As usual, “comments are closed” on a CNN blog-story regarding the recent passage of a bill permitting LEGAL PERMIT HOLDERS to carry concealed weapons in state parks.
CNN’s story is as follows:
Should concealed and loaded guns be allowed in national parks?
FROM CNN’s Jack Cafferty:
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?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
What the hell is the matter with people’s heads that this is even at issue? Why would a concealed weapon be needed anywhere, much less in a park? Where my kids may be hiking? Common sense… not so common anymore, is it?
Tom from Dubuque, Iowa writes:
Why, is al Qaeda recruiting grizzly bears? Just what the park rangers need – people with concealed guns running around our parks.
I don’t believe allowing concealed weapons on federal property would increase the risk of criminal activity. People predisposed to do those acts don’t care if it’s legal to carry a concealed weapon. The people who carry concealed weapons legally are less likely to act illegally.
Absolutely not. If these people who carry guns are so afraid to go into our national parks without firearms then they should just stay at home. Our parks are supposed to be places of refuge for both humans and animals. And what will be the NRA’s excuse when the first person is killed in a national park by a stray bullet fired by some drunk idiot with a firearm? That’s the cost of maintaining our freedom? Give me a break.
Hell, yes. People who are legally permitted to carry a concealed weapon should be able to have their gun with them at all times except where they are prohibited… The lawmakers in Washington need to punish the people that break the law, not those of us who play by the rules.
No. Our animals are on the endangered list now. Just wait till some Johnny shoot-first, ask-questions-later arrives in the woods armed to the hilt and comes across a bear. The bear will be dead. Only the park ranger should be armed.
Concealed and loaded amendments shouldn’t be allowed in completely unrelated bills.
My Response would have been:
OF COURSE THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED IN NATIONAL PARKS!
You have to keep in mind that people who hold concealed weapons permits ARE NOT CRIMINALS – if they were, they wouldn’t have the permits in the first place. Furthermore, in almost all states that allow concealed-carry, you have to have some kind of firearms training, and that training not only covers proper use of your weapon for your own safety, but proper use for the safety of others. For example (and this is pretty common-sense anyway), you don’t shoot at something without knowing what is behind it and what that ‘something’ is.
Currently concealed-permit holders in their own states (and states with reciprocity laws) can have their gun with them at the grocery store, in the city park, in their car, at work, etc … and you’d never know it because as people trained in the proper use of a firearm don’t walk around brandishing it to look “cool”.
It makes no sense for someone licensed to carry in the state of Montana, for example, to have to pull off the road, disassemble their gun and lock it in a box in the trunk before driving through yellowstone. If they can have their gun on their person in the local mall, why restrict them from having it with them in a wilderness area?
People have to quit falling for that twisted logic that says that making restrictive laws will stop crime. The only people who follow laws are the innocent “law-abiding citizens” – criminals (and terrorists!) could care less. Go to the DOJ’s website and look at the statistics – states and cities with more restrictive gun laws and “gun bans” experience an increase in violent crime per capita when law-abiding folks are no longer permitted to carry, while states and cities which promote citizen ownership of firearms have a vastly lower incidence of violent crime per capita. Gun control = more crime, NOT less.
Now that THAT is out of the way, i am again AMAZED at the rampant ignorance of my fellow americans! The other day i got blasted when i said i thought the law stating that anyone – innocent or guilty – who is on the terrorist watch list (which includes veterans of the iraq war, people who oppose abortion, people unhappy with the government and people who own guns and buy ammo) shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun. HUH? What if the bill was “anyone who has ever been busted smoking pot, protesting without a permit or drinking underage is no longer allowed to have any government handouts”? there would CERTAINLY be an outrage then!
true to form … did you see how under-represented people were (“who made it on the air”) who AGREED that law-abiding americans should be allowed to concealed-carry in parks? Look at the comments tacked onto the opinionated “report”:
– Kathy thinks it’s obvious that people should be running around in the forest where her kids are hiking, waving their six-shooters in the air, firing at anything that moves. (I translated her ignorance into a more-easily digestable thought).
– Tom in Dubuque said something about Al Qaeda and grizzly bears (not sure what he’s getting at), and then the equally mysterious comment that it’s “just what our park rangers need” – a bunch of crazed cowboys waving their pistols in the air, shooting everything that moves (see a trend here?)
– Tori, a more realistic person, says that people who went through all the criminal background checks, training, and paperwork to comply with ridiculously intrusive state and federal laws are probably not the kind who would do something illegal.
– Clay said he believes people who carry concealed weapons do so as security-blankets because they are terrified of the dark, and then proceeds to implicate the NRA in this passage (ignoring all the democrat and republican senators who are not owned by the NRA and who were voted in as the best representatives of their states), and then again mumbles something about drunken cowboys waving their six-shooters in the air, shooting at stars, but with the tragic consequence of a cuddly teddy bear or innocent back-packing, bright-eyed Rockwellian boy scout being shot in the head. hmmm …
– Melissa, another intelligent and logic-based commentor, emphatically says that it’s a great idea to allow law-abiding, cautious, responsible, cool-tempered and trained citizens to carry their firearm ANYWHERE they go, and that lawmakers should focus on punishing criminals rather than law-abiding, upstanding, hard-working citizens.
– Tina let go of the tree she was hugging for a moment to steady herself against the big-bad gun-waving rednecks who want to shoot endangered rattlesnakes, endangered coyotes, endangered cougars, endangered grizzlies, and endangered murderers who hang out in state and national parks, like Ted Bundy and Joesph E Duncan III; and endangered violent marijuana farmers. Tina, with passion and compassion, and probably greasy dreadlocked hair and some burts bees on her hands knows all concealed weapons permit holders are “shoot-first, ask questions later” kinds of people, and the tragic result of anyone but a park ranger bringing a gun into a park is the death of a cute, cuddly bear, like the one that dragged away and killed 11 year old Samuel Ives as he screamed for help.
– Will was only concerned with this bill being added to another bill that was unrelated. He seems to uphold the double standard that allows other unrelated bills (like pay increases for senators) to be tacked on, but when it comes to something involving firearms, heck no! And you know what, “Will”? The relationship between the bills works both ways – those who own firearms and want the gun portion of the bill to pass may not have liked the credit card bill (and i know you’re saying “what’s not to like about it? but trust me – people who haven’t been living on debt aren’t as keen about it as those who have been), but are less likely to complain because they need the gun part to pass.
So there you go. 7 people were permitted to comment on the air, and only two of those permitted were in agreement with the law. Does that mean the majority of americans think this law is a bad idea? NO! It could mean that the comments were filtered (when the supreme court overturned the washington d.c. thing a couple years ago, i was at a park and a news crew came up to us and asked for our opinions. when we all agreed, they turned off their cameras and walked away, saying “that’s what everyone else is saying too.”) – after all, the “right thing to do” in sensationalist, almost-tabloid news is to always disagree with the government. complain about how they’re not doing their jobs right, etc.
It could also be that at that time on a thursday morning, the only people listening to cafferty, or with the freedom to comment, were super rich liberals sitting at home in their lounge chair, or liberals living off welfare. Notice the two pro-gun comments were from women. why? maybe their husbands were at work and they were at home with the kids. Not saying women shouldn’t ever have jobs, but conservatives tend to be more traditional – including the gender role part. Conservatives tend to hold jobs, even if they are low-paying jobs.
Law Enforcement generally supports “concealed carry” laws, and for numerous good reasons. In order to get a concealed carry permit, you can’t have a criminal record. You have to behave! You have to pay $$$ that go into state funds for law enforcement. usually the Sheriff can say who may or may not receive a permit. You have to provide your fingerprints, which makes tracing you to a crime (assuming you ever ‘turned bad’) more easy for LE than it might be to trace a criminal who is an illegal alien or who has never been caught. You have to (in most cases) have some sort of training, and that training makes you a safer shooter than some punk wannabe gang member who lifted his uncles .22
LE cannot always respons promptly. the little boy who died died while his parents were trying to phone a park ranger in the middle of the night, deep in a wilderness area. What if dad had a gun?
People who oppose this law are IGNORANT. They’ve bought into the (inaccurate) anti-gun hysteria, and foolishly believe that all national parks are paved-camping, pay-parking family getaways from 10 am til 5pm. They see ‘concealed carry” as equating to “crazed shoot-in-the-air-while drunk” behavior that is only true IN HOLLYWOOD FILMS (which, as stated before, come from a state so filled with gun restrictions that few residents – especially in liberal ‘pay for a bodygaurd’ hollywood – know anything about firearms outside of the fictional violence they feverishly devour). They don’t realize that at any given moment “out in public”, there’s probably a loaded firearm within 200 feet of them. Why don’t they realize this? because law abiding citizens with a ‘concealed carry’ permit CONCEAL them. Unfortunately, so do criminals …
As also stated above, the only thing these anti-gun laws have done in the past is prohibit the trained, licensed & lawful citizens from carrying their firearms in these parks. The drug-dealing, juvenile delinquents, rapists, wildlife poachers and child murderers have been bringing theirs in all along, and will continue to do so, law or no law. Criminals get most of their gun-training from the movies. Would you rather have a licensed, trained firearms permit holder on the other side of the bush, or some 17 year old kid in baggy pants and a bandana who is just coming off a weekend long meth binge?
Cafferty File: Should guns Be Allowed in national parks? http://caffertyfile.blogs.cnn.com/2009/05/21/should-concealed-and-loaded-guns-be-allowed-in-national-parks/#addcomment
Park Ranger shoots, Kills Wife & Stepchildren: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/13/AR2009021300840.html
Park Rangers May Shoot Female Bison: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-1151016.html
Park Rangers Kill Gray Wolf: http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2009/05/yellowstone-national-park-rangers-kill-habituated-wolf
Park Rangers Under Fire After Bear Kills Boy at Campsite: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/287427/park_officials_under_fire_after_bear.html
Wikipedia: Ted Bundy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Bundy
Wikipedia: Joseph E. Duncan III: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shasta_Groene