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 CNN - Behind the Scenes: Debating guns in national parks 
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 Post subject: CNN - Behind the Scenes: Debating guns in national parks
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:38 am 
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http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/13/guns.p ... rss_latest

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CHANTILLY, Virginia (CNN) -- I'm at the Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly, Virginia, the biggest gun store in northern Virginia. I'm looking at a holster on the hip of Arsenal's John Summer in which a black .22-caliber Glock pistol sits snugly.

I didn't notice it before because Summer is wearing a large plaid shirt, not tucked in, covering his navy blue polo shirt.

But he sweeps the big shirt back and tells me, "I've been to 7-Eleven, Starbucks -- you can go to Applebee's and have dinner."

"With a gun?" I ask.

"With a gun," he says with a nod.

Summer has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, so he can go to dinner with a gun whenever he wants. He can also wear his gun openly almost any place in Virginia. That's the law.

The next place he may be able to take his loaded, concealed weapon is to a national park. That's because the U.S. Interior Department is considering a proposal from 51 U.S. senators to change its regulations on guns in national parks.

As the law stands, a person can take a gun -- unloaded -- into a national park, but it must be packed away or rendered temporarily inoperable.

The country's 391 national parks, recreation areas, monuments and scenic trails are operated under a single set of regulations by the U.S. Interior Department.

The proposed change would have the parks adopt the gun laws of the state in which they are located. This means a person would be able to take a loaded, concealed weapon into a national park if he or she holds a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon in a given state and as long as they would be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in that state's parks.

Summer tells me that's a good idea. In some national parks out west "you could flat out dead sprint for an hour and never see another human being -- except maybe a drug dealer," he says, "in which case he's probably got a gun."

Gregory Hylinski, a gun owner from Connecticut visiting a friend, tells me there's another reason for guns in national parks: "It's important for people to be able to protect themselves at all times and in all places even from wild animal attacks."

When Maureen Finnerty hears warning like that she gives an exasperated shrug.

Finnerty and I are walking down a path in the woods not far from her house. She worked for 31 years with the National Park Service, including six years as Associate Director of Park Operations in Washington.

"Right now parks are very safe, they're very safe places to take your family," she tells me. "Our crime statistics are very, very low and you put loaded weapons in people's hands and there's a tremendous possibility that there will be increased violence."

Finnerty knows the National Park Service statistics by heart. The latest data, from 2006, shows 272,623,980 people visited the parks that year. There were 11 cases of homicide or manslaughter, 61 robberies and 35 rapes or attempted rapes.

"Now, could something happen? Of course it could happen, but the chances are extremely, extremely remote," she says.

Finnerty is a member of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, which includes a number of former directors. The group is actively lobbying against the change, insisting the current regulations are working.

The proposed change, their Web site says, "could significantly increase the danger to visitors in national parks." It would put wildlife at risk, they claim, and make poaching easier.

But Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association, tells me many states allow residents with permits to carry guns in state parks -- why not the federal government?

"They (the states) have changed their firearms laws within the last 15 years to allow good people to protect themselves from bad people and this simply puts federal law in compliance with that change in terms of state law."

Finnerty sees another reason behind the proposal: "I think this is an attempt by the policy people in the [Bush] administration," she says, "to take care of one of their very important constituencies, the National Rifle Association."

A half-hour drive and I am at Great Falls National Park. The water far below at Mather Gorge is white with foam. Half of this park is in Virginia, where gun laws allow people with permits to carry concealed weapons; half is in Maryland, where they do not.

If the regulations are changed, the National Park Service says they will put up signs and run educational outreach to explain the law.

I strike up a conversation with photographer Maria Stenzel. She's watching the gray heron. "We have too many weapons already," she tells me. "We have too much violence all over the country and we don't need to allow them in new places."

Graduate student Nathanael Snow, watching the Potomac River roar downstream, says, "For me, I feel safer if I know that people who are qualified and proficient in handling a weapon have it on them because the bad guys are going to have guns on them anyway."

The public has until the end of June to comment on the proposed change. The Interior Department then will decide


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:57 am 
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I wonder where the line is between acceptable and unacceptable number of assaults.
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There were 11 cases of homicide or manslaughter, 61 robberies and 35 rapes or attempted rapes.

"Now, could something happen? Of course it could happen, but the chances are extremely, extremely remote," she says.


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 Post subject: Re: CNN - Behind the Scenes: Debating guns in national park
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:01 am 
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a black .22-caliber Glock pistol


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Last edited by DeanC on Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:02 am 
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I'm willing to bet it was a Glock 22 :-)

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 Post subject: Re: CNN - Behind the Scenes: Debating guns in national park
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:33 am 
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Quote:

A half-hour drive and I am at Great Falls National Park. The water far below at Mather Gorge is white with foam. Half of this park is in Virginia, where gun laws allow people with permits to carry concealed weapons; half is in Maryland, where they do not.


Last time I checked Maryland does issue permits, just not shall isssue.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:44 am 
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plblark wrote:
I'm willing to bet it was a Glock 22 :-)


That's what I was thinking. I hope he packs something larger than a .22 especially if he goes hiking in th woods.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:57 pm 
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plblark wrote:
I'm willing to bet it was a Glock 22 :-)


Probably...................

You do need special training for the .22 cal Glocks. Its a 3 yr program of intensive training. I am half way thru it currently. When I graduate will be one of a select group. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: CNN - Behind the Scenes: Debating guns in national park
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:54 pm 
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Quote:
Finnerty knows the National Park Service statistics by heart. The latest data, from 2006, shows 272,623,980 people visited the parks that year. There were 11 cases of homicide or manslaughter, 61 robberies and 35 rapes or attempted rapes.

"Now, could something happen? Of course it could happen, but the chances are extremely, extremely remote," she says.

So '11 cases of homicide or manslaughter, 61 robberies and 35 rapes or attempted rapes' are acceptable numbers for you? How high would they have to go before you start arming rangers? Oh, wait, never mind . . .

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:09 pm 
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ttousi wrote:
plblark wrote:
I'm willing to bet it was a Glock 22 :-)


Probably...................

You do need special training for the .22 cal Glocks. Its a 3 yr program of intensive training. I am half way thru it currently. When I graduate will be one of a select group. :lol: :lol: :lol:


ttousi, your certificate of completion for the course Expertise in Imaginary Firearms is in the mail.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:38 pm 
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Tick Slayer wrote:
ttousi wrote:
plblark wrote:
I'm willing to bet it was a Glock 22 :-)


Probably...................

You do need special training for the .22 cal Glocks. Its a 3 yr program of intensive training. I am half way thru it currently. When I graduate will be one of a select group. :lol: :lol: :lol:


ttousi, your certificate of completion for the course Expertise in Imaginary Firearms is in the mail.


Ah..............another to hang on the wall :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:39 pm 
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Everyone should provide feedback for the bill. I don't think I would carry a 22LR pistol to defend myself when a 40 or 357 makes a much bigger hole! :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:51 am 
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What you folks might not realize is that this doesn't only apply to Yellowstone, the Appalachian Trail, the Boundary Waters, Yosemite, and the like. There is a 72-mile strip of Federal National Park land, right through the middle of the Twin Cities.

The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area runs from Hastings up to Dayton. Every time you approach the river in the Cities (yes, even driving over a bridge) while packing, this matter affects you.

Quite frankly, I feel that neither solution, the current "no guns" rule nor the "state rule that you are in" is correct. While you are Federal land, there should be no restrictions whatsoever. No permits needed.

You may say I'm a dreamer...

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:17 pm 
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chunkstyle wrote:
What you folks might not realize is that this doesn't only apply to Yellowstone, the Appalachian Trail, the Boundary Waters, Yosemite, and the like. There is a 72-mile strip of Federal National Park land, right through the middle of the Twin Cities.

The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area runs from Hastings up to Dayton. Every time you approach the river in the Cities (yes, even driving over a bridge) while packing, this matter affects you.

Quite frankly, I feel that neither solution, the current "no guns" rule nor the "state rule that you are in" is correct. While you are Federal land, there should be no restrictions whatsoever. No permits needed.

You may say I'm a dreamer...


It kinda' stifles personal property rights when virtually EVERYTHING is considered federal land anymore doesn't it?

A free government by the people via representation really isn't free when the dictator is the government instead of the people who elect it, is it. :evil:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:36 pm 
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chunkstyle wrote:
What you folks might not realize is that this doesn't only apply to Yellowstone, the Appalachian Trail, the Boundary Waters, Yosemite, and the like. There is a 72-mile strip of Federal National Park land, right through the middle of the Twin Cities.

The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area runs from Hastings up to Dayton. Every time you approach the river in the Cities (yes, even driving over a bridge) while packing, this matter affects you.

Quite frankly, I feel that neither solution, the current "no guns" rule nor the "state rule that you are in" is correct. While you are Federal land, there should be no restrictions whatsoever. No permits needed.

You may say I'm a dreamer...




Well, 1A says "Congress shall make no law...." It's ridiculous when Federal law is even more restrictive than State Law.

Until 2003 I thought Minnesota's pro carry lobby were dreamers too.

Our Conservatives seem to have forgotten gun freedom. They are more interested in building fences,, teaching creationism and avoiding due process for military prisoners, and making fun of scientists.

All that energy could be put to good use right now talking about First Amendment rights. And they might even pick up some votes this fall, which they kinda need......


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:53 pm 
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Obama will save us.


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