Recent comments

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    The point has been made that a gun probably won't protect me from a bear. I don't carry because of the bears. I carry for the same reason John Steadham carries: to protect myself and my loved ones. My primary concern is to encounter a snake, either the kind that slither, or the kind on two legs.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago
  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    One carries a gun in a park for the same reason one carries it anywhere else . To protect yourself and loved ones. not just to kill something.......DUH

  • Senators' Letter to Open National Parks to Concealed Weapons   6 years 29 weeks ago

    My wife and I have camped at Acadia National Park in Maine, 12 of the past 15 years. We have never encountered a "derelict" nor any other campers strolling about, packing their weapons. Both facts make us feel happy and secure. Packing a weapon is a sign of insecurity. Think about it.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Eric,
    I will! It will be Olympic National Park this summer (err if the snow ever melts!). What an awesome place.
    I actually saw a black bear two years ago. I was disapointed in the picture (I prefer shooting wildlife with a camera for sure.) But he was just too far away.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Thanks RonC, It will be interesting to see how all of this unfolds, above all have fun and enjoy the wonders of our beautiful National Parks as I will continue to do no matter what happens!

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Here is the original petition....

    http://www.vcdl.org/pdf/VCDLPRM_010408.pdf

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Eric,
    I was not trying to ge personal. My attempt at a little humor I guess did not come across well and for that I apologize (You have heard that bear joke right?).

    We can certainly agree to disagree but if it is legal to hike with a sidearm, then I will. If it required to be concealed, then nobody will ever see it. That being said, when I hike "with the guys", I am less likely to carry. With my family, then very likely. Will I ever need it? 99.9% says I will never evetr need it. We all know that. But the for the 0.1% chance I would rather have the sidearm than not. I have never in my life needed it and hope I never do. The implications are huge.

    I believe that most people who will carry will do so on the backcountry. That is where I would like to have the option. As for a bad guy havaing a gun in the backcountry, remember they are a bad-buy and they do not care. They will have them regardless. The law abiding people are the ones that will not carry if illegal and are then defenselss. As for bears and such. Well they don't care I guess. They are usually afraid of us, unless it is a momma bear.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    RonC, Why get personal? I don't have an 8 year old daughter, I do have one on the way and I would not take her where I was, An 8 year old probably would not be able to. The picnic table remark was from another persons post, I used as an exagerated example. why am I curious about you carrying in a NP? Because you stated earlier "How many times do you think somebody has brought in a gun illegaly into a NP and you did not know it?" What was I thinking, who would admit it anyway? Right? Let's just agree to disagree and keep it civil, you don't know me and I don't know you. If you really think I would run past my daughter(to be) to save myself, well, you are just grasping for some way to argue about this. I don't think I have taken any personal shot's at you, if I have I apologize, that is not what this is about. It is about expressing how each person feels about the situation. I don't make up stories about my experiences, I don't need to impress you or anyone else. I enjoy this forum and the comments made by the people here. I think we all may learn something, YES even you and I from these discussions as long as they don't get personal and nasty. I too carried Bear spray and yes I was lucky it worked, as for the tree, I was young and inexperienced at the time. We all have our opinions and that is why we are here.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Bear spray says it all! If you miss your shot buddy with a hand gun against a full charging bear...you're mince-meat! At least with bear spray you don't shoot your buddy by mistake in a panic attack.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Hey NoGunsInParks, I carry bear spray!

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    From the Brady Campaign web site:

    In many states, statutory requirements are minimal and do not go much beyond the Federal Brady Law requirements for purchasing firearms – meaning that some people get CCW permits despite criminal convictions for violent or drug-related misdemeanors. Training requirements are extremely lax in many states or do not even require a licensee to prove that he or she knows how to load, fire, or store a firearm.

    Bear spray is more effective than guns:

    http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/pepper-spray-viable-alternative-guns-deterring-bears-15736.html

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Eric,
    Well it is your choice to not carry. Good for you. I desire to carry, good for me. I think I implied strongly in my earlier post that I do not carry when it is illegal. I only carry when it is lawful.

    Your fear, it appears is that somebody is pull the gun and shoot over a picnic table. I suppose it could happen but then if so, it will happen illegally, will it not? For all the gun free zones we have, where are the most problems....gun free zones. Virginia tech is a gun free zone. You might also note that states that have a CCW law have seen no increase in violent crimes or decreases. That is a fact. So again I believe you are fearful of a non issue.

    You say you have been charged by a bear in Montana. What would you have done if you had your eight year old daughter with you? Oh yea I guess she is slower than you.....You just have to be faster than her! Also if you got that close to a bear, I would say you are quite irresponsible, and should know better, and remember bears can climb trees better than you. You were simply lucky. You also made my point.

    I do find it interesting that you wanted to know if I carry illegally. Why?

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I have yet to hear a good reason to carry fire arm in a NP. As for being fearful, I for one am not, I don't have a reason to carry a fire arm in the NP's. It seems the ones who feel they have to carry a fire arm are the ones who are fearful. As for how many people have carried fire arms illegaly into NP's who knows? RonC, Have you illegaly carried a fire arm into a NP? When some "responsible" Moron with a gun shoots someone or an animal because of fear, or overthe use of a picnic table or a campsite. Then what? An apology? Too late. Sorry I just don't see it, it makes no sense to me. I'm not against guns, I used to hunt, I just choose not to now. So until someone comes up with a rock solid reason for this I say its nonsense. I have been charged by a bear in Montana, and treed by a bear in Minnesota, no gun, just common sense and learning the do's and don'ts while in the backcountry, millions of people do it every day in the NP's without guns. So...

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Anon, First drinking and carrying concealed is another no-no. If you carry , you cannot drink. Although I do not know every state law, you can be certain that law is on every state book. A CCW holder WILL lose his permit and go to jail. There are drunks everywhere, even in national parks, but you are still willing to drive a car on the road even if you know there might be drunk on the road and how many people die every day from drunk drivers?

    Eric, I suppose you are going to find morons everywhere. However that fella very likely broke the law. You should have called the police for brandishing. Again there will always be exceptions to the rule. How many times do you think somebody has brought in a gun illegally into a NP and you did not know it? But you still are willing to go in aren't you?

    For all of you fearful of this rule, I don't think you will ever see a gun, or even know about it. It will be a non issue.

    As for myself, I hope the change the rule to allow CCW holders to carry open. Why? Because frankly when hiking, it is more comfortable to carry with a thigh holder. Will I ever take a shot at wildlife? Of course not, unless that wildlife is going to make me the main course.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Mike M. , No one? I beg to differ. I was standing in line at a Longs drug Store just 2 days ago and what do I hear from the (for lack of better words) IDIOT in front of me? "Ya, its cool to be able to carry a gun, we used to go back in the hills here and shoot birds and squirrels." He then showed the clerk his permit and flashed his waist with his gun. And to top it all off he said " And sometimes a couple of Mexicans just to keep things right"!!!!!!!!!!! So Mike M. You tell me, NO ONE?! This guy was a bit older than me (43). I sure don't want this IDIOT in any National Park that I would go to! Would you? I think not, if you would not mind this, I would not want you to be in the parks either.

  • Charismatic Marine Fauna   6 years 29 weeks ago

    It's so sad that the coral reefs providing vital habitat for this gorgeous fish and a host of other marine species are being destroyed or degraded all over the world at an alarming rate. The reef losses have reached critical levels in many areas, leaving us to wonder if some of the affected species may soon be wiped out completely. Biscayne, Dry Tortugas, Virgin Islands, and our other marine national parks are not immune to these problems.

  • National Parks Traveler Launches User Forums   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Kurt--

    I just spent a week in Nicaragua facilitating a training course for Nicaraguan rangers and others who share in protecting this country's protected area system. Here's a question for our fellow NPT colleagues. Leaving, for a moment, the US outside this question, in what country have Traveler members found the rangers (or whatever that country calles them whether it be wardens, or park guards, or environmental agents) most knowledgable and well trained? And while they are at it, maybe NPT respondents could also list their five favorite national parks or protected areas outside the US.

    Thanks,

    Rick Smith

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Anon - I totally see your point of view and understand your concerns about bears and other humans, but bear with me here...

    *In many of the eastern parks, such as Congaree or Acadia, the chances of you running across any animal that will attack is slim to none, so in some park units, that argument is pretty much invalid.

    *In places like Great Smokies, Yellowstone, etc where there are lots of people in small spaces, people become irritated very quickly. Last summer, I was at Cades Cove in the Smokies and watched two grown men literally fight each other over a picnic table. A ranger had to be called in, and it was later found that the instigator of the mishap was drunk. Imagine if he had a concealed gun!

    As long as there are drunk rednecks in our parks stirring up trouble (and they'll always be there), I don't want guns in the parks. They would make me feel unsafe and in danger.

  • Congressman Introduces Legislation To Double The Size of Big Thicket National Preserve   6 years 29 weeks ago

    WOOO! Thanks to Mr. Brady for his leadership. BITH is certainly a special place, and unique in the park system.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    With all due respect, as a CCW holder, I welcome the regulations. You seem to be afraid of the possibility of somebody using their gun to settle an argument. Frankly, to get a CCW permit you have to go through a background check. These are not just some willy-nilly morons carrying guns. Problems with CCW holders are few and far between. In fact if you think about it, a CCW holder has to typically go through some amount of training and must have a squeaky clean record. Why would that same person pull his gun to get a camp spot? It makes no sense. CCW holders are held up to a higher standard and would immediately lose the permit and land in jail.

    For myself, I hike with my eight year old daughter. I do not take her into the NP because I cannot carry there (see I still follow the law). We hike in the national forest. I truly believe all the hoopla is for nothing and time will prove that. In any case I want protection in the case of a bear attack or human attack when hiking with my daughter. It is that simple and I should have that right.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    No, people aren't equating firearms and a segment of American history. People are correlating questionable judgment by those who think "firearms first" as a defense against whatever it is you think you're defending yourself against. I haven't seen one item in any of these threads that questions the "preparations" gun owners say are so rigorous to obtain permits. Personally, I didn't think it so difficult. That of course is in the eye of the beholder, and it sounds like a rock-solid position from which to preach. For all the alleged gun-handling skills the permit holders possess, I am more than mildly uneasy with their eagerness to "protect me and my family", as if you would be more accessible that the rangers who you always admit a "miles away", and as if we'd be totally helpless without such aid. If only you knew......

    Trained peace officers are schooled to draw weapons as a last, NOT FIRST resort to diffuse highly charged situations. For all your gun-related training, you lack the psychological training, ability to assess situations and make the proper choice in peaceful resolution of conflict. The willingness to use deadly force places you on the same platform with the "real criminals", not at all equal to those trained in managing chaotic circumstances. More firearms simply does not equate to an environment that is more sanitized, it only serves to heighten the probability of a deadly outcome. Bad guy or good guy, dead is dead. I've seen the statistics on crime in the parks and I'm not impressed. Growing up in a major metropolitan area I'm at more risk waking up every morning and driving to work than I'll EVER be while backcountry backpacking in the NPS.

    Maybe the pro-gun contingent should start a letter writing campaign to Mayor Richard J. Daley in Chicago, what with all the gun-related killing of teenagers, public school students dying at the rate of 1 every week, 150 pound cougars roaming the streets, how could ANYBODY feel safe living there without a concealed carry permit?

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Ok Mr M, lets put you on the hotseat for once, since you think we're all over-reacting once again. Lets ask you a simple question. Do you think there are going to be people who don't give a damn about wether or not you have to have a concealed weapons permit to carry a gun and bring them into the park? YES there will be. So your argument is one sided of course. You're talking about the SMALL percentage of the population that has a consciensce and does act responsibly when it comes to firearms. Unfortunately the entire population out there doesn't fall into this category, so your defense of this bill based on the small percentage of people who actually HAVE a permit is weak. There will be twice as many people who will see this bill as an open door to bring guns into the park and won't read or care or even know about the fine print about permits. THOSE are the idiots we are worried about. If the coalition that spoke out about this bill has worries about individuals shooting off their weapons "wild west style", then isn't it reasonable to think that the rest of us who visit and play in these parks might think the same way?

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    This is as bad as it gets. There is zero reason to carry a concealed weapon in a park. And the argument that it clears up confusion is ludicrous. It creates more. This is an idea that as the Coalition of NPS Retrees says deserves to be shot down.

    Rick Smith

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Appalling! But then, everything that this administration has done in its eight years of ruinous misery is consistent with this insanity. The true responsibility for this lies not with Bush, Cheney, or the NRA, but with the American public for electing, then re-electing these lunatics, and then not having the backbone or ethics to impeach them. Is this really a surprise? Shame on America - we're pathetic.