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Thread: Parks not a natural habitat for guns

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    IN TERMS OF making politicians' knees quiver, or getting Republican administrations to do its bidding, no lobby in America is as armed and dangerous as the National Rifle Association.

    The NRA has drawn a bead on America's scenic treasures.

    It has persuaded Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to propose a "reform" that would allow visitors to pack loaded, concealed firearms in some national parks, wildlife refuges and monuments.

    It shows how even a detested administration can do damage as long as it clings to power.

    The proposal has roused the ire of National Park Service professionals, who manage our scenic, cultural and historical crown jewels, from Alaska's Bering Sea to Florida's Biscayne Bay.

    The NRA argues that the national park experience includes animal attacks, meth labs, even rapes. In such danger zones, people need to pack a piece.

    Government figures show, however, that the chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in a national park is one in 708,333. You are more likely to get struck by lightning.

    In proposing to let visitors pack a piece, Kempthorne has overruled his own park managers and ignored a don't-do-it letter signed by seven former National Park Service directors.

    "Untrained visitors with firearms will be tempted to use firearms when they feel threatened," and opening fire "could result in injury and death to employees and visitors, not to mention wounding of animals," Michael Snyder, the Park Service's Denver regional director, wrote in an April 11 memo.

    It is one thing to shoot your neighbor's dog with a BB gun. But it is quite another to confront a large wild animal.

    Gun-packing visitors would "feel a false sense of empowerment," Snyder warned. In turn, wounded animals would immediately pose a danger to other park visitors.

    Jon Jarvis, the Park Service's Western regional director, was in Seattle this week. He administers 54 units of the park system, from big parks such as Yosemite and Olympic to the campgrounds and boat launches of the Coulee Dam National Recreation Area.

    "We are concerned that a change in the rules will have a negative impact on public safety and natural resources," Jarvis said, sounding like a manager.

    Speaking as one who loves the land, he went on: "If you go up to the meadows at Paradise, you see wildlife, deer and maybe a coyote. The animals know they are safe. If someone takes a potshot, you don't have that kind of experience on public lands.

    "With national parks, we provide a different kind of experience than with other public lands agencies. When you cross that border, and go through the entrance gate, you come in peace. You come to enjoy nature and your public lands."

    Guns are not currently banned. Travelers in parks and refuges must keep weapons "inoperable or packed, cased or stored in a manner that will prevent their heavy use."

    Some units of the park system, such as the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, are open to sport hunting.

    "This is purely and simply a political effort to solve a problem that doesn't exist," said Bill Wade, a former Mount Rainier climbing ranger and head of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.

    As well, the "reform" would create administrative chaos. The proposed rule would apply weapons laws of states in which parks and refuges are located. If people can pack a piece in state parks, they could do likewise in a national park.

    National parks cross state lines. Yellowstone National Park occupies land in three states. Whose laws would apply in Death Valley National Park, California's strict prohibition on carrying loaded guns or Nevada's much more open policy?

    We already have killing fields in, or adjoining, national parks.

    Bob "Action" Jackson used to be backcountry ranger for the Thorofare region at the southeast corner of Yellowstone Park, a remote, gorgeous place.

    Commercial outfitters have virtually taken over adjoining national forest wilderness areas, constructing elaborate camps and catering to wealthy hunters -- promising an elk on three-day pack trips into the backcountry.

    Before he was forced to retire, Jackson revealed that some outfitters were improperly building salt licks to lure elk. In turn, this attracted grizzly bears. Bear kills -- supposedly in self-defense -- soared around Thorofare.

    Allowing hunters to carry loaded weapons into Yellowstone would be an invitation to more killing of animals, grizzly bears and elk that wander back into the supposed sanctuary of the national park.

    Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske and state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Wells have signed a letter opposing the proposed rule. "The NRA and its allies are fanning hysteria by asserting that guns are 'prohibited' in national parks: This is not true," their letter said.

    The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), usually a mellow green group, is up in arms over the pack-your-piece proposal. It is urging park visitors to voice their feelings.

    Even if you normally keep your head down, consider writing. Here's the address: The Honorable Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the Interior, 1849 C Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20240. Or hit NPCA's Web site at npca.org/keep_parks_safe.

    The deadline is Aug. 8.

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/connel...44_joel11.html

    FOR ANYONE WHO HASNT SUBMITTED THIER COMMENTS TO MR. KEMPTHORNE PLEASE DO SO, THE DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED.

    ps: Read the comments, looks like people smell this crap for what it is!

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    Wow, these Anti's sure are scared!

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    The last place anybody needs to be armed is in a park.

    Alone...

    Out of the view of others...

    Where no one can hear you scream...

    Where your corpse will rot for weeks while the evidence washes away...





    Hmm. Come to think of it, maybe being armed under those circumstances isn't such a bad idea.

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    If National Parks are so safe, why is a Park Ranger 12 times more likely to be killed in an Assault than an FBI agent?

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    "the chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in a national park is one in 708,333"

    Just because the statistic is that large,I don't know for sure that I won't be the one, so I would want to be prepared.

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    Jay Webster: supervises law enforcement rangers in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie and Olympic national forests

    Webster quote:

    "If it happens in downtown Seattle, it happens in the forest. We have gang activity, a lot of drugs, alcohol violations, traffic violations."

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    Regular Member ghosthunter's Avatar
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    Heck what about the two ladies killed up near Verlot in the National Forest. They still have not solved that case. These folks worry about stuff that will never happen. They do not understand that we will notpurposely break the the law because we love our guns to much. And do not want to loose our rights.

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    I love the hysteria by idiots like Connelly. We don't commit crimes anywhere else in the country, but if they let us into the national parks we will turn into the Cosa Nostra, killing everything in sight.


    The NRA issued a release recently about the extension of the comment period. It is their considered opinion that the extension, which was requested by some anti-gun Congressmen, is designed to give the antis time to ramp up their letter writing effort. If you haven't submitted a comment yet, now would be a good time.

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    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    OMG!

    Think of Antietam or Gettysburg.

    How many people have died in those national parks in the last 150 years as a DIRECT result of firearms?! Tens of thousands AT LEAST! It's like a battlefield out there..
    Evangelical lessons are provided upon request. Anyone wishing to meet Jesus can just kick in my door.

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    mrayrobinson wrote:
    "the chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in a national park is one in 708,333"

    Just because the statistic is that large,I don't know for sure that I won't be the one, so I would want to be prepared.
    On top of that number there are all kinds of critters in the most National Parks (at least out west)that can harm you or even eat you.

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    Bear 45/70 wrote:
    mrayrobinson wrote:
    "the chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in a national park is one in 708,333"

    Just because the statistic is that large,I don't know for sure that I won't be the one, so I would want to be prepared.
    On top of that number there are all kinds of critters in the most National Parks (at least out west)that can harm you or even eat you.
    But the article says we should leave them alone and let them go about thier business so others can be eaten by.....errrr I mean enjoy them.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    joeroket wrote:
    Bear 45/70 wrote:
    mrayrobinson wrote:
    "the chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in a national park is one in 708,333"

    Just because the statistic is that large,I don't know for sure that I won't be the one, so I would want to be prepared.
    On top of that number there are all kinds of critters in the most National Parks (at least out west)that can harm you or even eat you.
    But the article says we should leave them alone and let them go about thier business so others can be eaten by.....errrr I mean enjoy them.
    I've seen a black bear attack and it took 30+ rounds from 357s, 30-30s, a 35 Remington and a 44 Magnum. She was highly pissed and we were all on horse back, well the rest were. At the first shot my horse went nuts and my butt hit the dense brush that I didn't get out of until it was over.

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    Bear 45/70 wrote:
    joeroket wrote:
    Bear 45/70 wrote:
    mrayrobinson wrote:
    "the chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in a national park is one in 708,333"

    Just because the statistic is that large,I don't know for sure that I won't be the one, so I would want to be prepared.
    On top of that number there are all kinds of critters in the most National Parks (at least out west)that can harm you or even eat you.
    But the article says we should leave them alone and let them go about thier business so others can be eaten by.....errrr I mean enjoy them.
    I've seen a black bear attack and it took 30+ rounds from 357s, 30-30s, a 35 Remington and a 44 Magnum. She was highly pissed and we were all on horse back, well the rest were. At the first shot my horse went nuts and my butt hit the dense brush that I didn't get out of until it was over.
    And had you been in a Nat'l Park I am sure someone from your party would not be here today. Exactly the reason the regulation and the arguments to keep it are absolutely moronic.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    I am much more concerned with the 2 legged animals in National Parks than with the 4 legged variety and think it 1,000's of times more likely that I would need to shoot one of the former rather than the latter.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    deepdiver wrote:
    I am much more concerned with the 2 legged animals in National Parks than with the 4 legged variety and think it 1,000's of times more likely that I would need to shoot one of the former rather than the latter.
    +1 on the 2-legged predators.

    If one's chances of being a victim in a National Park are so low then:

    Why do they arm the Park Rangers?

    Why is there such a great INCREASE in Violent Crime in the Parks?




    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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