Parks officials urge lawmakers: Keep gun ban

Parks officials urge lawmakers: Keep gun ban

This is a discussion on Parks officials urge lawmakers: Keep gun ban within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Tulsa World: Parks officials urge lawmakers: Keep gun ban By JIM MYERS World Washington Bureau 2/7/2008 WASHINGTON -- Park rangers warned that a move to ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Dihappy's Avatar
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    Parks officials urge lawmakers: Keep gun ban

    Tulsa World: Parks officials urge lawmakers: Keep gun ban

    By JIM MYERS World Washington Bureau
    2/7/2008

    WASHINGTON -- Park rangers warned that a move to drop a ban on carrying loaded guns into national parks -- backed by Oklahoma's two U.S. senators -- could degrade experiences for visitors, pose a safety risk and hurt efforts to crack down on illegal activity such as poaching.

    Although almost half of the U.S. Senate supports doing away with the current policy, critics are zeroing in on an expected amendment by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

    "There is simply no legitimate or substantive reason for a thoughtful sportsman or gun owner to carry a loaded gun in a national park unless that park permits huntSEE ing," stated a letter urging senators to vote against the Coburn amendment.

    "The requirement that guns in parks are unloaded and put away is a reasonable and limited restriction to facilitate legitimate purposes -- the protection of precious park resources and safety of visitors."

    Dated Feb. 1, the letter was sent by the Association of Na tional Park Rangers of Golden, Colo.; the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees of Tucson, Ariz.; and U.S. Park Rangers Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police of Twain Harte, Calif.

    In a separate statement,
    the park rangers' association also pointed out that guns are banned from other government sites, including the Senate offices.

    Coburn declined to comment.

    He and fellow Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe joined 45 other senators, including eight Democrats, in signing a Dec. 14 letter to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to have the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service drop their current policies.

    "We appeal to you on this matter in the interest of Sec ond Amendment rights and consistency in firearms policy across federal public land management agencies," their letter stated.

    "These regulations infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners, who wish to transport and carry firearms on or across these lands."

    They also pointed out the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service have different policies on transporting firearms across the federal lands they regulate.

    "These inconsistencies in firearms regulations for public lands are confusing, burdensome, and unnecessary," they wrote.

    Kempthorne, a former U.S. senator and governor from Idaho, has not responded.

    "We are reviewing the letter," said Chris Paolino, an agency spokesman.

    Paolino believes the National Park Service's policy, which allows guns in parks as long as they are not readily accessible and not ready to be fired, dates back to the Reagan administration.

    Policies at the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management do vary, he said.

    While not mentioning Coburn's amendment specifically, a second letter signed by The Wilderness Society, Campaign for America's Wilderness, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and U.S. Public Interest Research Group also urged senators to oppose any amendment that would weaken the legislation on public lands.
    "...trying to get a long gun into play while someone is all over you like a monkey eating a cupcake is not very conducive to good survival techniques." ~Bark'n


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    All of that rationalization simply places the highest value on the animals and visitors' gleeful experience ... at the expense of legitimate self-defense. IMO, that's not an exchange they can make. People found to be hunting animals can be prosecuted severely. But when folks have no viable means to protect themselves against felonious attack, people found to be hunting other two-legged innocents have no reason to stop their crimes. Same as anywhere else, the criminals are already ignoring the ban and upstanding people are simply disarmed.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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  3. #3
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    Hard to put my thoughts much better than ccw9mm already has.

    Assessment of ''risk'' is as ever far from logical, or even sensible .. all part of the anti mind set.
    Chris - P95
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    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    ANPR: 1 more organization opposing self-defense...

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    My views on self defense are about as permissive as can be, except for National Parks.

    Carry if you wish, but I am one of those who really does have a problem with carrying in a place where the natural instinct is to go into 'hunt mode'.

    I am not against hunting - in lawful areas, the sport has its rightful place in the giant scheme of things.

    I hope no one takes my view as a personal attack, that is not what I am trying to convey. In fact, I would gladly walk with anyone on this board in an urban setting, even into a shopping mall.

    But there is just something about guns and the great-out-doors that tends to give me pause. It just seems too likely that someone will use a weapon on a buck/bear/bison because 'it was getting too close to the kids'.

    If I were to support the CCW in the parks it would be with the understanding that the punishment for use of a weapon in the National Parks ought to be as severe as what would happen if the same person brandished a weapon on a crowded school grounds.

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    VIP Member Array glock27mark's Avatar
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    i'd support ccw in national parks for the same reason to have one
    just being in a city. self defense. bg's are everywhere. if poaching
    isall thier can come up with,thats pretty sad. same thing can happen
    in the parks as there do in the city. robbed,raped,or worse killed.
    poachers are just as bad as most crimes anywhere else.
    as far as bears,wolves,or whatever theres a big differance between
    poaching and defending yourself andfamily.
    (SHERIFF BUFORD T. JUSTICE) "what the hell is
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    I was born and raised in Colorado, and have spent a majority of my life in the mountains.

    I have encountered every natural predator and territorial grass eaters (Elk, Deer, Moose) to Colorado with the exception of a bear, and have had no problems. I own 10 acres on Gore Pass, where we do have a serious Bear problem (stupid property owners leaving trash and food outside - out of the 15 cabins in our section, ours is the only one that has not been broken into and trashed by a bear, only hunters x3 )

    CC carriers are going to have enough common sense to NOT walk up to an animal to pet it or put little jimmy on its back for a cute picture.

    I concur that the letter from the rangers reads just like a Brady Bunch flock. The law does not stop poachers now, I don't see an increase happening.

    Now the very limited attacks on the campers by the wildlife due to their poor judgment in food storage or camping locations may result in a few shootings, and should be handled the same as they do in urban areas when it happens. Did the shooter exhaust all other attempts to deter the critter - yell, fire, make lots of noise, throw rocks or other blunt objects... BEFORE the gun came out?
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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    Senior Member Array allenruger's Avatar
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    It seems to me on this matter that people are ranking animals higher than humans. Animals are not my equal. I love to take my kayak out and enjoy mother nature but concerns for my well being FAR outweigh a possible scenerio where one animal MAY be harmed in the next 10 years. I have been an avid hunter my entire life and I think that as a concealed weapons permit holder I am quite able to "control the urge" to blast away at an animal. This is so ridiculous in my opinion. Those of us that have followed the law to the letter to obtain and keep our CCW know that the first rule is to not put yourself into dangerous situations. We do this each and every single day. Why would be do it in a park? There is no one that is going to be able to convince me that individuals are "safer" in the park without weapons there. I live in the country and have coyotes, deer, raccoons and other wildlife constantly running through my backyard. But you know what? NOT ONCE have I ever felt "threatened" by any of these creatures. But I guess if I went to a nearby park that my mentality would suddenly change. Would someone please explain to me the big difference between carrying a firearm in Wal-Mart and carrying one in a natural setting??? Geez! This topic really irritates me.
    Allen

    -"I may get killed with my own gun, but he's gonna have to beat me to death with it, 'cause it's going to be empty." -Clint Smith

  9. #9
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    My views on self defense are about as permissive as can be, except for National Parks.
    That makes about at much sense as the views of those that are anti-personal defense.

    Just how exactly are CONCEALED handguns going to ruin your park experience?

    Carry if you wish, but I am one of those who really does have a problem with carrying in a place where the natural instinct is to go into 'hunt mode'
    You don't hunt do you? You are assuming that because I do, every animal that I see is in danger from my concealed .45. I take that as a personal attack.

    On one hand you say
    Carry if you wish
    but on the other hand you say
    there is just something about guns and the great-out-doors that tends to give me pause
    .

    Are you one of those that could care less that we must be defenseless just because we are walking around in a park? If you are, just come out and say that my life has value everywhere but in a park, and quit beating around the bush.

    Please, elaborate, because I am having a very hard time understanding your thought process.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array SpringerXD's Avatar
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    If an animal presents a legitimate threat to a human life and every possible alternative is exhausted, then shoot the damned thing! I guarantee you I would shoot a bear if I saw no other way to get my kids safely away from it. I don't care how endangered it is. I would make every possible effort to avoid this, but sometimes there's no way out.

    I say let's drop the stupid and unnecessary gun restriction, but let them put the strictest animal-endangerment laws they want into action. That should work out just fine.
    "I practice the ancient art of Klik Pao."

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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Carry if you wish, but I am one of those who really does have a problem with carrying in a place where the natural instinct is to go into 'hunt mode'
    I have a problem with being unarmed in the face of any animal that would take a firearm to drop, should it attack me. We're biped. We're not immortal. Wishing for no suitable firearm when a mad bear prefers you elsewhere ... now, if that doesn't change the tune, I don't know what else will. BTDT, with only my conscience and wringing hands. That was the last time. Never again will I go into the back country unarmed like that. It can be, literally, taking your life into your hands and serving it up with chips.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpringerXD View Post
    I say let's drop the stupid and unnecessary gun restriction, but let them put the strictest animal-endangerment laws they want into action.
    The silly thing is, the "animal" endangerment laws nicely exclude bipeds, in the mistaken belief we're all-powerful. Nothing could be further from the truth, in the back country, being the soft, weak edible morsels that we are.

    Agreed, on all points. The laws crucifying people for having the gall to take control of their own self-defense and security is just as ludicrous in the woods as anywhere else.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Array BlackPR's Avatar
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    One of the ANPR and NPS's main stands is that National Parks are safe. Anyone even hinting otherwise is presented with the "300 million" calculation. It goes like this:

    "Our National Parks had over 300 million visitors last year. When you look at violent crime in the parks, the percentage of people who are victims to such crime is much lower than any city anywhere!"

    This is deeply flawed, and here's why:

    1. The statistic cannot be compared to a city. Since "visitors to national parks" include people who have visited for 1 minute, or 1 week. Whereas statistics for towns include people who live there 365 days per year. Many people even commute THROUGH National Parks and are counted in this overall "300 million" number. If I take any small town an on interstate highway I can easily exceed the claim of "300 million visitors and virtually no crime!" It's an absurd number with no real-world meaning.

    2. The statistic fails to account for population density. If you were to compare the crime in parks to crime in a region with similar population density, the national parks come out on the losing end of the deal.

    3. At least some of the crime is organized crime. By the very admission of the NPS and some of the people who are attempting to block gun ownership. Drug Cartels and illegal alien smugglers are setting up shop in the largest "Gun Free Zones" in the US. It's working out well for them, at least one National Park in California has no rangers at all, and no agreements with state law enforcement to pick up the slack.

    4. The "safety myth" fails to take into account response time in an emergency. In my neighborhood, I have a much higher density of population, but it remains safer -- in part because there is a reasonable law-enforcement to citizen ratio. In a national park, it's 100,000 people for every ranger, and that ranger may have hundreds of square miles to cover. You think calling 911 at home takes a long time?

    The NPS and the ANPR depend on this image of safety to keep the people coming. While they are telling us it's safe for visitors, they are at the same time lobbying congress for more money for rangers and busily pointing out that Park Ranger is the most dangerous federal law enforcement job. A ranger is 12 times more likely to be injured or killed by crime than an FBI agent. How can the National Parks be *so safe* for you and me and yet, so dangerous for Rangers?

    The answer is simple: False Advertising.
    The facts are indisputable. There is more data supporting the benefits of Conceal Carry than there is supporting global warming. If you choose ignorance, in light of all the evidence, in order to bolster your irrational fear of guns, you are a greater threat to society than any gun owner.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPR View Post
    1. The statistic cannot be compared to a city. Since "visitors to national parks" include people who have visited for 1 minute, or 1 week. Whereas statistics for towns include people who live there 365 days per year.
    The number of vehicles on a highway doesn't accurately indicate the true likelihood of a crash. Vehicle-miles, though, does give a more accurate picture of the probability of having a crash on a given mile. Filter by highway, city road, back road, etc, and then you have a clearer picture of the risk.

    Likewise, visitor-minutes would closer to the reality. For any given minute, what would the risk be? A person staying a minute would have nearly no risk, whereas a person staying a season in the woods would have (1sec x60sec x60min x24hour x90days =) ~7.8 million times the exposure of that first (1min) person, and that in wilder surroundings. Filter for lodge, parking lot, highway, forest road, logging trail, foot trail and wild lands, and you'd get a far more accurate picture of the relative risk. In such a model, many are, indeed, at far greater risk than advertised.

    As a rough estimate, based on a dozen backcountry trips to the areas around Yosemite, Lassen and the northern Calif. Coast Range, I'd estimate an afternoon's walk to have one-thousandth of the risk relative to a week off the trails. Been chased by bears, had them tear into my tent, had a cougar eyeing the party, had a badger get ornery. All of this holds risk that someone who "flies" an office chair can't fathom.

    As suggested, be mindful of the source. The NPS has one goal: to keep visitors coming back. Can't be doing that if Smokey Bear's got a hankerin' for buttock, tonight.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    I have hiked in the desert southwest a number of times, and have been warned by everyone EXCEPT the park service about criminals in the back country. The Superstition mountains are said to be particularly bad. This letter also strikes me as being eerily similar to the police opposition in pre-CCW states and the anti's "blood will run in the streets".

  15. #15
    Member Array PeterCartwright's Avatar
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    The most recent news has 51 senators supporting the request for a change in policy-even Russ Feingold of Wisconsin! Some common sense may prevail after all.

    I wish the paper pushers and policy wonks in government would figure out that "gun free" zones are, by nature, invitations to increased threat of violence.

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