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Guns in the National Parks?

I in no way want to take away a person's right to have a gun. But in the National Parks???

My husband worked in the National Park here. There are a lot of pot growers and meth makers. As the park is public land and cannot be traced to any individual owner, it was the perfect set-up. Now, when these people come into the park they can legally carry weapons? In most cases, gun possession was the only thing these people could be charged with, if they were caught. My husband caught several on their way to check their fields. But gun possession in the park was all he could get them on. Now we are going to take away the one thing that rangers have to stop these dangerous people? Signing this bill is tying the hands of rangers and security in our National Parks.

What do you think?


Asked by Anonymous at 11:08 AM on May. 21, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

This question is closed.
Answers (33)
  • I have spent many days and weekends in the National Parks, love the hiking and the camping. I have never felt the need to carry a gun. I have my Swiss Army Knife and it is mostly used for cutting up the veggies for the campfire stew.

    I have had encounters with bears in the park and (as the Ranger said when I told him about it later) showed great judgement in reversing my direction and retreating back to the main trail. I really would be afraid to walk or hike in the park knowing there were crazies out there who had no great knowledge of nature walking around with guns in their backpacks ready and willing to shoot first and check later.

    Having faced the wrong end of a gun several times in my life (during armed robberies and domestic disputes), I have a healthy respect for them and an unhealthy fear of the person carrying them.

    Is the National Park system no longer to be my refuge from the world?

    Answer by tngrandma at 3:30 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • Think of this people camp in the parks where wild bears and such roam.I would like to know while out camping if a wild animal went to attack one of my loved ones I had a fire arm close by.

    Answer by tnmomofive at 11:12 AM on May. 21, 2009

  • Great job. I'll contact you when my husband gets shot by one of you all thinking my ranger husband is a bear.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:19 AM on May. 21, 2009

  • Side note, a handgun is not going to do much to a bear... except make him madder.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:20 AM on May. 21, 2009

  • I am pro-guns 110%. I think that some of the laws should be stricter, HOWEVER A law abiding certified citizen should be allowed to carry a gun ANYWHERE.

    Answer by TippyD at 11:35 AM on May. 21, 2009

  • Would you feel the same way, TippyD, if your child was shot in the National Park because some drug runner didn't want to be caught?

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:39 AM on May. 21, 2009

  • A handgun is not going to do much to a bear, but if one of those pot-growers or meth-cookers tries to mess with a member of my family, a handgun will sure help in dealing with him. The drug farmers that set up their growing operations in the National Forests are not your peaceful hippy, 6 plant growers of years past. These are armed, vicious thugs protecting a crop worth millions, and if your 8 year old child wanders into their range, they will not hesitate to take action. They will kill, rob, beat or kidnap ordinary, peaceful, law-abiding citizens for any reason or no reason at all. I don't think that letting ordinary civilians carry personal protection in the forests is going to be a problem. They are not going to be firing blindly into the dark. The second rule of handgun safety is to SEE your target before firing. (And okay, I know city-dwellers get stupid when they get too much fresh air, but not THAT stupid!)

    Answer by pagan_mama at 11:40 AM on May. 21, 2009

  • Thanks pagan-mama for thinking this through a little bit. However, these kinds of incidents typically occur in back-country sites far removed from those areas frequented by the public. That said, people who establish these types of operations often employ a wide range of security measures that are both technically complex and difficult to defeat unless you are a trained law enforcement officer. Thus, what typically happens, is that a person stumbling into these operations finds themselves under threat of not only the person who confronts them but also those that remain in concealed positions. Smart people who go into the back country often learn to negotiate their way out of these situations. However, is someone were to go armed, people who establish meth labs will likely not assume any greater personal risk themselves and may elect to simply shoot intruders rather than scare them off. (con't below)

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:47 AM on May. 21, 2009

  • My dad is a park ranger in Yellowstone every summer for the last 15 years. This is what he said when we discussed it;

    They still have a right to transport firearms across the national parks, either disassembled or out of reach.  (in the trunk of the car) I have been taking a 22 pistol with me to the national parks for years.  I could put the cylinder back in the gun in ten seconds in case of an emergency. 

    Either they are so insecure they need a loaded gun in their pocket at all times, or it's just a first step toward legalizing shootine and hunting in the National Parks.


    Answer by Friday at 11:49 AM on May. 21, 2009

  • In contrast to the back country experience, this law also enables people to maintain concealed firearms in crowded, campgrounds and picnic areas. In such an environment, not only do you have to see your target, you have to have perfect knowledge of what is beyond it. Typically this background consists of vacationing families and their children. In these environments law enforcement presence is pervasive and thorough. These people are trained to de-escalate these situations before they ever reach a point of violence. Legalizing the carry of firearms in these areas means they have to be able to more rapidly respond and more quickly intervene in even the most minor disputes. This draws more rangers away from the back-country and into these more crowded areas. By legalizing the carry of firearms in National Parks you're not only increasing the risk to visitors and rangers alike but you're increasing the financial burden... (con't)

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:51 AM on May. 21, 2009