Recent comments

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Warren Z said, "Again I am asking: will someone that supports this new rule please tell me why they are not happy with the Bush administration for waiting until the final hour to publish this rule?"

    Actually, this rule change has been a LONG time coming, and it is LONG overdue. There has been a LOT of foot-dragging. I quote this tiny tidbit of information. Please note the date (2003):

    "Starting in 2003, NRA staff began meeting with officials at the U.S. Department of the Interior to change this regulation and allow state law to govern the carrying and transportation of firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges -- as it does in national forests and on BLM lands."

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I do not know if this argument has already been brought up, either here or in another post, and I apologize if it has, but I fear that this policy change may result in an increased risk to the average person. I am not saying that every Park visitor is now going to be carrying a gun, but I would think it is safe to assume that the incidence is going to go up; and with that perceived increase in a sense of security, we will see an increased amount of visitors venturing into the backcountry, many of whom don't have any right being there, because of either a lack of basic backcountry knowledge or skill.

    Now before I get hammered for being some kind of rugged elitist, I want to state that I count myself in the aforementioned group of people that shouldn't be out there. I'm very 'Bear Aware', but have no practical experience, and I know my limits. But anymore it seems that I'm in the minority in that regards. I fear that people will view their firearms as a tool to keep themselves out of harms way, much like many do with their cell phones (a topic for another post), and put themselves into situations where they shouldn't have been in the first place.

    I will admit that a gun would help protect the wielder from many a small or mid-sized animal that one would happen to run afoul of while hiking/camping, due to any number of reasons. But these small or mid-sized animals don't really pose much of a threat to people. When startled, if not cornered, they will run the other way. It's the larger animals that you need to be concerned with, such as a black/brown bear or mountain lion. And since I'm talking about the average person, who would most likely not be carrying a high powered rifle or comparable weapon, but something smaller that would not pack the requisite stopping power, I feel that they will have unnecessarily put themselves in harms way. I'll let you figure out how the confrontation would end.

    All that being said, I'm as tired as the next guy of the federal government continuously interceding and limiting the number of ways that we can hurt ourselves. I grew up with way less legislative restriction and regulation and I turned out just fine. But I can't see any reason to have changed the old law in this case, of having the firearm separated and cased. If you wanted or needed your firearm, you still had it at your disposal. But that's it too. When visiting a National Park you shouldn't need a firearm to begin with. If you don't have the background, then you stay in the frontcountry and you'll be fine. If you have the know-how and venture into the backcountry, then again you should be fine.

    Maybe you will find this as too simplified view, but this is a simple world that we live in. That is until politics and political views get in the way. Or at least it should be.

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago


    The Second Amendment states:
    "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    militia: noun
    - a military force that is raised form the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.
    - a military force that engages in rebel or terrorist activities, typically in opposition to a regular army.
    - all able-bodied civilians eligible by law for military service.

    SO... personal arms are necessary in the event that a civilian militia is needed to SUPPLEMENT a REGULAR ARMY in an EMERGENCY,
    OR... personal arms are necessary if the INTENT is to gather and create TERRORIST opposition to an ARMY,
    OR... personal arms may be seen as a definer of the able-bodied, READY FOR MILITARY SERVICE if called,
    AND... the government needs us to use our personal Arms.

    In the framework of the Amendment itself, our right to keep and bear Arms is given IN THE EVENT that a civilian militia becomes necessary. It DOES NOT provide us the right to form our own individual one-man militias, always at the ready for any perceived threat to our own PERSONAL safety.
    Every definition of the word "militia" within the framework of the way the Second Amendment is worded relates specifically to assisting an established Army. When have you EVER in all your visits to a National Park been called upon to, on the spot, defend the State, i.e. The United States of America, against an army invading the park you are visiting at the time? For that matter, when ever in your life have you ever been called upon to use your personal Arms to, on the spot, defend your country?

    How, in any way, does the Second Amendment, and the dictionary definition of the word "militia", give us the right to carry our loaded Arms wherever we please? IT DOES NOT.
    The Second Amendment does not refer to 21st century fears of two-legged predators lurking behind every tree and boulder, waiting to give us an opportunity to defend ourselves against attacks on our PERSONAL safety. It refers to our ability to assist the established Army if called upon to do so.

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    (Note to those readers who do not like big words: you will not like this post, there are some big words in here.)


    There are already parks where personal vehicles are not allowed. That being one of the rules of entry, visitors respect that.
    It would be interesting to hear statistics on how many personal rights advocates per year insist on driving their cars where they are not allowed. Might we find a loaded concealed weapon or two in their vehicles as well?
    The NPS could restrict cars from every park and I wouldn't care, as long as some provision for access was available to visitors. In fact, from a resource protection perspective a ban on personal motorized vehicles might be a very good thing.

    You see Frank, I put my trust in the decision makers of the NPS when I feel they are making decisions consistent with their mission. And I, like you, voice my concerns when I think the rules are unnecessary or restrictive in some way. But I balance my personal rights against the greater mission and needs of the greater good when making those personal choices.
    Large organizations, private and public, do not threaten me. Rules that might restrict my actions in some way do not automatically make the rule makers tyrants in my eyes. But that's just how I personally view the world.

    Why, if I am opposed to carrying loaded personal weapons in National Parks, am I anti-Second Amendment?

    When it comes right down to the nitty gritty Frank, I am not anti anything. Sure, I do enjoy the debating aspect of an issue like this. But will I ever personally own and carry a loaded hand gun? Probably not. Do I really care if you do? No.
    I just don't feel the need to question the NPS on it's ban on personal firearms because I can see the larger picture and respect the decision making process they used when making the decision.

    In relation to interpreting The Bill of Rights and The Constitution I believe that contemporary circumstances and needs must be part of the discussion and decision making process. I do not think our founding fathers expected interpretation of these great documents to forever remain within a 19th century perspective.
    But the debate will forever be muddled by that nasty little prefatory clause at the beginning of the Second Amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..."
    I get confused by this statement, because individual visitors carrying their own personal loaded weapons, wherever and whenever they please, looks to me like thousands of one-person militias marching around all over the place in search of a tyrant to battle.
    Is your intent that they will all get together and create one big militia inside the Parks? Why is the militia meeting in a National Park? I just don't understand...

    The NPS wisely stays away from this muddy debate as well, focusing on the resource protection aspect of the issue which the DOI and the Bush administration chose to ignore when writing the rule. And there is no denying that the administration chose this course of action in a last ditch effort to appease the NRA and other organizations that could possibly increase the Republican vote in the next election.

    Again I am asking: will someone that supports this new rule please tell me why they are not happy with the Bush administration for waiting until the final hour to publish this rule? Why does no one find this suspect?
    To me the silence on this question smacks of the naughty boy in the back of the class, shooting spitballs, but getting away with it because the teacher never catches him. But that's just me.

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 7 weeks ago

    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.

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    The inalienable right to defend one's self is inherent to All Living Things humans included.
    Would you outlaw a kittens claws until it has demonstrated it's restraint in their use ?
    Would you outlaw the thorns on an Acacia tree until it reaches the age of maturity ?
    How far will you let your fear of " fill in the blank " run your life ?
    Why do you think your fears give you the right to try to run everyone's life ?

    The fact that We the People LET our elected officials violate the "Law of the Land" without consequences is how we find ourselves in the ridiculous situation we are in today.
    Those who suggest that removing all of the [unconstitutional BTW] gun laws would result in a general blood bath are simply publicly stating that they Do Not Trust Any Other Human Being.
    We don't need outside terrorists we have our own trying to foist their fears off on all of the population.

    "Remove guns and we will all be safe." Hooey.
    Do you actually think it is a coincidence that nearly all of the mass shootings we have had have happened in "Gun Free Zones" ?
    Do you not realize that "professional criminals" do not follow any laws let alone the illegal "gun laws" ?

    I would like to see Open Carry become as common place as shoes in restaurants.

  • Hikers, Bikers and National Parks   6 years 7 weeks ago

    The mountain biker in me want to respond one way, however the preservationist and organic act stickler in me is pulling in a very different direction.

    To me there is very little argument about the purpose of National Parks. They are museums of the natural world. They protect the unique, the important, and the fragile. Most importantly they provide an avenue for the people of this and other countries to experience parks. Yet that must be done in a way that will forever maintains the quality of both the physical resources and the natural experience. In actuality, that is indeed impossible, as any interaction changes (sometimes only very subtly) a resource or experience.

    In my mind those rules should be one way (perhaps the most important way) that new activities are measured and judged. Those that pass the test should move on the be judged in other ways.

    In some ways, mtn biking in parks can pass that test. It gives visitors a powerful experience of the natural resource, however it does so in a way that impacts the resource in new ways. Further, it has the power to impact the experience of others. Managers do not need additional conflict and they don't need to stress their limited budgets to repair additional trail impacts (they have a hard time keeping up as it is).

    To me this means that unless mtn biking is done only on resources that are highly resistant or resilient to impacts and where either time or place separate bikers from hikers and horseback riders, permitting bikes in parks will lead to problems.

    Finally, how would this impact parks that are managing backcountry as though it were wilderness (sometimes where wilderness is considered to be only yards off main roads or developed areas)? Maybe it would spur on the wilderness movement in parks. Maybe, it would put a great deal of power in the hands of IMBA, making it harder for a park to manage its own land (just look at Yellowstone... its winter use is managed and influenced by an outside group).

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    This isn't about the perception of personal safety; it's about the Constitution. I won't repeat those arguments here again, but think the following rewording of Kurt's argument is equally, if oppositely, important:

    And really, is this a wildlife safety issue? As noted elsewhere in my comments, the NPS does not keep nationwide statistics on poaching.

    Some perspective:

    * Millions of animals are killed each year by automobiles.

    * Some animals hit and killed by automobiles are endangered species.

    * 45,000 people die a year from automobile accidents.

    In light of that, will the anti-Second Amendment crowd refuse to drive cars in national parks?

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Slant numbers and use big words to confuse, but if your life comes down to being accousted on the trail or in your camp by a two or four footed animal(s), it doesn't make any difference, there is not ranger. Period! Bottom line!!! They are there to take a report and in my case the next day. I understand that. Incidentally, no need to shoot any wildlife unless they are rabid! It happens. About 8 times a year and rarely results in human death because someone has a gun. These aren't all nat'l park incidents. I read a lot and don't record everything.

    Lot of crime in nat'l parks though. Don't won't the publc to know of course. I go to our nat'l parks to get away, but not to be victimized. Never mind the people that have no idea wha is going on around them. I'm a medical professional and carry a 22 pound first aid bag. My radio & pistol pouch is much lighter. I migh save your life!!!

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago


    This current administration is masterful at manipulating legalese to justify it's own agenda. What a shame that you can't see through the DOI's wordy smokescreen. Or perhaps you don't mind how manipulative the Bush administration has become in it's final days because you happen to agree with this particular decision.

    Again I ask, if this new rule is so necessary, why did the administration wait until late in it's own game to push it through? Because they know that the vast majority of elected officials and the general public don't want it and would not support it. Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but doesn't majority opinion rule in a democracy?

    If this tangential extrapolation of the Second Amendment is so necessary, why did our Commander-In-Chief and his political appointees at the DOI publish this rule change in such a cowardly way? They published it on a Friday, when most folks turn off the news, during the last month of their reign of power, when the country is now focused on the incoming administration.

    Why aren't the supporters of this rule change asking the Bush administration why it waited so long to make this change???
    I guess when we win the game, asking how honestly we come by our spoils sometimes shines too harsh a light on the process...

    Why not let trained professionals handle "the criminals who are everywhere" and keep our personal guns at home?
    I have been visiting national, state, and town parks my entire life. I have visited historic sites in small towns, and large urban parks in the largest cities in our country. And not once have I ever fallen victim to "the criminals who are everywhere".
    (But I have been the victim of violent crime, right outside my own home, not in a national park... more on that later...)
    It's interesting that the only "criminals" I have ever been aware of are visitors who have chosen to ignore established resource protection and safety rules because they felt their "personal rights" were in some way being violated if they couldn't walk wherever they wanted to walk, or do whatever they wanted to do, regardless of the fact that they implicitly agreed to said regulations when they entered the parks' boundaries.
    I've seen visitors ignore posted warnings and go off trail into environmentally fragile areas. I've seen campers bring alcohol into campgrounds that do not allow it. I've seen other violations of established rules and regulations...
    and EVERY time I've seen those people questioned by rangers or law enforcement they become argumentative and self-righteous about their actions. Could you just imagine if one of those people had a loaded gun? I shudder to think about the possibilities if the visitor with the loaded gun is having a bad week, suffering some stress, had a little too much to drink... and decides his gun is the best way to resolve the situation between himself and the ranger. I go to parks to get away from that level of human possibility...
    Rather than waiting for the day you feel it necessary to defend yourself with your loaded firearm, why not become a law enforcement professional yourself and handle the folks "who are actually committing the crimes" in a lawful and professional manner?
    And if you are unhappy with the current level of trained law enforcement within our National Parks, then I would suggest you lobby your elected officials to increase the budget of what has become the most woefully underfunded Federal agency.
    A larger law enforcement budget that pays trained professionals to handle the marauding swarms of criminals that have apparently overrun our National Parks seems like a good way to handle the perceived safety problem. I trust law enforcement. Why don't you?

    Have you ever been the victim of a violent crime? As I mentioned earlier I have. It occurred on the street right outside my own home. Before the crime I never once expected police to be everywhere every moment of the day to protect me, and after the crime I've never once felt that a loaded handgun would have made the situation any different.
    Most acts of violence, whether they be random or pre-meditated, are over in seconds, barely enough time to think about defending oneself. Having a loaded gun at the ready wouldn't really be more effective in defending oneself in that split-second of happening than using a fist, or the rocks underfoot on the trail, or a tree branch, or just running away. So I ask you: is carrying a loaded gun about self-defense, the perception of personal safety, or an unconscious hope that someday one might get to righteously use the loaded weapon he so proudly carries?

    Most folks in favor of this rule change seem to only want to discuss the personal rights aspect of the issue. Fine. (I understand the argument: I personally feel that every citizen should exercise their right to vote lest it be taken away from us.)
    For the record, just because I don't believe personal weapons are necessary when visiting a National Park does not mean I am against our legal right to own a gun. But our right to own a gun does not logically imply we have the right to take it wherever we want to, whenever we want to. ANY other belief to the contrary starts us down the slippery slope of anarchy. Is that what we're after here?

    If not being allowed to carry a loaded weapon on my person at all times means I will not fully enjoy my time spent in a National Park because I just can't stop thinking about how my personal rights are being violated, perhaps I should examine why I feel the need to take a loaded weapon into the parks in the first place.
    While we figure this out for ourselves, let's keep our guns at home where they belong.

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Rick, I've been wondering where you've been lurking! I'm kinda disappointed with your comment, as I thought I did a fairly good job of sticking to the middle of the road on reporting Interior's decision.

    Now, I'm not an attorney, so I can't give you 100 percent, iron-clad feedback to your questions, but there are a couple openings that I think park advocates will try to take in challenging this. One is that the rule came out less than 60 days out from the change in administrations, so the Obama administration -- if it were so inclined, and I don't know if it is, despite what Fred believes -- might simply try to quash this rule.

    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.

    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.

    I think relying simply on what DOI's legal staff has concluded is a waste of time, particularly when you consider how the Justice Department has operated in recent years. And don't forget, it was a bit more than eight years ago when DOI's legal staff concluded that snowmobiles should be phased out of Yellowstone, and you know where that got us.

    As for your contention that "the anti-gun comments here are still the stereotypical, bigoted, disparaging, emotional/hysterical, illogical, personal opinions," come on, read some of the pro-gun opinions. Some are off the wall. 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?

    If that is the correct interpretation (and I think it is), what would be your reaction if the next administration instituted such controls in the national parks? That's it's unconstitutional? That you'll pack wherever you please?

    As for how the bulk of the comments came down, my information is from NPCA, the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, Association for National Park Rangers, and the Park Ranger Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police. But I understand if you quibble with their counts. But then, it doesn't really matter, does it? After all, a majority of the 300,000+ comments filed in the Yellowstone snowmobile matter were for phasing out snowmobiles, and Interior officials ignored those comments as well (and went against what science recommended), so it seems that under the Bush administration democracy doesn't matter when it comes to public lands management.

    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.

    Some perspective:

    * The U.S. murder rate is 5.9 per 100,000

    * In 2007 more than 41,000 died in traffic accidents in the United States

    * 36,000 Americans die from the flu annually

    * 112,000 die from obesity

    In light of that, will concealed weapons owners refuse to drive cars? Line up for flu shots? Go on a diet? Kinda seems the safest place they could be would be a national park.

    So much vitriol is spewed -- much of it anonymously, which is somewhat curious -- on this issue. Don't we have better things to invest our time, emotion, and efforts on?

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Good blog! Been following this subject and glad common sense prevailed. Concealed weapons pemit holders are trained and have undergone a thorough background check. Obviously some of the writers here are just plain ignorant. I didn't say stupid, just ignorant. Remember, when seconds count ........ the ranger is just a phone call away. Oh yeah, your cell phone may not work, huh? Try prayer or Smith & Wesson.

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Kurt said,

    "Despite the potential affect on national park wildlife and resources, the administration did not conduct an environmental review as required by law, and some believe that opens the door for a lawsuit to halt the rule change:

    Tell me how your claim is more legally relevant than what Interior (legal staff) has concluded:

    "...we have analyzed the final rule under NEPA and concluded that (i) the action is subject to a categorical exclusion under 43 C.F.R. § 46.210 since the final regulation is in the nature of a legal change to existing regulations, and (ii) no "extraordinary circumstances" exist which would prevent the proposed action from being classified as categorically excluded. !d. This decision is fully described in our decision 17
    document dated November 18, 2008, which is available to the public at"

    I'm not surprised that the anti gun comments here are still the stereotypical, bigoted, disparaging, emotional/hysterical, illogical, personal opinions that completely ignore fact, Constitutional law (see Supreme Court Heller decision), 40 states' successful right-to-carry legislation and, essentially, have absolutely no merit or basis in truth.

    Read the Interior Department documents that Lone Hiker has provided the link to above.

    Kurt, you claim, "The administration received almost 140,000 comments, the vast majority of which opposed the proposal to allow loaded guns in national parks." Could you please provide data to support this?

    Again, why don't any of the smug, holier-than-thou anti-gun posts express a single similar hissy fit concerning the criminals who are everywhere and who are actually committing the crimes?


  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I have a concealed weapons permit and carry a 9mm semiauto in my vehicle. I occassionaly have to travel over roads that pass thru a National Recreation Area on the way to courts in other counties (I am an attorney). It is not my intention to "visit" the Recreational Area--I could not care less if it was there or not. But, to obey the present law, I would need to pull over, remove the clip from by handgun, separate the gun from the clip, drive less than a mile thru the National Recreatonal Area, at which point I could legally then pull over and replace the clip in my gun. This makes no sense to me and encourages me to break the law.

    Visitation to our National Park system has fallen for years, despite a growing population. After reading some of these remarks, I see why...

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Wow, this is really disappointing -- and unnecessary! I guess we'll have to see whether this changes the character of the parks in the coming months and years. Thanks for the update. Love your blog and the quizzes, too!

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I find those quotes perfect, but for a different reason than the above. Those who fear people who have concealed carry permits fit the quotes to the T. In most states you have to go through a thorough background check and training to get a permit. The ones people should be afraid(maybe catious is a better word) of are the crimanls who don't have permits. They don't get permits because they don't care about the laws, hence the name lawbreakers. If you beleive the people with permits are going to shoot up signs and wildlife, you are wrong. These are trained, safe civilians with healthy respect for the law, otherwise they wouldn't have the permit.

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 7 weeks ago

    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.

  • Another Look at Those GPS Rangers in the National Parks   6 years 7 weeks ago

    If anyone is interested in a independent analysis of the GPS Ranger visitor experience I can provide it. In 2008 I completed my thesis titled "Interpretive Technology in Parks: A study of visitor experiences with portable multimedia devices" and it focused on the GPS Ranger. My data was collected in Cedar Breaks National Monument and is a qualitative study based on interviews with 27 GPS Ranger users. You can email me at Lee.rademaker at gmail . com (just properly format that address). Or you can try to find my thesis at the University of Montana's library website


  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    If you pay attention to the text, those allowed to carry a weapon into the park are only those who are already permitted to carry a Concealed Weapon. For whatever the reason they are permitted to carry, whether it be a threat to their themselves or their families or for professional responsibilities. The reason for those individuals carrying a concealed weapon don't end at the park gate. If they have been able to prove their need for a concealed weapon, they should be allowed to carry it at all times. Those "two-legged" predators referred to above don't care about the law and those intent on wrong-doing or harming others certainly don't leave their guns at the gate just because the law says they can't carry a weapon in the park. If folks thought they were safe from the criminal type just because they were inside the boundaries of a National Park, they were being naiive...very naiive.

    In my opinion this law does little to change the activity that has been going on for years. Our National Parks often include some of the most remote terrain in the U.S. and law enforcement is not just a phone call away. We are not carriers of concealed weapons and won't be carrying, but it does not bother us in the least that licensed individuals will be.

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    The dangerous, armed gun nuts we fear are already in the parks. Thinking otherwise is fooling yourself. This law doesn't change the inherit danger of guns in the park. People who follow the rules re: concealed weapons permits are not the folks we should be afraid of, it's the whack-nuts who already bring concealed weapons in the parks in some form or another.

    I see no added risk by this ruling.


    My travels through the National Park System:

  • Interior Department To Be Sued Over Cape Hatteras National Seashore Plover Habitat Decisions   6 years 7 weeks ago

    We are talking about the same vehicles, as they are at Hatteras. Where I am from, we call them ATVs. Although it is true, if what you are saying is that all Off Road Vehicles are not All Terrain Vehicles, and vice versa.

    The point is no vehicles, 2 cycle or 4 cycle, should be allowed to impair the habitat and the resource.

  • Comment Now: General Gun Regulations for Areas Administered By the National Park Service   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Now I see that my comments may be moderated or disallowed. Nothing like asking for comments and then disregarding freedom of speech.

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 7 weeks ago

    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


  • Comment Now: General Gun Regulations for Areas Administered By the National Park Service   6 years 7 weeks ago

    The Second Amendment prohibits something as insignificant as an infringement on the right to keep and carry a weapon. Banning a weapon anywhere is a darn sight more than an infringement and therefore illegal. The fear of those who disregard the Second might as well disregard the entire Bill fo RIghts, rights being the operative word. The will of "the people", the parks retirees, Diane Feinstein and Schumer be damned. The original Bill of Rights is sacro-sanct. It cannot be changed or altered or cancelled. The fear of guns is based on ignorance. The fearsome think that if the honest people can't carry then all is safe. They think that the bad guys always follow the law. They think that a person who has gone through the effort of obtaining a concealed weapons permit(itself and infringement)is somehow going to go crazy and shoot them. If this isn't crazy, stupid, ignorant and closed minded then nothing is. Grow up people. If you don't want to defend yourself, so be it. You don't have to have a weapon. But yoiu have no right to subject me to danger because of your lack of common sense.

  • Memorial Ceremony for Pearl Harbor Day   6 years 7 weeks ago

    America's oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, living his 100th year is former enlisted Chief Petty Officer, Aviation Chief Ordnanceman (ACOM), later wartime commissioned Lieutenant John W. Finn, USN (Ret.). He is also the last surviving Medal of Honor, "The Day of Infamy", Japanese Attack on the Hawaiian Islands, Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941.

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