February 08, 2007

From The DOP

That'd be the Department of the Posterior since it seems they're staffed by a bunch of asses.

The VCDL (along with OFCC) tried to petition the Deprtment of Interior to revise its regulations concerning firearms in National Parks. The DOI responded. Here's the .pdf of the DOI's reply.

As the OFCC page puts it, the reply is filled with "some of the most arrogant and ignorant reasons imaginable". I like the outdoors (though I donít get out as much as I used to) & miss using the National Parks, but their prohibition on carrying or possessing weapons is a real discouragement to those of us who like being towards the top of the food chain (& who donít wish Deliverance II to be based on our biographies).. So let's go a fisking shall we?

"Thank you for your interest in our regulation which manages the possession of weapons when in a unit of the National Park Service (NPS). I understand you feel it's important for personal protection. However, the NPS finds the current regulation, 36 CFR 2.4, to be very effective for these primary reasons :"

Before we get started here's 36 CFR 2.4 for you. As you can see it's pretty straightforward & pretty strict - you may not carry, possess or use a weapon (not just a firearm) unless it's unloaded & inoperable in a vehicle or "temporary dwelling" (which would not include a tent from my reading of things).

"Parks are safe places. While some crime does occur on some NPS managed lands statistics show that such crime levels are far lower than in other similarly-situated communities, especially considering that the National Parks System has approximately 280 million visits each year."

Uh-huh. What was that saying about 3 kinds of mistruths in the world? I believe the stats fail to be comforting when you're the "one", & "low crime levels" don't mean a damn thing when the knife is at your throat. But if crime isn't an issue then how about not entering the food chain at a lower than expected status? Animal attacks as well as crime may be rare but that does not justify making people defenseless.

"Right to carry" laws do not reduce crime. In fact, armed citizens attempting to assist rangers create volatile situations, often putting the private citizen or ranger's life in jeopardy.

Uh-huh times 2. If they do not reduce crime rates they certainly don't add to them, therefore there is no harm done by them. & assisting rangers creates dangerous situations? Only if a hoplophobe ranger draws on ever non-LEO he sees that is armed. Course being the militant libertarian I am I'd hope that armed rangers trying to assist a non-LEO by relieving him/her of his/her weapons would create a volatile situation - but that's another matter. Let me just sum up by saying that particular excuse will make a fine growth supplement for plant life of all kinds.

Firearms already may be transported in a vehicle through any park area. They need to be made inoperable or stored in such a manner as to prevent their ready use. The firearms regulation is designed to ensure public safety and provide maximum protection of wildlife resources by limiting the opportunity for unauthorized use of weapons, while still providing reasonable regulatory relief for person living within, traveling through, or conducting activities on lands adjacent to park areas.

The whole freakin' point is that an inoperable or unreadily accessible firearm is about as useful as a clutch on a walrus. It does absolutely nothing for public safety while creating much opportunity for predators both biped & quadruped alike. It is most certainly not reasonable. If I were hiking across NPS land I wouldn't be covered by the exceptions & even a firearm field stripped would run afoul of the prohibition. Needless to say it'd be of no use for self defense as I doubt a bear or a robber would patiently wait while I reassembled my piece. & let us not forget that knives & machetes can be viewed as weapons & the regulation speaks of weapons, not just firearms. Ever try to break a knife down or render it inoperable? The regulation was designed to control people under the guise of protecting animals from poachers. Any other justification is indefensible.

""Right to carry" laws do not protect visitors from wildlife. Most weapons carried for protection from wildlife are not adequate for that purpose. Untrained individuals attempting to protect themselves from dangerous animals often exacerbate the situation."

Ah, the Timothy Treadwell approach to bear defense is what the NPS recommends? Most folks if given the option would carry a shotgun or a lever action in .30-30 Winchester (or a similar carbine). The revolver enthusiasts would likely have a .357 or .44 magnum & the auto fans would have a .40 S&W, 10mm or .45 of some sort. All are adequate (though some more so than others) for defense against anything but the largest brown bears. & given the choice I'd much rather have a .22 rimfire instead of a rock as old man griz is doing a taste test on my respective kneecaps.

"Based on these reasons, the NPS does not support any change in the current regulation 936 CFR 2.4) which prohibits possessing, carrying or using a weapon in virtually all units of the NPS. Therefore we deny your petition for rulemaking. If you have further questions in regard to this issue, please contact Jerry Case, Chief Regulations and special Park Uses, at (202) 208-4206.


Karen Taylor-Goodich
Associate Director, Visitor and Resource Protection"

Using any variant of "reason" in regards to that bullshit is an affront to the English language. The excuses given were not very defensible from a logical standpoint & I'd like to see where she got her numbers from just for the hell of it. I'm just wondering if the "statistics" have the VPC stamp on it or if they're from the Brady bunch.

I imagine if the rest of the DOI has hoplophobes of that magnitude manning its offices then it'll literally take an act of congress to get them to change the regulations. Until then you either risk jail time & a felony conviction or risk injury or death if you're not one of the high numbers in the stats. That is if you should choose to set foot on NPS land. I don't. It's a shame because I know of some nice spots for camping, hiking & biking both here & in the Carolinas, but the National Forests are as cool & almost as accessible.

Before I forget I must blame Bush for this. After all, the DOI falls under his charge & the buck stops with him. Not that a Dem would necessarily make things right with this situation (unless a Zell Miller type gets lucky sometime) but until the guard is changed this lies at Bush's feet.

& mad props to the VCDL & OFCC for trying to get something done. I have a feeling this won't be the last of their attempts.

Posted by Publicola at February 8, 2007 08:05 AM | TrackBack

While I agree that most NPS sites are low crime, LEO's patrolling the G.W. Memorial Parkway have stated otherwise, to me, personally. To compound the difficulty, the Parkway is a major commuter route from suburban Northern Virginia to Alexandria, Arlington, and Washington D.C. Adhering to the law just isn't practical. I'd be very interested to know how any homeowners along the Parkway, that also possess CCW's, and travel the route deal with the situation.

P.S. That "Militant Libertarian" thing is just eatin' at you, ain't it?

Posted by: Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner at February 8, 2007 06:35 PM

I knew a few folks living near National Parks & had to travel them as part of their daily commute. Some would unload when they got in the car & either keep it unloaded all day or load when they left the Park lands. "Pain in the ass" was used on more than one occassion to describe the process. Others just carried & hoped they could render the piece inoperable in a hurry if they got pulled.

lol actually I have so many other things eating at me that I haven't had time to contemplate that particular moniker. I think I think it's funny though. & i have been called much worse.

Posted by: Publicola at February 8, 2007 08:09 PM

"Pain in the ass" would be putting it mildly concerning the Parkway. It is bordered on one side by the Potomac River, and on the other, subdivisions with thousands of homes. For all of those residents, the Parkway is the only logical route to Alexandria, Va., Reagan Nat'l. Airport, the Pentagon, or Arlington Cemetery. I know how I handled it. Just wonder how anyone else does.

Posted by: Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner at February 9, 2007 02:28 PM