The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

CCWs Allowed In National Parks -The Horror

Posted by Bill Nance on May 21, 2009

Jack Cafferty of CNN asks:

It looks like gun rights advocates are about to score a win with a Democrat in the White House. The House and Senate have now both approved bills that would allow concealed and loaded guns into national parks and wildlife refuges — unless a state law doesn’t allow them.

The measure has been attached to the credit card bill, which is a top priority for President Obama, and could become law this week. The bill passed with the help of moderate Democrats, many of them from the South and Midwest. One of the bill’s supporters, Republican Senator Tom Coburn, says the move isn’t a “gotcha amendment,” but a real step to protect the Second Amendment.

Gun rights groups say the bill will give gun owners the same rights on national park land that they have everywhere else; but they say they don’t want to declare victory until it becomes law.

Meanwhile groups like the Fraternal Order of Police and the Association of National Park Rangers say the bill would increase the risk of poaching and vandalism of park treasures, as well as threats to visitors and staff.

Some Democrats are disappointed in what they see as the success of the gun lobby under a Democratic president and Congress. But aides admit that many Democrats feel pressure to back gun legislation or face political heat from the National Rifle Association. Can you tell there’s a mid-term election around the corner?

Here’s my question to you: Should concealed and loaded guns be allowed in national parks?

My Answer:

This is a small victory, but a victory nonetheless for gun rights.
As an avid backpacker I’ve hiked the John Muir Trail in California, all through the Rocky Mountains and the Tetons via Glacier National Park.

The right to keep and bear arms doesn’t end at a national park. In fact crime does take place there and an unarmed person is utterly at the mercy of a criminal who IS armed, in defiance of any law you care to pass.

Having been treed by a Grizzly and narrowly missed being mauled, I can tell you that a sidearm in many places is not only appropriate, but a common sense precaution.

As with any right, the human right of self defense is not without costs. Newspaper articles like the ones run in the New York Times and Washington Post helped generate support for the gulf war, even in the absence of evidence to support the Bushies’ claims of WMDs and Al Quaeda connections to Iraq. The Hearst newspapers are known to have essentially started the Spanish American War. But no one sane is claiming the right to a free press should be restricted.

I’d far rather live with the costs of a very tiny minority of lawfully licensed CCW holders acting like idiots by shooting up a sign than be the victim of a criminal in a park with no ability to do anything but beg for mercy and hope they aren’t crazy.

Guns aren’t the problem. Criminals are the problem. And my human right to self-defense should no more be restricted by a national park boundary than my right to protest logging, National Park Service policies or any other exercise of basic human rights.

Self-defense and the means of that defense is a human right.


3 Responses to “CCWs Allowed In National Parks -The Horror”

  1. cbrtxus said

    It was never about whether there would be guns in the National Parks. The current rule only requires that a firearm be rendered temporarily useless for self-defense when in a national park. I could do that in a few seconds by separating the slide from the frame. And in about 5 seconds, I could have it back together again.
    It was the honor system. People who are willing to obey the rule were restricted. People who don’t obey such rules were not restricted. The effect of the rule was that criminals still had their weapons. And the rule offered criminals some assurance that their potential prey would be defenseless. It was a stupid rule.

  2. Bill Nance said

    The right of self-defense is predicated upon the ability to use the MEANS of self defense.

    As for your 5-second statement, please explain to me how you plan to disengage a lock on the action of a revolver and render it operational and loaded in 5-seconds, or better yet, how you plan to render a 1911 with the slide removed operational in 5 seconds. Seriously, tell me how to do this cause I wanna know, particularly when there’s a grizzly charging at you or a human predator sticking a gun in your face while his buddy rapes your wife in the tent knowing you’re unarmed and helpless.

    That’s not just an exaggeration, it’s a ridiculous one.

    A ready, accessible firearm is a human right. Period.

    • C. Bruce Richardson Jr. said

      Bill, I was looking through some old links and discovered your response. If you are still around, my apologies. I think that you misunderstood me. I was all for doing away with the rule because it really only restricted people who would obey the rule. Not people who don’t obey laws or rules.
      I have a carry permit in Texas. I carry my Glock 19 most of the time. We can carry in the State Capitol with the license. Just between us, I also carried it Big Bend. It wasn’t the cougars or bears that worried me. As for the 5-second statement, I was only talking about my Glock. And yes. I can have the slide separated from the frame in 5 seconds. I can have it back together in 5 seconds. So it wasn’t an exaggeration. I haven’t tried it with a grizzly charging. 🙂 My point was even if they searched a criminals car, found the gun, and it was apart, they would have to wave him through. And in a matter of seconds, his weapon could be operational. It was a stupid rule.
      The rule has been gone for a while now and we don’t see what the anti-gun folks were predicting.

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