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I feel so much safer now

chipmunkcrosshairsOur dear lame-duck president just can’t seem to rein in his sneaky, backdoor impulses. I guess it would be too obvious for him to step up like the president he still is and do something really public, like take some action on our sinking economy.

No, he’d rather work behind the scenes, modest SOB that he is. He’s overturning a 25-year-old federal rule that severely restricts loaded guns in national parks. The law takes effect next month, and although its effect will vary somewhat according to state and local laws, it will allow the carrying of loaded guns in our national parks.

Not surprisingly, the change was supported by National Rifle Association (NRA) proponents. It will be published in the Federal Register early next week and take effect 30 days later, before Obama gets sworn in. Overturning the law after that could take years since it would require the restart of a lengthy rule-making process.

Supporters hail the move as a way to keep park visitors and their families safe. There will, of course, be a greater possibility of gun accidents, stray bullets, poaching, etc., but we don’t want to inconvenience all those gun owners. It was so unreasonable to ask them to unload their firearms and put them in the trunks of their cars.

The parks can be dangerous, I’ll grant you that. All those tourists wandering all over those miles of trails and roads. You never know when one of them might try to mug you right there by the scenic waterfall. Or when one of those elk you were warned away from objects to your presence. Or when you’ll be accosted by an angry bear (the one you weren’t supposed to feed) or a rabid chipmunk grabbing your peanuts.

Yes, I’ll feel much safer the next time I go up to the park, knowing that some rootin’ tootin’ tinhorn behind me is packin’ heat.

By the way, two of the Senators who thought up this little rule change hail from Idaho and Montana. That’s two of the states that were so eager to get gray wolves taken off the endangered species list so they could be hunted. You don’t suppose …

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More about wolves on Pied Type:

4 Comments »

  1. Rabid chipmunks….

    If they {people} feel so threatened at the parks, why don’t they just go stay at a hotel? Personally, I’m terrified of bears and such- wouldn’t catch me hangn’ out where they wander freely- I’m not going to go buy a gun and get a license so I can get near them. They have zoo’s for that! Just my own personal opinion.

    And Bush, what a major turd.
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    I don’t know why the existing laws weren’t good enough for these people. You can’t legally shoot anything in a national park. It’s a PARK, fer cryin’ out loud.

  2. I wouldn’t worry much about your safety being threatened too much. I’ve never seen a mugging in a nationa park, but if so I don’t think a gun ban would have any affect on it.

    However there is a hot debate about allowing hunting in national parks. A perfect example is the out of control pest problem in Estes Park. These pests are not mice or mosquitos. They are elk. The Wapiti have become so overpopulated that they spill over into town, destroying landscaping, disrupting traffic, hurting people. Many meet a violent demise against an automobile. Currently the CO DOW is looking into allowing restricted hunting in The Park. Proponents have been met with resistance from groups who feel for their safety. However, you will not find a safer gun-owner than someone who has taken and passed Colorado’s own Hunter Education Program.

    While I don’t think guns are necessary around the popular tourist areas, I do feel for someone who would carry a gun deep in the wilderness. Not for bear protection (bear “mace” has proven superior to a firearm), but for sustenance. Imagine if you wanted to pack into Yellowstone or Denali on horseback or foot, to live completely self-sufficient for weeks on end, as the earliest mountain men or American Indians did. How would you eat? There is no better method of securing meat for food than with a firearm. National Parks have been designed to serve the citizens of the U.S. The trails are maintained much better than non-park wilderness, allowing deeper penetration with relative ease. Why deny a citizen who wants to recreate the spirit of the early American pioneers, to try to live and survive on his own with nature?

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    In an earlier comment of mine (on one of the posts about gray wolves, as I recall), I mentioned the elk population in RMNP. I came down on the side of those who oppose allowing public hunts in the park. If the herds have to be thinned, let a few hired professionals do it quietly, well away from the public, and give the meat to the poor. Those elk, in normal numbers, are a huge tourist draw both in the park and around Estes. They aren’t there to be hunted.

    I appreciate your love of the back country and don’t oppose your hunting and camping in unpopulated non-park areas. But within the national parks, there are all kinds of enthusiasts — backpackers, climbers, skiers, photographers, etc. — year round. They, too, venture into the back country. Hunting would pose a danger to them.

    Our national parks encompass only a very small percentage of our back country and wilderness areas. Within the parks, the land, the wildlife, and the public are protected. That’s why we have parks (and rangers). There’s more than enough country in which to hunt without going into the parks.

"Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance and intolerance armed with power." ~ Voltaire

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