Thursday, May 01, 2008

Packing in National Parks, no backpack required

The Bush administration formally proposed today to scrap a longtime ban against bringing loaded weapons into national parks and wildlife areas. Under the plan, individuals could carry a concealed weapon in national parks and wildlife refuges if they are authorized to do so on similar state lands in the state in which the national park or refuge is located. That would free up people to pack heat in Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde, and all the rest of our local parks and monuments. Critics have pointed out that there is no need to carry concealed hand-guns in the parks, since there is so little crime, you're statistically more likely to be hit by lightning than involved in an altercation. Being someone who has never owned a gun, I'm always surprised to see people feel the need to carry one, even where there seems to be little reason. Threads on 14ers.com regularly feature discussions of whether to pack heat on climbs. Opinions swing widely, but the consensus leans toward yes. For what though? Bears? Not really an issue. Banditos? Again, I haven't seen them. Mountain lions? They'll see you before you see them. Go figure.

5 comments:

Snoop D O Double G said...

Great news for me and Dre. We was set to get our wildlife on this sizzumer.

Anonymous said...

As we start getting wolf packs, I'd be more inclined to carry protection, especially in forest areas. I wouldn't worry about it on the fourteeners - way too many people.

So far, I have never carried a gun in over 40 years of wilderness use.

zen said...

People are afraid. That's all there is to it. Their actions mirror their perceptions, but they do not mirror statistical fact.

For a good read check out "The Culture of Fear - Why Americans are Afraid of the Wrong Things" by Barry Glassner, professor of sociology at USC.

Capt Nemo said...

Next they'll let people say really offensive things while in National Parks. That dern pesky Constitution!

Anonymous said...

I saw a young man packing a gun in the Breckenridge parking lot on his way up to ski. What a moron. I suspect he's more concerned about looking like a tough guy than any practical use for a concealed weapon. It's this kind of undisciplined jackass who we need to worry about while out in the wilderness, since he's probably more apt to unholster his weapon and pop off a few rounds just for fun, no matter where he is or who else might be around.