Recent comments

  • Senators' Letter to Open National Parks to Concealed Weapons   6 years 16 weeks ago

    I envision scenarios of armed campground users "protecting their families, in car campgrounds in particular" who end up taking potshots at passersby on their way to the restrooms in the middle of the night. Fearing that "Folks are quite vulnerable in their tents from all kinds of derelicts," they might shoot at anything that moves. Well-intentioned but trigger-happy campers seem to pose more of a threat than "all kinds of derelicts."

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 16 weeks ago

    In western Montana the locals have more brains than to go camping in Glacier Park because of the Grizzly bears and out of control people from all over the USA and only the visiting Idiots go there.
    The rest of us Montana’s with common sense go to other places in the mountains where we can carry guns and be safe.
    It should definitely be legal to carry a firearm in the parks..............!

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Probably the best point of all Merryland...here here! I guess anyone of us would be shocked if the otherside suddenly said....Gee, I never thought of it that way and then changed our minds. Merry Christmas to all.

  • Video : Winter in Yellowstone National Park   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Wonderful. Loved the buffalo. Looks a peaceful as Alaska, but closer to our home in NC. You have decided for us where our next vacation will be.

  • Park History: Exploring the National Parkways   6 years 16 weeks ago

    I drive the BW parkway at least four days a week. It's miserable with all the traffic and lack of public transportation in the Baltimore/Washington corridor. Nice on a Sunday morning though, and even though it's always jam-packed, at least there are no trucks!

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 16 weeks ago

    This is just the same stuff politicians dust off and put out into the public debate when they want to energize their base before an election. And we're all the bunch of idiots who fall for it every time. There are so many more important issues these bozos can't seem to find the time to work on -- health care for children and the elderly, improved veterans' benefits, energy independence, the affordability of a college education, the accelerating destruction of global resources, Social Security solvency, and the list goes on.

  • Park History: Capitol Reef National Park   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Chance, sure enjoyed reading this article and look forward to seeing more from you! Great job.

  • President Bush's Dog, Barney, a Junior Park Ranger at White House   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Just like all good Junior Rangers, Barney must follow the rules, for his own benefit!
    At certain parks, the scent of non-native animals such as dogs can attract dangerous animals that might hurt a pet or deter native animals that need to wander near trails in the evenings to obtain food.

    Junior Rangers promise to help protect and preserve our National Parks, and are very careful to be aware of what the rules are at different parks and places to help keep them wonderful places for visitors and "local residents" (animals) alike!

  • Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Appealing to emotion rather than fact is what has propelled this argument for decades now. It is not simply a case of one footstep in a meadow. These public lands are "our" lands - 300+million of us in this country alone. Add to that figure all of the foreign tourism our nations best idea generates and you have significant crowd control issues, even in the most remote areas of our public lands. That is a lot of footsteps. Moreover, it seems that lands already set aside for consumptive, controlled use are not enough to satisfy an appetite for consumption, as if we are suffering from shortages dire enough to warrant raping our parklands, thereby denigrating the very reason for their existence.

    The Earth is certainly capable of recovering from most types of human impact, but that does not convey the right for careless subjugation of it's resources. At best this practice as advocated by Gerald is disrespectful to the earth, our nation, and subsequent generations; and at worst, it is patently immoral, misguided, disingenuous, and embarrassing.

    The NPS and DOI are responsible for keeping these parks in perpetuity for us, and like it or not, it involves regulating how we use our land and protecting the future us from our current selves. Those are facts. Think in terms of long-term sustainability before calling for the easing or repeal of use policies.

  • Search Under Way for Missing Snowshoer On Mount Rainier   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Godspeed to those that search for the young man as we pray for his safe return. may the lord be with his loved ones during this time of uncertainty.

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 16 weeks ago

    The Casper Star-Tribune has an editorial out yesterday that I think clears up some of the issues. They come out against firearms in the parks not because they are anti-gun rights but say that the claim of inconvenience to gun owners is unfounded because all the regulation is interpreted to mean is that the gun has to be disassembled or in the trunk. So, people passing through can have their guns. They just can't have them right next to them ready to use in the front seat.

    I do think the ideological questions are important because they suggest something about government, about people, about their relationship with each other. That's what this discussion is about; it's just too bad that the discussion is fancied up by the senators as though this is really a practical consideration that needs immediate policy attention. Has anyone here ever asked whether they were carrying a firearm either when entering or while in a park? That would be an interesting poll question. (I never have in hundreds of encounters with rangers.) Because, if not, and if the policy really allows people to carry them through anyhow, then the dressing here is taken away, and people can have the important values question discussion.

    I think that people avoid that discussion and couch it in practical window dressing in order to cherry pick support to make it seem as though one view is in the majority (I used to criticize fellow pacifists for trying to do the same in co-opting opposition against the war in Iraq). It would be much better that people had the confidence of their convictions to make the argument on the strongest possible grounds by acknowledging the strongest possible argument of one's opponents. Then, we might get somewhere here.

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

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Disinformation #1-
    You feel that a good government will always stay that way.
    Find me any mention of this quote in the text of my comments. You can't, because I never made this comment or inferred this opinion in any manner. At least have the decency to accurately quote my commentary.

    Disinformation #2-
    I can't believe you can watch a few incidents a year and think that gun violence is the norm
    Gun violence is a daily occurrence throughout our nation. Accidental shootings, drive-by's, acts of domestic violence and the more typical injuries caused by the firing of a weapon during the commission of more "traditional" crimes can in NO way be classified as "a few incidents a year". The ignorance in this statement is overwhelming.

    However, the aptly stated term within this context is "gun violence". It is that indeed. For what purpose do you suppose guns were invented if not for violence? As collector's items? For display purposes? Paperweights?

    Disinformation #3-
    a collection of men as 1 body (which is government, and that would be gov. infringing on gov.)
    This may be the best of all.......Since when is every collection of men as 1 body classified as a government? What manner of ridiculous notion brought you that bit of wisdom?

    Disinformation #4 & 5
    Every time you hear a story of a sad gun attack you want to blame special interests instead of the sad reflection of the degradation of society
    I feel that the evolution of all government everywhere is to limit freedoms
    Other references above state things about the degradation of society as a whole and the govenment effectively strengthening it's stranglehold on personal liberties as the catalyst for "drastic actions" being required as a call to arms. Half correct. The liberties that were endowed upon us by the founding fathers were already in question at the time those original documents were being constructed. Research writings authored by Franklin, Jefferson, Madison and other "signers", and you will quickly discover that they had doubts whether a society would evolve that could maintain order within these guidelines, as too high a moral standard was required by EACH individual in order for the entire system no to implode. And implode is indeed has, for exactly the reasons forecast by these well-meaning, idealistic men. The only mistake they made was in not allowing for what they knew from history to be reality, that being the insatiable greed and immorality of men. As men exhibit more tendencies towards those ends, indeed efforting to escape the law, or at the very least circumvent it, most assuredly additional laws MUST be enacted to countermand that mindset and close loopholes. It is due to the immaturity of society as a whole that we are forced to enact laws, and our eacape from tyranny is to escape the hold that special interest place upon the government, not the government per se.

    Our nation currently stands on the precipice of lawlessness, with no personal accountibility to anyone for anything, yet you feel somehow that this is due to the government? In a way, perhaps you're correct. The basic structure of our laws has allowed for this usurption of the "letter" to be confused with the "intent" of the law, thus encouraging social degradation by those in powerful positions, and unfortuantely for you, these are generallly NOT the ruling bodies, but the weathly businessmen BEHIND those in power. Then, like any good puppeteer, you find men upon whom you can endow the vestiges of power and prestige, but are willing to pay the heavy price of functioning as your marionette. They become your point man, your flunky, your fall guy, functioning only to keep your hands clean. If they win, they owe you. If they lose, they take the fall. What is it about our system of government as it relates to internal compliance and subserviance to special interests that you're not able to comprehend? You're targeting the wrong people.

    If you are so sure that a view of history will show that men have their own selfish desires and the only way government can be changed (eventually....not immediately) is through drastic means, you had best be certain that you're weaponry is pointed in the correct direction. If you all were so bold as to back up this paranoid diatribe with actions, and had any foresight at all, you would quickly realize that we stand at the brink of your dreams. After 8 years of ineffective leadership and with an overall public approval rating at it's lowest in our history, our current governing body is ripe for the taking. Over the course of the next 10 months, if your group had the stones enough to "walk the walk", you could leave the existing structure in the hands of a true incompetent, from which it would fall fast and hard in a heartbeat. Then you could direct your ire at the street gangs who give gun owners a bad reputation. Then you could clean up organized crime. Then you would be free to deal with the illegal aliens and the sea of internal terrorist, which by the way, would be exactly what you've evolved your organization into, like it or not. Then as the next holier than thou group targets you as you did the previous ruling body, you can take the self-righteous attitude of saying, "But look at all the things we've done for you" as they vent their frustrations on you. And on, and on, and on, which is why in civilized circles these ideals to which you hold dear are referred to as a "cycle of violence".

    But enough of the dark side of human nature. Until we can all be intelligent enough to see through the "fog of war" so competently laid down by big business, we have no hope as a society. Happy holidays, if you believe in such things, to you all!

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 17 weeks ago

    Have you ever visited the morgue and seen how many people were in there who had died of a drug overdose? All violent deaths are bad. We must pursue prevention. Making something illegal only makes good media coverage. It does NOT prevent illegal activity.

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 17 weeks ago

    Let's face it folks, the NRA has held this country hostage with fear for years, and fear sells at your local gun shop. Spend some time at the city morgue and observe the dead bodies on the gurneys from gun violence. I have and it makes you puke!

  • Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System   6 years 17 weeks ago

    What about the study that said " cross country skiers and snowshoers have a greater chance of spooking and causing injury to bison and elk than a motorized vehicle." I guess we should ban them too, or make them wear bells so the animals are forwarned. If the Park service was that concerned about pollution and it is the main reason for the snowmobile ban they should clean up there own act before casting stones. Not only is the fleet of vehicles the Park uses aging and not up to the highest standards that they are holding the snowmobiles too, the Parks own concessionaire Xanterra is using vehicles year round that are so old and produce more emissions than would be allowed in most staes that have emission requirements. Next diesels cars and pickups won't be allowed to enter the park and another concessionaire who is related to a politician or a higher up in the DOI will make more money off the people who visit who have paid for the park with taxes. I see it coming, guided tours only is what the sign will say.

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 17 weeks ago

    Just a quick note from the editors: While the give and take of comments is interesting, let's try not to stray into personal attacks, which will be edited out. Please try to stick to constructive input.

    Thanks.

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 17 weeks ago

    This is an old, volatile issue. I go hiking to SEE the creatures of the woods, not to SHOOT the creatures of the woods. However, to wander off in the wilderness without some form of self-defense is dangerously irresponsible. You would never think of hiking without a first-aid kit or matches, would you? The same goes for other "one chance in a million" emergencies.

    Currently I don't hike in National Parks because I can't bring my pistol with me. I assume people who don't want me to carry my pistol don't hike in places that DO allow concealed-carry for the same reason. Of course, you must remember that the "bad guy" will be carrying his pistol whether it's legal or not, wherever you go. Laws only apply to the "law-abiding", NOT the criminal.

    Here is the link where you can read about the countless occurrences of self-defensive uses of firearms. Read for yourself, then decide. By the way, as a typical concealed-carry permit holder, I have had THREE FBI background checks. Bad guys don't take background checks; THINK about it ......

    http://www.keepandbeararms.com/opsd/

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 17 weeks ago

    Joel is the only one who's not making personal attacks. What he said is reality. I have 4 kids and I'm a single mom. I love to watch cops and pepper spray doesn't stop drugged out freaks. I don't care about what you want. I want my kids protected and that is why I carry my berretta .380. I can't believe you can watch a few incidents a year and think that gun violence is the norm. Most people are good people who want to protect themselves.

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 17 weeks ago

    I can't believe with the rate the world is falling apart with all the shootings that we have to ask permission from anyone to protect ourselves. Isn't carrying a gun that simple? I haven't owned a gun in years only becuase I can't afford it. If anything should happen they should make it easier to get one.

  • Senators' Letter to Open National Parks to Concealed Weapons   6 years 17 weeks ago

    I agree...ban alcohol. I think we should ban alcohol. I can't think of any reason why someone should consume alcohol while in a NP. I have been camping and hiking and hunting for over 30 years of my life and I can think of no occasion that I needed an alcoholic beverage. I have however had to scare off animals with a firearm only twice. Once while camping and once while hunting. Indeed my food was in a sealed container hanging in a tree 100 yds from camp. I just couldn't control my breath or gas while I slept. Hey...there's a business idea. Camping mints...kill the food smell on your breath and you'll save rounds of ammunition in your gun. The can also invent a gas cap for the sphincter. Wow...I guess with mints and a cork we don’t' need guns.

    Of course I didn't feel as though I needed to call the local news to report said incidents so they must be false if they can't be verified with needed data.

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 17 weeks ago

    Your comment is perfect...Our original military was brought about by farmers and other common men to form a militia to overthrow its current government which had become corrupted. Our argument will continue to go in circles because you simply feel that "the people"(2nd amendment) is talking about a collection of men as 1 body (which is government, and that would be gov. infringing on gov.) and I feel that "the people" is talking about each individual rights. While you feel there is no reason to carry a gun and carrying by a law-abiding citizen is dangerous. I feel that I should carry so that I won't have to use it. Every time you hear a story of a sad gun attack you want to blame special interests instead of the sad reflection of the degradation of society. I see that it's all the more reason that I need to carry and protect myself. You see violence as something that can have a happy "sit around the campfire and cry" ending. I feel that I am more realistic in knowing that bad people will always exist and I should have the right to protect myself. You feel that a good government will always stay that way. I feel that the evolution of all government everywhere is to limit freedoms. Our system is setup so politicians want to pass more and more laws so that they can say "look at me! Look what I did!" With virtually no sunset on laws eventually there will be a time when all freedoms are gone. You feel that when this time comes we can all sit around a table and talk it out and everyone will have common interests and want to have a common ground. I feel that a view of history will show that men have their own selfish desires and the only way government can be changed (eventually....not immediately) is through drastic means. When government wants its people to comply with just or unjust laws they use lethal force (eventually). What happens when the people want to have a new government in say…150 years? What happens when they want to retake their freedoms and take power back from the few? What happens when our own US military rapes, tortures and stores in a shipping container, a Halliburton employee and Dick Cheney and George Bush and the “good-ol’ boys club” just want to cover it up for each other? Do you really think corruption will stay stagnant? Do you feel that it won’t get worse? I’m just trying to be realistic. The world would be better without violence and bad people. (At least from my prospective). I just don’t believe it’s gonna happen.

  • Senators' Letter to Open National Parks to Concealed Weapons   6 years 17 weeks ago

    I don't believe the issue at hand is driving through the parks with your weapon "neutralized", locked in a case in the trunk of your car Robert. The danger arises when people carry loaded weapons out on hikes, rafting trips, horseback rides and the like. I understand that the parks have a standing policy of "no firearms allowed". That stems mostly from an effort to eliminate poaching and increase the safety and enjoyment of the general public. I could be mistaken, but I've experienced nor ever heard of a incident when travel THROUGH a park was inhibited by properly stored weapons, but you could most certainly find a plethera of folks who have had permits revoked due to the discovery of firearms in their personal belongings once on park property. And rightfully so, since they, just like the "derelicts" who overstay their welcome, are law breakers who need to be dealt with properly. And the simple solution to the transients is to have the campgound personnel monitor and evict, like they're paid to do. It's not as though this task is beyond their capability, and between the trash removal folks and maintenance crews, it is extremely easy to be vigilant in the car camping areas. I agree that the backcountry could possible pose some issues. But I personally spend the majority of my camping in those remote regions, and have yet to encounter a situation that would have been effectively dealt with utilizing a firearm. And to the best of my knowledge, which is admittedly limited, I've never heard about or read about such an encounter in the park system. In fact, I can quote from multiple stories from various state parks, in various states, where such issues have been reported dating back 50+ years, with multiple homicides committed in some instances. Funny thing is, the common denominator in those situations was a Conehead-like consumption of "mass quantities" of alcohol immediately prior to the event by those responsible for the crime. Maybe we should try an all-out ban on ethanol-based beverages and see how far that flies.

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 17 weeks ago

    Lone Hike, I totally agree with your comments which are well structured with excellent points.

  • Video : Winter in Yellowstone National Park   6 years 17 weeks ago

    Jeremy, nice introduction to winter time in Yellowstone. Hopefully, the snowmobile frantics don't shatter this peaceful tranquility....but I dread.

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 17 weeks ago

    I travel to the States from the UK each year to visit your wonderful National Parks. I think I've seen about 80 or so Parks and Monuments over the course of maybe a year's travel in total. Not once have I ever felt threatened, intimidated, suspicious or otherwise alarmed by my fellow park-goers. To be honest in all that travel around your country I haven't ever felt any of the above emotions outside the parks either. I'm sure I could if I wandered to the wrong places, but I try to be a sensible traveller.

    So, then, as an outsider, I can't see any need to have a concealed firearm about my, or anyone else's person in a National Park. What would you use it for? How many people get murdered, raped or robbed inside the Park system each year? Would that figure be any lower if deadly weapons were allowed in? I really don't think it would and suspect it might even rise.

    Looking in from afar the American attitude to guns really does seem very strange and very polarised. There seems to be very little middle-ground.