toe" anybody's line, but you will think so when I tell you, Frank C, that I think -- I know -- we have had several generations of Presidential Administrations that WANTED to deplete the morale and capacity of the National Park Service. Maybe other agencies, too, but I know for sure they wanted to drain away the blood of the NPS. And there was no better way to do it than drain away the eager idealists, and sow division between people within the NPS, and between the NPS and other preservation organizations. "Starve the Beast" they call it.

    Both the managers and the seasonals were the victims, and so were the American People.

  • Green Groups Lobbying To See Rep. Grijalva Nominated For Interior Secretary   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Grijalva looks like a very good choice, but he will have no real chance to get the job, as Arizona is already represented in the new cabinet by Janet Napolitano.

  • The Green Blood of the Coalition of NPS Retirees   5 years 36 weeks ago

    BTW, leaving out your reference to the anti-Second Amendment, you have pretty much described the new-conservative Republican party of the last 8 years--"bigger government, more spending, more burearcracy, ineffective publc works." I'm glad not to be associated with that crowd.

    For once we're in complete agreement! :)

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   5 years 36 weeks ago

    This is only partially a gun issue, Anonymous. It's more an issue of the Constitution and civil rights.

    I laugh so much when I hear anecdotes like, "I've never seen a violent incident in a national park!" or "The chances of violent crime are so low!"

    Concealed weapons are an insurance policy. Please argue that you don't need car insurance because you haven't been in an accident or are unlikely to be in one; or argue that you don't need house insurance because the chances of your house burning down is so slim. After all, the house I live in has been here for 100 years, so clearly houses are very unlikely to burn down and I don't need insurance!

    The likelihood of needing a gun does not preclude the Constitutional right of law-abiding citizens carrying one as an insurance policy.

  • Green Groups Lobbying To See Rep. Grijalva Nominated For Interior Secretary   5 years 36 weeks ago
  • The Green Blood of the Coalition of NPS Retirees   5 years 36 weeks ago

    No, Frank, we don't like that either. I was a seasonal for 11 years, so maybe my blood isn't much bluer than yours. As to your claim that we toe the "neo-liberal agenda of the Democratic party": all we really care about are the parks and programs managed by the National Park Service.

    BTW, leaving out your reference to the anti-Second Amendment, you have pretty much described the new-conservative Republican party of the last 8 years--"bigger government, more spending, more burearcracy, ineffective publc works." I'm glad not to be associated with that crowd.

    Rick Smith

  • Green Groups Lobbying To See Rep. Grijalva Nominated For Interior Secretary   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I am as cynical as anyone when it comes to this sort of thing; however, Raul Grijalva - if selected - would be a nice step toward thawing that cynicism. He is well aware of the issues facing parks and public lands and has been nothing short of amazing on issues related to Yellowstone (nowhere near his home base).

    It would be most unfortunate if Obama chose Rep. Mike Thompson from California, who supported Bush's crazy healthy forests initiative.

    Today, Kevin Gover is being floated around (see here and here) - he's a former DOI official in the Clinton Administration, a Pawnee Indian, and current director of the National Museum of the American Indian. He seems acceptable to most of the environmentalists I've heard from today who follow this issue. I don't know anything about him personally, but I personally would be suspicious of anyone from Clinton's DOI - at least on the issues I most care about. On the other hand, as I said, I don't know. It would be very good to have a native voice in the Administration.

    I'm still hoping for Grijalva - it would give us a fighting chance on restoring sanity in public policy on issues ranging from energy exploitation in and around public lands to the ending of slaughter of buffalo in Yellowstone.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • Did the Great Depression Save the Yorktown Battlefield?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Great article, Jim!

    Far too many of the Virginia Battlefields have been lost to developement over the years, and it would have indeed been a travesty for an area as important as the Yorktown site to have been turned into a golf course, of all things.

    I can point out two very different preservation plans for battlefield sites in Henrico County, Virginia, both actually located along US Rt. 1. There is a privately owned set of earthworks that exists smack in the middle of a fairly large strip mall, near where "Brook Run" creek goes under Rt. 1. These works were part of the outermost fortifications of this city of Richmond, and saw a fair amount of action during both Kilpatricks raid and Sheridans Battle at Yellow Tavern. This site was painstakingly presevered during the entire construction process, and boasts a masonry placard, fencing, and a set of illuminated flagpoles given to the site and dedicated by the Daughters of the Confederacy. It is well a maintained, visually pleasing site, just across from a fitness center and a large grocery store.

    Just a handful of miles North of this area is the "Yellow Tavern" battlefield site, where JEB Stuart received his mortal wound. There is a monument on the spot where Stuart was shot, if you can find it amongst the urban sprawl. The battlefield itself, once owned by the Terrell family and renamed "Bleak Hill Farm" after the devestation caused by the battle, is now the site of a huge shopping mall complex. JC Penny, Macy's, etc., won that battle against preservation.

  • The Monkey Wrench Gang: Coming to a Theater Near You?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I definitely agree with your assessment of the cast. I didn't really picture Seldom Seen as a McConaughey type but possibly Hayduke. Goodman I would think is Bishop Love. We'll see though. It's possible these "big name actors" are playing smaller roles. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a popular book among actors.

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   5 years 36 weeks ago

    It simply amazes me the influx of pro gun contributers to this blog, as well as the anti gun individuals. It appears to me the gun issue takes far more attention then it actually deserves. Admitting, this is a hot button issue that the gun lobby loves to wield and kick around (as opposed to kicking Bush's plans down the drain to drill into Utah's grand National Parks). If we can all help to divert this gun hysteria into something more meaningful and constructive in stopping Bush's rape, greed and pillage of Utah...then I think we have accomplish something holistically together stop this "drill baby drill" madness. I'm more worried about the consequences of Bush's last days in office and his destructive format to reward the oil and utility companies with easy access into the National Park boundaries, then some gun loving park visitor. In my 40 years of backpacking, camping and hiking, I never ever encounter a violent situation...except for a few bears, marmots and drunken bums. Grant you that I'm no tenderfoot at this either. However, now I might consider my fate when I see the drunken bums in action since the new gun laws allow the National Park visitors to carry them. A big mistake!

  • Delaware North are not the Villains   5 years 36 weeks ago

    As i go around the internet looking at acticles about Yosemite is is amazing to see the different views that people have about the park. It all has to do with what you want the park to be. As for me I want to camp in the valley just like I have been able to since 1975. It is obsene to me to see others who dont camp want to reshape the park into something different than it has been for the last 100 years. For years I heard about how we campers at Housekeeping were destroying the bank of the merced river. We were told that the whole camp ground must be removed to save the bank!!! Than a 100 year flood comes along and wips out a 100 times more bank than all of the humans have caused since the parks inception. So I ask you are we humans more powerful than nature? the answer is obvisous. NO!!! All the commotion was about getting rid of campers so that ELitist HIKERS and Hotel guest could have a pretter veiw. Never mind that people have camped in the valley for 100 years or more. (2 campgrounds have already been removed even though the government had given the money to the park to restore them) I now have to buy reservation on Ebay some years because I can not get through to reserve the remaining spots. Many also want to get rid of all building and roads in the valley and make into a backpackers only area. Again how elitist is that. Oh by the way Del Corp now charges $5.00 for a shower for anyone not staying in curry village up from a dollar . I was unaware of a 500% increase in the cost of living!!!!

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Does being "accousted" on the trail mean being hit with an acoustic guitar? Thank goodness. National parks are no place for amplification.

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I hope you see the compelling need to carry a dictionary with you as well as your "gun." The dictionary is bound to keep you far safer than your fear and paranoia.

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Kurt: “Rick, I've been wondering where you've been lurking!”

    Well life has been a bit distracting lately but I’m still around. We just got Pennsylvania’s Legislature to eliminate an illegal departmental restriction on concealed carry in state parks. For now, back to the national parks!

    To put things into some historical perspective, Article 1 Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution reads, “ The right of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.” That’s clear and unambiguous. This Article was used as a model for the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The recent Heller Supreme Court decision finally codified what we have been saying all along (and that more than 40 other Supreme Court cases acknowledged), that the Second Amendment guarantees and INDIVIDUAL right to keep and bear arms. None of this silly “national guard” only stuff. The majority of states long ago legislated that to extend beyond just the home and to include concealed carry.

    Quasi intellectuals are always quick to dismiss this concept as macho silliness and revile anyone who espouses the inherent value of self-reliance and of an armed citizenry. To them anyone who carries a gun is merely a Dodge City Neanderthal.

    The truth is these quasi intellectuals are the ones with the inherently flawed argument: “I don’t need to carry a gun, that’s why the police are there.” The problem for them is the police are under no legal obligation to protect anyone and it’s so arrogant and self-aggrandizing to assume that someone should risk their life to save yours when you refuse to assume responsibility for your own safety.

    The Kumbaya Krowd are in major denial when it comes to the Real World ™. Simply being kind and loving to people and propounding peacnik niceties doesn’t do you a whit of good when the feces hit the rotating ventilation system. Evil exists and evil will persist regardless of your lame attempts to wish it away. You have something and someone else will want it and they will take it.

    A well-known firearms trainer named Col. Jeff Cooper devised a “coding” system to assist those individuals who did take responsibility for their own safety. The system started at Code White and progressed though Code Red. See where your situational awareness fits in:

    White - Relaxed, unaware, and unprepared. If attacked in this state the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy and ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty your reaction will probably be, "Oh my God! This can't be happening to me."

    Yellow - Relaxed alertness. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that "today could be the day I may have to defend myself." There is no specific threat but you are aware that the world is an unfriendly place and that you are prepared to do something if necessary. You use your eyes and ears, and your carriage says "I am alert." You don't have to be armed in this state but if you are armed you must be in yellow. When confronted by something nasty your reaction will probably be, "I thought this might happen some day." You can live in this state indefinitely.

    Orange - Specific alert. Something not quite right has gotten your attention and you shift your primary focus to that thing. Something is "wrong" with a person or object. Something may happen. Your mindset is that "I may have to shoot that person." Your pistol is usually holstered in this state. You can maintain this state for several hours with ease, or a day or so with effort.

    Red - Fight trigger. This is your mental trigger. "If that person does "x" I will shoot them." Your pistol may, but not necessarily, be in your hand.

    The Kumbaya Krowd is constantly operating under Code White because their view of the world is that everyone will be nice to them because they’re so polite themselves. This is how you get into dangerous situations.

    But if we’re in one of those Gardens of Eden we call national parks we certainly won’t face danger, right? Of course not. That’s why we have park rangers. They’ll protect us. If there are crimes they only happen to people who weren’t nice to someone. This thinking is also how you become part of that 1.65 in 100,000 violent crime victims.

    Kurt: “… The outgoing Bush administration might think it doesn't need that 60-day window, as it doesn't believe there's a $100 million impact related to this decision and so 30 days notice is good enough.”

    That there would be a hundred million dollar impact as a result of this regulation I think is absurd. How can you conclude that allowing someone to possess something across the street in a park can actually cost something? This hasn’t happened in 40 states that enacted right-to-carry laws – outside of or across the street from parks – and it simply doesn’t compute here. If anything it will cost the parks less because there will be less crime. That’s been proven. So there will actually be a net benefit to the park system instead of your imaginary cost. Or are you implying Interior will invest a hundred million in some form of security measures to defend against those crazed hoards of Second Amendment wackos? That’s crazy.

    Kurt: “What might prove more important, though, and what the park advocates might concentrate on, is suing on the grounds that Interior didn't follow NEPA in promulgating this rule. If they do, and they're successful, the rule will very likely die a slow, withering death. Until the political power shifts once again.”

    Let Obama try to overturn it. Talk about the feces hitting the rotating ventilation device. That’d be the dumbest thing he could do out of the gate. He’s tried to position himself through his campaign as a “friend” of the Second Amendment. Everyone knows he’s a gun-grabber from the get-go and never saw a gun ban he didn’t like. When he starts that putrid talk about “supporting sportsmen’s rights” and claiming to acknowledge Second Amendment individual rights you might as well put an Elmer Fud hat on him for a photo-op. He’s as disingenuous as the Brady Bunch or any of the current top Democrat leadership. You think gun sales are up now? Wait ‘til he signals he’s interested in gun control legislation fed to him by his Demo cronies.

    Kurt: “I think relying simply on what DOI's legal staff has concluded is a waste of time.”

    Ehhhhhh, Idunno, Kurt. we’ll see.

    Kurt: “ As for the Heller decision, correct me if I'm wrong (as I know you will), but didn't that opinion hold that the 2nd amendment most definitely applies to you in your home, but the federal government has the right to institute reasonable controls elsewhere in society?”

    And the Feds can sometimes giveth what was taken away, as in this situation, where a federal department has acknowledged that States’ rights should prevail and our Second Amendment rights should not be abrogated by excessively restrictive bureaucratic regulations, such as 36CFR2.4, within an artificial bureaucratic boundary. This amendment simply restores what the Reagan administration took from us.

    Kurt: “As for how the bulk of the comments came down, my information is from NPCA”

    I’d still like to see real data, please, from the government - not opinions from some “advocacy groups.” I really don’t care what these law enforcement types say. They already have a gun. It’s good to be the king. It’s easy for them to say I’m safe and I don’t need a gun to protect myself because there’s a ranger on duty covering 100,000 acres who can “enforce the law.” Where are these guys, anyway, when I’m our in the middle of nowhere? They’re eating donuts somewhere, writing tickets or putting on displays for the day-tripping tourists. I was at Shenandoah in October and we hiked over the course of three days. I didn’t see one cop in the woods except those on roadside asset re-allocation details. To be fair, there are many rangers – and law enforcement in general - who DO understand the problem and have written here in support of the change. These are the men and women who DO have a clue, unlike some middle manager just interested in keeping his job. I’ve been Karen Taylor-Goodriched for years and I’m soooo over that!

    Kurt: “And really, is this a personal safety issue? As noted above, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report…there were 1.65 violent crimes per 100,000 national park visitors in 2006. 1.65, Rick.”

    That sure sounds pretty low, Kurt, but when you get whacked on the head and your wife or girlfriend gets raped and has a love child to the rapist you can console her with: “Gee honey, the good news is you were just 1.65 out of a hundred thousand! Maybe you shoulda bought a lottery ticket today, too!” Yes, it is a personal safety issue. I prefer to assume responsibility for my safety and refuse to allow a bureaucrat to claim I’m safe while at the same time not be held legally responsible for protecting my life.

    Kurt: “Some perspective. The U.S. murder rate is 5.9 per 100,000?“

    Bogus comparison, Kurt. You’re just picking numbers and not factoring in other national, cultural, legal and demographic criteria. Some additional perspective I’ve posted before: criminals commit the crimes and will continue to do so regardless of how pretty your park is. Concealed carry permit holders prevent crimes and save lives.

    The essence of the complaints of the anti gun crowd here is “we don’t like guns because they scare us and we don’t think you need them, therefore we don’t want you to have them because we know what’s best...” There’s a professor at the university where I work who’s admitted in writing he’s terrified to walk outside knowing there are citizens with concealed handguns. Is he kidding me? Well, probably not. He’s the typical nanny-state liberal and he sounds like what I’ve read in a number of posts here. He isn’t yammering about all of the criminals committing crimes – no, they’re the victims in his eyes. He’s yammering about law-abiding citizens exercising their Constitutional rights. Pfffffft.

    This entire pseudo Nostradamus-like anti-gun crusade has been repeated ad nauseam 40 times in 40 states with areas of greater population densities than in parks – meaning, essentially, more potential target-rich environments or greater potential likelihood of confrontations. You know, cars passing and guns blazing. If there was any credence to the gun-haters’ prognostications we would have seen the much heralded “Dodge City” or “blood running in the streets” or “cowboys going gun-crazy” and the ensuing skyrocketing crime rates long ago. None of that happened any of the 40 times in 40 states and crime rates, in fact, went down because permit holders are trustworthy. And because the CRIMINALS knew their next victim might shoot them. Oooops! So much for that argument (but, hey, we’ll continue to beat a dead hysteria).

    Concealed carry permit holders won’t be bothering the fine, polite, upstanding, nature-loving, pristine-sanctuary-enjoying park visitors and hikers because they’re too oblivious to know which concealed carry permit holding visitor is carrying a firearm. Permit holders won’t be “brandishing” their little phallic toys. They won’t be out blasting and poaching Bambis or shooting up signs for target practice. They’re just assuming responsibility for the own safety and not dumping that responsibility on some law enforcement person who has a family to go home to.

    So, basiclly, RTFAQ: http://www.doi.gov/issues/Firearms%20Update%20FAQ%2012-4-08.pdf that sums it your complaints relatively well. Continue to be nice to everyone, as you have been doing. Enjoy your “pristine sanctuary” parks. Just know someday someone you meet may not be very nice to you. What will you do if you’re that “only” 1.65 out of 100,000 and the police aren’t there to “protect and serve”? It really is a personal safety issue. You can be safe or you can believe someone else might ensure your safety.