Recent comments

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    It seems to me that we really have two separate issues. The first is the issue of what the laws currently say and what the courts have interpreted them to mean in case law. The second issue is our own individual opinions, perceptions, and assumptions based on our own experiences and what we individually desire the laws to say and mean.

    Kurt points out appropriately in a previous post that the courts have not definitively decided yet whether the Second Amendment is an individual right or a societal right for militias. Until a federal court makes that decision and establishes case law, all our comments on the Second Amendment are just personal opinion, none more valid than the other.

    What the federal courts have decided in relation to laws that infringe on rights in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is that such laws are not unconstitutional unless their specific intent is to abrogate the right. If the courts had not used this rationale in deciding constitutional law cases, there could be no law that exists that infringed on any of the constitutional rights in any way. In other words, individual citizens could say anything they want to, anywhere, any time, no matter how vulgar, treasonous, violent, obscene, untrue, dangerous, etc. Of course, there are such laws that prevent us from saying some things at certain times and/or locations. These laws have been found by the courts to be constitutional in many cases because their intent was not specifically to infringe on free speech, but to protect some other important societal value. There are similar laws and court decisions relating to expressing one’s freedom of religion and to the freedom of the press.

    In relation to possessing and carrying arms it is clear that our society has decided that there are places and times where “bearing arms” is not appropriate. The most recent example is that private firearms are not permitted beyond the security checkpoint in airports and not allowed in carry-on luggage on the plane. If the Second Amendment were an absolute right then these prohibitions could not exist, no matter what your personal opinion is. In examples like this the courts have found that the intent of the laws was not to specifically abrogate the right.

    Once you get the legal issue framed, then the questions become: (1) is the NPS regulation a valid assertion of federal power under the Constitution, and (2) was the intent of the NPS regulation to specifically abrogate the Second Amendment?

    To answer the first question you must look to the Constitution. Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution states: “The Congress shall have the Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States;…..” Concerning NPS lands, Congress delegated this rulemaking authority to the Secretary of the Interior in section 3 of Title 18 United States Code. One might also ask are federal parks even valid under the Constitution? The Supreme Court has found they are under the general welfare clause of the Constitution in an 1896 case titled United States v. Gettysburg Electric Railway Company.

    To answer the second question you must look to the June 30, 1983 Federal Register in which the revision to the current NPS firearms regulation was adopted after a public comment period. The stated reason found in this document for adopting this regulation was “to ensure public safety and provide maximum protection of natural resources by limiting the opportunity for unauthorized use of weapons.” While one’s personal opinion may be that the NPS was not telling the truth in 1983 about their intent, the official written intent was not to abrogate the Second Amendment (unless you believe that there is an individual right and it applies in all places and at all times). Congress delegated the authority to promulgate this regulation to the Department of the Interior and government employees of the department followed all regulations in establishing it including accepting and considering public comment.

    That is the legal side of the issue. Whether you agree with the current regulation or oppose it, Congress certainly has the right to rescind the delegation of authority they previously passed in federal law.

    Now for the opinion part of the issue based on my individual opinions, perceptions, and assumptions based on my own experiences. For the record I own two firearms. I do not regularly carry them in public having purchased them primarily for personal and family protection on my own property.

    I believe the regulation is constitutional based and supported by federal case law. If you believe that bearing firearms is an individual constitutional right at all places in this country and at all times, I respect that opinion. The courts have not decided on such an opinion yet. I am unconvinced that you can make a Second Amendment argument against this regulation while supporting other firearms restrictions at other places and times.

    I believe the regulation serves the valid public purpose of “providing maximum protection for natural resources” inside units of the National Park System. Based on my experience I do agree with what many of you have said that a significant percentage of gun owners coming into parks would never use their guns to illegally kill or injure wildlife. I agree with what many of you have said that a small percentage of gun owners will illegally use their guns to kill or injure park wildlife no matter what the regulations or laws concerning guns in parks are. But, I believe Senator Coburn’s amendment will make it more difficult to apprehend these individuals because possession or display of a weapon will no longer be probable cause to initiate a search for evidence of wildlife and/or wildlife parts. Finally, I ask you to consider that there is a large group of gun owners that fall in the middle of the two groups mentioned above. They are not outlaws or everyday poachers and they are not those that will obey the law in all circumstances no matter what. They are sitting on the fence and can be tempted into an illegal act if the right opportunity in parks presents itself. Often such illegal acts of opportunity require two elements ― desirable wildlife to be present and a readily accessible, loaded firearm. When either of these two elements is removed from the equation it dramatically reduces the chance that park wildlife will be poached by this opportunist group. The NPS regulation was specifically targeted at this group of gun owners by limiting the opportunity for unauthorized use of weapons. Opportunity is the key word in this justification.

    My last opinion in this post is that many of you confuse the legally defined purposes for federal lands administered by different agencies. Comparing what has happened to you or in the news on National Forests or lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management with what could happen to you on lands managed by the National Park Service is comparing apples to watermelon. The National Park System was created for a preservation purpose with specific federal law direction to regulate the use of parks. I cannot dismiss your fears that you could be hurt or killed from a violent act by another person or an animal inside a national park. Having spent much of my adult life inside national park units I can only say that I have far fewer of those fears inside national park units as opposed to when I’m outside them. The crime statistics and injury-by-animals incidents inside parks are incredibly low compared to almost all other segments of our society. But there is always a chance that such an incident can occur even inside a national park unit. For me the trade off of protecting wildlife to a greater degree from opportunist shooters is worth the low risk that I will be less able to defend myself should an incident of violence happen to me inside a national park unit.

    My reality and life experience is not yours, but can’t we all articulate our own reasons to be for or against an issue like this without name-calling or disparaging remarks about those on the other side? Doesn’t reasoned, respectful debate lead to reasoned, respectful public policy?

  • What Are Your Priorities For the National Parks?   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I'm right there with you Kurt. I know you have an obligation to report all issues relating to the National Park System, but I can't help but roll my eyes every time another issue concerning carrying guns in the National Parks gets posted on this site. You know the old saying, "when invited over to someone's house, never bring up religion or politics", maybe we should add "the 2nd amendment" to that conversation. Both sides are fervent in their positions, and unfortunately it obfuscates any real debate or discussion. I tend to duck and cover until it blows over.

    It seems to me that politicians, especially in an election year, prefer to bring up issues that will get them elected instead of pursuing ways of fixing what is broken. Instead of congressional hearings on what needs to be done to protect and preserve these great places of land and history, we have congressmen calling baseball players to give depositions about taking HGH. In the end, politicians will do what will get them elected: Either find ways of bringing pork to their home states, or standing on a soap box spouting off about issues that have no real consequence but make them sound like they're important. Unfortunately the National Parks aren't money-makers and they aren't sexy. I'm not sure they ever will be, so it'll only be hot-button issues like gun control that will get most people riled up in this country.

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I had the experience of witnessing a poaching in the Cades Cove area of Great Smoky National Park many years ago. I had just started out on a hike with my buddy, and was about a half mile from the ranger station when the incident occurred. The poacher shot a large buck but didn't immediately kill it.

    I sent my buddy to the ranger station, and I stayed with the deer. The poacher, who initially drove off when he saw us, came back while I was waiting, and just sat there in his car for several minutes about 200 yards away. I was scared stiff, because I knew he had a gun, and I didn't.

    The ranger arrived while the poacher was still there and the poacher fled. There was a car chase, and an attempted roadblock, but the poacher escaped.

    My point is, these kind of things can happen. In this case I didn't get close enough to the poacher to identify him. Had we been 1 minute later on the scene, the story could have been different, and the poacher could have made a different choice.

    This incident occurred before cellphones. Had we then been further along the trail, we would have been cut off and at the mercy of the poacher completely.

    I do not favor guns in National Parks. While in this instance, it would seem to be an example of a need for a gun, the reality is that a handgun is not a very good defense against a high power rifle at 200 yards, so it really wouldn't have mattered much. What is much more important is communication. I need to be able to call for assistance anywhere, and while cellphone towers are disturbing, they provide far better defense that carrying a weapon.

  • What Are Your Priorities For the National Parks?   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I think guns in parks is a political wedge issue. It's coming up now to divide people who care about the outdoors into two warring camps, right when they most need to bond together to protect the outdoors. I expect we will see more of these wedges in this election year.

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    I brought up the First Amendment so I'll respond to Teddy Mather even though this article is about carrying guns in National Parks. The text of the amendment is just as clear to me as in the 2A. Stating that "I know that this logic will go over your head Don M," is the same as calling me a Neanderthal or a beer swilling slob (read Teddy Mathers post towards the top), just because I disagree with you. I'm willing to listen to facts and well reasoned arguments but insults don't belong here.

    A few posters talked about the safe atmosphere in the parks and how having guns in the parks would ruing that feeling. I googled "crime in national parks" was amazed and disturbed by what I read in the first two articles. Three Park Rangers have been shot to death since 1998, drug smuggling and crime are on the rise in Big Bend NP, Organ Pipe NP and Padre Island National Lake Shore. Gang activity is on the rise at Lake Mead NRA. Park Rangers are 12 times more likely to be assaulted than an FBI agent, and the number of violent confrontations with Rangers rose from 98 in 2002 to 106 in 2003 and 111 in 2004. I will provide links.

    archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/1/14/162412.shtml - 21k -

    www.csmonitor.com/2005/0808/p03s01-ussc.html - 74k

    www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/08/08/national/main765404.shtml - 75k -

    These were just the first three articles that came up. I would submit that crime is indeed on the rise and that National Parks are not as safe as they used to be and that we need to take a hard look at whether or not to allow the carry of weapons in the park. This is a decision that should be based on fact, not emotion.

  • National Lakeshores Threatened by Non-native Species   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Invasive species are a huge problem for the National Parks around the Great Lakes. So much so that Isle Royale Superintendent Phyllis Green took drastic measures back in September to ban the dumping of ballast water in Lake Superior within four miles of the park.

    We should also remember that other parks beyond Sleeping Bear Dunes are suffering too - one bad species can affect an entire chain of life within the ecosystem.

    The National Parks Conservation Association released an in-depth study of the Great Lakes parks ( http://www.npca.org/stateoftheparks/great_lakes/) last year that discusses the affects of invasive species on six of our Great Lakes National Parks, including the sea lamprey, which can literally suck the life out of fish like the lake trout and whitefish. It is indeed a problem that must be addressed with strong leadership from our members of Congress!

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I have a problem with guns in Parks with lots of wildlife such as Yellowstone. My concern is not regarding poaching. My concern is having someone see an animal such as a coyote wander close to their campsite ( which happens many times ) and someone who isn't used to this panicking and shooting the animal. I can see the excuses now, "Oh my kid was outside". You will have situations like this if this is allowed to happen. I can also see instances of people mistaking a rustle in the trees as a bear and possibly shooting a person. In Parks such as Yellowstone, many people I see have a "bear paranoia" and I can totally see accidents and also the shooting of simply curious bears that mean no harm.

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    This has been debated as naseum, and I know that this logic will go over your head Don M, but comparing the 1st amendment and 2nd amendment, exactly how they are written, shows what the founding fathers had in mind. Why would they put the preface, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" before "the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"? If they felt that everyone had an individual right to keep and bear arms no matter what, why wouldn't they phrase the 2nd Amendment just like the first and say, "Congress shall make no law infringing on a person's right to keep and bear arms"? Why would the preface concerning a militia be needed at all? Unless, of course, they felt that the only reason free people would need keep and bear arms is due to the fact that there was not a national military at the time the Bill of Rights was written, and if the time came when a state militia was needed, that militia needed to arm themselves. Thankfully we don't ask our Marines to bring their own machine guns into battle any more. The country has changed, the needs have changed, and unfortunately 200 years of letting people arm themselves won't go away any time soon.

  • President's 2009 Budget Proposal Lacking for National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Just stop the war for a week $275 million per day and give 1.9 billion to the Park Service's construction budget. That would do it.

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Fred,
    No. Not sure I see the connection you are making.

    I own several guns, and wouldn't support a ban. Let's face it, though, that's never going to happen. Nobody is going to take away anyone else's guns. This is just an election year issue designed to placate voters that want a simple litmus test for their candidates. This country really has much more important things to worry about.

    Mike

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    This bill is long overdue. It would make a lot of park visitors legal park visitors. I know people who have concealed carry permits and are just not going to put their lives in danger by not have either a sidearm or shotgun nearby and an unloaded gun is useless. I have it on good authority that Yosemite has it's own jail or just a holding cell and it's not there for the four legged animals.

    Ever been on the far back roads of Death Valley or Big Bend parks where you can go weeks without seeing a ranger? Been camping and seen some scary people out there and you just don't know what chemical they are on or what they might do. There are occasional animal attacks too, but if you keep a clean camp, that shouldn't be a problem.

    As for an increase in poaching, where did this come from? Poachers are going to commit a crime no matter what if they are so inclined. I'd like to hear the reasoning on that.

    This bill would not stop crime in the National Parks, but I believe like Texas and Nevada most people just assume someone in certain states are armed and it just might not be a good idea to do the crime.

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Mike - I read your post on Yellowstone Ecology. Funny stuff. I assume you also support amnesty for illegal aliens?

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Kurt,

    I forgot to address your comment about 2A cases before the Supreme Court. I'm inferring that you're are talking about DC vs. Heller. DC is appealing because if you don't like what you hear, appeal and appeal and appeal some more. I'm hopeful that SCOTUS is going to put this to rest for once and for all but I'm not holding my breath.

    Allowing me to carry legally in a NP is not going to increase crime one bit but there is a chance it could decrease crime. I also have no intentions of using a weapon against a bear or cougar. If I end up in trouble with one of them it was because of my own neglect. Avoiding trouble with wild animals is pretty simple. My guns are for protection against other humans.

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Kurt,

    I posted twice yesterday, once anonymously and once using Don M. The comment about my 1A rights was sarcasm, I realized that I have no right to free speech here. Your comments about my 2A rights are flawed. The rights in the Bill of Rights are individual rights. Nobody ever argues that the First Amendment, or the 4th, or 5th are collective rights. Why would the 2nd be any different? The debate isn't over my right to carry on public lands, it is over my right to keep and bear arms.

    "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. " The wording is simple and clear. The same people in this amendment are the people who have the right to freedom of speech and assembly, the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches. The same applies to the 5th, this is not a collective right but the right of an individual to due process.

    To muddy the water by stating that there is a debate about what exactly the Second Amendment is about is unfair. There seems to be no debate about the other 9 amendments, they are all acknowledged as individual rights. I'm cringing right now because I'm waiting for somebody to state that the founding fathers didn't have machine guns or rocket launchers in mind when the wrote the amendment and that we need to change with the times. The founding fathers never envisioned us using television, radio or the internet to communicate either. If we start restricting 2A rights when are we going to start restricting 1A rights?

    For the record I am well aware of the laws concerning the transporting of guns through National Parks, I transferred from CA to MI this spring and passed through 4 national parks on my way out here, with all of my guns in my truck, nice and legal like.

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    In my opinion, the senators supporting this care neither about the gun rights or national parks. They are just placating the NRA so they can get re-elected. Repealing the gun restrictions in the parks is a bad idea, but in the grand scheme it is a non-issue. To read a lengthier comment that I've written on this issue, you might read the following article on my web site:

    http://www.yellowstoneecology.com/blog/?p=56

    Mike Tercek

  • President's 2009 Budget Proposal Lacking for National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Wow. $172 million is such a small number when compared against the vastness of the National Park System.

    This whole "economic stimulus" -- the rebates to taxpayers -- is such a joke and a terrible waste of government resources. The feds would do much better by simply investing in our infrastructure, including our parks. Think of the boost to the economy by providing jobs to do this work, and the other benefits that public works projects would bring.

    I want to do an analysis of the economic impact of the NPS. Based on my travels, a lot of NPS sites are in poorer areas of the country that could really use an economic boost. Would renovations on the D.C. area parks provide jobs where they are heavily needed -- in the nation's capital? What about some of the civil war sites in Tennessee and elsewhere? Appalachia could use a boost. That part of Texas north of Big Bend could use some jobs, too. Then there's the economic impact of the parks themselves. How much of the economy in the Sierra Nevada region depends on Sequoia and Yosemite? If these park sites turn into dumps, what about the mini-economies they create?

    It's incredibly short-sighted to think that all government spending is wasteful. Smartly done, proper investment by the government in sound public works projects can do loads to help the economy AND protect our nation's treasures.

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    “The Everglades has alligators, bear, panthers (though not many), poisonous snakes, dangerous wild boar, and the potential to run into two legged predators is there too. For the federal government to not allow law abiding citizens to legally do what they may throughout the rest of the parks in Florida is criminal and unconstitutional. This bill is long overdue, but better late than never."

    So-if I read this statement correctly you, joe public, feel you have the right to defend yourself against dangerous nature found occurring, quite naturally, in the parks? If this is true, how do you decide when you need to defend yourself? Do you pull out your gun when careless campers leave food out in the campground and the curious bear comes to investigate? How about when the elks are in rut and they come to close to a public area, or even when a cougar crosses your trail in the backcountry? These situations occur daily in park units across the country and for 99.9% of the cases, you never hear about them because they resolve in a peaceful manner. When they don't resolve peacefully, the investigation often reveals human error (people feeding the animals in Death Valley are then attacked, bears becoming habituated to human garbage become aggressive). When parks make the decision to deal with aggressive animals, its after conditioning, consultation with wildlife experts, and careful consideration. How is the visitor trained to make these decisions?
    Many of these animals, even by your own admission are rare. Let’s not encourage the public, which is often not prepared to deal with the wild megafauna, to shoot first and ask questions later. If the public was being eaten by bears at an alarming rate each year, I would support your argument to arm the public, but with the exception of the bear man movie of a few years ago, I know of no case of visitors being eaten by bears, large cats, or alligators in our national parks.

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Honest people carry firearms for self defense for the same reasons they carry fire extinguishers and first aid kits.

    A handgun lawfully carried for self defense is equivalent to a fire extinguisher or first aid kit. No one claims that a fire extinguisher is a substitute for a fire truck nor a first aid kit for a doctor, and I won't claim my handgun is a substitute for a police officer. But the fire department says to have an extinguisher, and my doctor says to have a first aid kit, because they allow people the opportunity to help themselves while waiting for additional help to arrive. The same is true for a handgun. Police can't be everywhere at once, they will always respond to a violent crime too late to prevent the violence.

    While you can run from a fire, and may be able to 'make-do' till medical aid arrives, if you're caught-up in a violent crime there is no substitute for a handgun. The farther from "civilization" you are the more true that fact becomes.

    Dennis

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Don,

    For starters, there is no record of you submitting a comment to this story yesterday or even the day before. Secondly, I'm afraid you have no First Amendment right to have your comments published here:

    In Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo (1974), the Court unanimously struck down a state law requiring newspapers criticizing political candidates to publish their responses. The state claimed that the law had been passed to ensure press responsibility. Finding that only freedom, and not press responsibility, is mandated by the First Amendment, the Supreme Court ruled that the government may not force newspapers to publish that which they do not desire to publish.

    (You can find the source here.)

    And....

    The First Amendment by its terms applies only to laws enacted by Congress, and not to the actions of private persons.


    (You can find the source here.)

    Now, as to your rights to carry a gun on public lands, in the case of the national park system you don't have that right under current laws and regulations. You do have the right to transport your firearm across a national park, as long as that weapon is stored safely away.

    As for your 2nd Amendment rights, there's much debate over exactly what the 2nd Amendment truly means. Did the founders intend it to mean that states could arm a militia, or that individuals had a right to bear arms? A case that, hopefully, will shed much light on that question currently is before the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    How ironic that a response I posted yesterday in favor of allowing carry in the Parks was not posted here. I stated that many of the arguments against allowing guns in the parks are based on emotions, not fact. I also stated that I disliked being characterized as a Neanderthal or a beer swilling slob because I am a gun owner. I have never mistaken a human being for an elk, a bear or a squirrel as one of the first posters stated has happened to him in a National Forest. The argument that we need to continue the ban on guns in the parks because tourists would stay away from the parks and we would lose millions of dollars of revenue is absolutely mind boggling.

    The parks don't exist to generate revenue. The parks are public land. We have a right that is affirmed by the Constitution and that right is being infringed here. If I want to carry a gun for protection that is my right and my business. The comment about our "nearly useless" gun control laws doing nothing to control violence is absolutely correct. Restrictive gun laws only affect law abiding citizens. If you want to stop violence address the society that causes those problems, not the tools by which that violence is enacted.

    Take a look at Great Britain. Restrictive gun laws did nothing to curb violence so they enacted restrictive laws against edged weapons such as knives and swords. That has done nothing to curb violence. Now they are moving towards banning toy guns! This is insane! Wake up Americans, the problems with our violent society are not caused by guns they are caused by people with no inhibitions against hurting others. But I guess that by banning guns you can feel like you are doing something about the problem.

    The real question is whether or not THESE comments will make it past the censor and get posted. Not only are my 2A rights being infringed, so are my 1A rights!

    Don,
    The non beer swilling, non Neanderthal, hiking, camping, cycling, skiing, shooting on our federal lands enthusiast.

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    "I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The more people are allowed to carry guns, the less safe I feel."

    I hate that you feel this way, but I'm sure you have your reasons.

    Something to consider: I'm sure that we agree that a gun is just a THING, incapable of being GOOD or BAD. I think we also agree that a BAD person with a gun is a BAD thing. Is it too much to extrapolate that just maybe a GOOD guy with a gun is a GOOD thing? Just a thought ....

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Can you not envision a situation in a campground where something similar could happen?

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The more people are allowed to carry guns, the less safe I feel.

    Only in a campground where you continued blathering.

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I don't have a bone to pick in this argument. I'm at once a pacifist, but I'm also an anarchist - so I don't really care about government rights versus privileges. I don't like guns; I don't like hierarchies asserting their power by hording arms in themselves while at the same time denying it of people they control. I don't like any of it on any of the traditional sides of the argument.

    However, I do care a great deal about what's said to be innate.

    When Anonymous writes: "Our right to arm ourself is also inate..."

    What is the argument for saying that? What is the argument for any right whatsoever being innate?

    I wrote a series of essays on John Locke and the influence of his thinking on why there are national parks (forget about what one does in them), and I wrote against the very basis of Locke's thinking, that there is a certain innate right that people have that they cede over to government; that right being what it is, they can do with land as they will. Those for government and against government both seem to accept Locke's basic arguments about natural (innate) rights.

    What gives you reason to believe that there is an innate right to arm oneself?

    And, for those on the other side, what gives government "the right" to stop people from being armed?

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

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Federal/Read.aspx?id=3439

    "in Baltimore County, MD, when a 15-year old kid took his father's legally owned gun and killed him and his entire family?"

    This kid's father stored his gun in an irresponsible manner. Taking MY gun from ME wouldn't have helped here, and it's not what we were talking about. But FYI, my gun is either in my holster or in the lock box.

    This link will get you to the information about the most recent report about guns and crime. Read it for yourself; I won't tell you what it says.

  • U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I live on the edge of the Everglades National Park. It is one of the largest areas in Florida that bans ordinary law abiding citizens from carrying firearms. There are hundreds of thousands of law abiding gun carriers in Florida who walk around everyday without commiting violence. These people are more law abiding than your average citizen without a concealed weapons permit. We must get finger printed, an FBI background check, and several other requirements. To prohibit these people from carrying the same inanimate object while in a national park is without logic.

    I applaud Sen. Coburn and the others for taking a stand for what is right.

    I have had to use a gun to save the life of my infant son from a vicious dog attack while walking down my own street. I live in a nice part of town and the police arrived in less than 5 minutes. Had I been unarmed and waited for the police I could have been seriously injured and my son killed within that five minutes. Far worse could occur while in the secluded vast wilderness of a national park.

    The Everglades has alligators, bear, panthers (though not many), poisonous snakes, dangerous wild boar, and the potential to run into two legged predators is there too. For the federal government to not allow law abiding citizens to legally do what they may throughout the rest of the parks in Florida is criminal and unconstitutional. This bill is long overdue, but better late than never.