Sunday, December 14, 2008

Concealed and loaded weapons in national parks and wildlife refuges...

by Neala Schwartzberg

"Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t imagine why anyone should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon into a national park or wildlife refuge.

I’ve tried to envision the scenario – an undercover federal officer chasing a suspect into the Petrified Forest has to stop because the officer is carrying a concealed weapon and that isn't permitted. But it’s hard to believe that was the impetus for the new rules. Or, perhaps it’s to stop killer sandhill cranes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge?

The real reason is hidden in the announcement released by the Department of the Interior.

On February 22, 2008, Interior Secretary Kempthorne responded to letters from 51 Senators, both Democrats and Republicans, as well as from the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, urging him to update existing regulations that prohibit the carrying of firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges.

Who were these 51 Senators? And why did they think the rules needed to be changed?

It seems that the new rule doesn’t allow just anyone to carry in a hidden gun. It only allows people who are authorized to carry a concealed weapon under state law, in the state in which the national park or refuge is located. So if you’re allowed to carry a concealed and loaded gun down the state’s streets and in the cities, you can continue to carry that concealed and loaded gun into your local national park.

“The Department believes that in managing parks and refuges we should, as appropriate, make every effort to give the greatest respect to the democratic judgments of State legislatures with respect to concealed firearms,” said Laverty. “Federal agencies have a responsibility to recognize the expertise of the States in this area, and federal regulations should be developed and implemented in a manner that respects state prerogatives and authority.” Lyle Laverty is the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

But don’t for a moment think that will narrow the field. Currently, 48 states have passed legislation allowing for the lawful possession of concealed weapons.

Now I have a broader question – why are people carrying hidden guns? Who is screening them? What are the rules (or lack thereof) about who gets to carry one? Can I get one? Can you?"

Kind of late to the party, aren't we now dear? The people carrying guns are the citizens of America, who by the laws of man and nature, have the right from the time of their birth. And know what, kiddo...

Sort of bothers me a tad that you are so very worried about folks being "allowed" to protect themselves. Usually, its only the cops and politicians and crooks....wait, I repeat myself...who get their panties in a knot over concealed carry. Thinking of snatching a wallet or two and afraid of the consequences?

And not for nothin', but guess what...

We don't particularly care what you can or cannot imagine. Sadly, lots of folks turn into commies after coming to the conclusion that THEY can't be trusted thinking or acting without government supervision.

Just leave US along and all will be well. I promise.

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