April 15, 2006

Bear Country

When I first arived in Colorado I was taken up to Rocky Mountain National Park by a friend of mine. We parked & before we started walking around I checked out the bulletin board by the parking area. It had a very large notice saying to be careful on account of the bears, mountain lions & snakes. Underneath that in even bigger & bolder letters were the words "No Weapons Allowed in the Park".

I knew about the law beforehand but my friend didn't. She was kinda put off that the government wanted to make our place on the food chain very clear.

But if I recall it was an executive order signed by Clinton in the early 90's. The "reasoning" (& I use the term loosely) was that by banning weapons in National Parks then you would cut down on gang violence in the urban NP's. No one ever mentioned anything about the non-urban parks or bears or mountain lions or anything else. Stroke of the pen, law of the land, & that was it.

Unless congress has since made it into a proper law (which I do not believe has occurred) all it would take to rescind is Bush signing another executive order rescinding it. Stroke of the pen & it'd no longer be law of the land.

Shame that an allegedly pro-gun president can't even use a pen to keep people from going to jail over being able to save themselves from predators.

Anyway since this tragic event happened in a National Forest the ban isn't applicable. What is at play is a societal aversion to arms. For whatever reason the mother didn't realize that being armed in the woods was a necessary safety precaution. & I don't mean to pick on her cause I assume the majority of people who do go hiking don't even consider packing.

I recall meeting some friends of my then g/f who were out camping. They were visibly shocked that I had a pistol on my belt. They kept asking why I felt the need to carry a pistol & dismissed it out of hand when I pointed out that A: we were in bear country in the spring & B: sometimes people did bad things out in the woods to other people.

It's a societal thing. A lot of folks just do not look on firearms favorably & therefore cannot imagine there being a need for them. Couple that with the notion that "nature" is something you embrace, that you meld with & that "nature" is benevolent then it's not so hard to understand why a person would not even think of carrying arms in the woods. Not that it's a justifiable state to be in, but it's not impossible to understand what led to such a serious safety error.

Hopefully though people will start subscribing to the "nature; red in tooth & claw" outlook again & look on firearms as a necessary safety measure when out hiking.

Personally I cannot imagine being in the woods without at least a pistol, if not a rifle or a shotgun. Sure it adds to the weight of your pack, but it's a whole lot lighter than having a 300+ pound predator on top of you.

Instapundit has some thoughts on the subject you should read.

Posted by Publicola at April 15, 2006 07:59 AM | TrackBack

Insta is on to something.

It's not just the amount of people going to the woods without firearms. It's when they see a bear or other predator and attempt to watch it, take it's picture, and be all nicey-nicey with it.

I was hiking along and some idiot was standing in the trail in front of me. He was watching a black bear and her two cubs playing just above the trail. The mom was aware of us and slowly moving the cubs away. Though it appeared they wanted to stay around and check out what the idiot was doing. As soon, as I saw what was going on, I started making loud noises and tromped around loudly.

The effects of what tree hugging animal rights morons are doing to the wild animals is actually more likely to get the animals killed, (after attacking or killing on of us first). Although, I see in Tenn. they are letting the man eating bear go on it's way.

Posted by: FishOrMan at April 15, 2006 04:23 PM

The ban pre-dates by a long time the Clinton Administration and it has nothing to do with crime or violence. It actually first arose as a regulatory measure to try and cut down on poaching . . . not directly, but by allowing rangers to arrest anyone in a park with a gun.

It takes more than a simple executive order to overturn, but not much more. DOI simply needs to revise the regulations. The Virginia Citizens Defense League has a petition they filed with Sec. Norton requesting a rulemaking. So far, Interior hasn't done anything, but then they have much more pressing issues to address. I've passed a copy off to the folks in charge (if you read Dave Hardy's blog you will see why you sometimes need to pass the entrenched beauracrats on an issue like this)

Posted by: countertop at April 15, 2006 11:02 PM

" Couple that with the notion that "nature" is something you embrace, that you meld with & that "nature" is benevolent then it's not so hard to understand why a person would not even think of carrying arms in the woods."

I think that at this point even Timothy Treadwell concedes that nature is indeed "red in tooth and claw". More people are going to have to get eaten or attacked....how do you make converts of tree huggers? One bite at a time.

Posted by: JR at April 18, 2006 10:59 AM

Reminds me of the hikers and campers who don't like big knives, 'big' meaning anything bigger than a Swiss Army knife. Some of them get downright nasty about how nobody 'needs' a 'big' knife.

Same people tend to have the noted attitude toward firearms.

Posted by: Mark at April 23, 2006 07:40 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?