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Anyone else see this?

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Re: Anyone else see this?

Postby SteveB » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:28 am

I think I'll retain from the expected comparison of Feinstein with the likes of Reid and Chancellor Pelosi (and THEIR influence on national social & political issues these days), and rather address the backcountry firearms issue. I don't carry, either, and I don't begrudge or smack-talk anyone who chooses to... My only concern, irrespective of specifics in the new rule, is city yahoo's and illegal scumbags thinking they now have the right to address their issues with a handgun. Stupid people will now have a feeling that they have a right to do whatever they want, and that it's legal for them to do so. I don't stay in Yosemite Valley or Lodgepole, but my loved ones do.

Solo



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Re: Anyone else see this?

Postby ERIC » Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:14 pm

News Release:
Government Documents Show
Bush Administration Ignored Warnings
"Guns In Parks Rule" Violated Law


For Immediate Release:
02-12-2009
http://www.bradycampaign.org/media/rele ... lease=1108

Contact Communications:
(202) 898-0792



Washington, DC - The Bush Administration ignored warnings from senior career Interior Department officials that its last-minute rule change allowing the carrying of loaded, concealed firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges was being hurried through in violation of Federal law, government documents obtained by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence show.

The rule, which took effect on January 9, 2009, overturned Reagan-era restrictions on the carrying of loaded, concealed weapons in national parks. The documents were released late last week by the government in response to a lawsuit filed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The suit charges the new rule is unlawful because it was issued without any analysis of the rule’s impacts on the environment and park visitors’ safe use of the parks, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other federal laws.

“These documents show that the Bush Administration ignored the procedural concerns and safety warnings of two federal agencies in pushing for a last-minute rule to allow concealed weapons in national parks. The Bush Administration apparently cared more about pleasing the gun lobby than following the law in making this post-election rule change,” said Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke.

According to the Interior Department documents, the National Park Service’s Chief of its Environmental Quality Division, Jacob Hoogland, warned in an April 3, 2008, e-mail that the rule “required additional NEPA analysis” and that “at minimum an Environmental Assessment should be prepared on the proposed revision to the existing firearms regulation.” Similarly, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Chief of its Division of Policy and Directives Management, Michael Schwartz, warned in a May 14, 2008, e-mail, “The rule was published before they did any NEPA analysis. Last week, I pointed out that this is a procedural flaw.” The documents are available at
http://www.bradycampaign.org/xshare/pdf ... eb2009.pdf.

Then-Interior Department Secretary Dirk Kempthorne responded with a memo on August 22, 2008, stating that the rule is “one of my top priorities,” and the rule was then issued without the environmental analysis required by law.

The documents also show that the rule was strongly opposed by the National Park Service, whose Bush-appointed Director, Mary Bomar, wrote in a July 31, 2007, letter, “We believe that the [previous] regulations [restricting guns in parks] provide necessary and consistent enforcement parameters throughout the National Park System.” The new rule allows guns in rural and urban national park areas around the country, from Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park and California’s Yosemite National Park to Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park, home of the Liberty Bell. The suit was filed on behalf of the Brady Campaign and its members, including a school teacher in New York who said she was canceling school trips to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty now that guns are allowed in these national park areas.

The suit charges that the Bush Administration violated several federal laws in its rush to implement the new rule before President Bush left office, including failing to conduct any environmental review of the harm that the new rule will cause, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. The lawsuit also points out that the new rule was adopted in violation of the National Park Service Organic Act and the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, which created the parks and wildlife refuges as protected lands for safe enjoyment of all visitors.

Rules in place since the Reagan Administration have allowed visitors to transport guns in national parks and wildlife refuges if they are unloaded and stored or dismantled. These restrictions have helped make these areas some of the safest places to visit in the country. At the behest of the gun lobby, however, the Interior Department announced last year that it planned to allow concealed firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges. The last-minute Bush rule allows the carrying of concealed weapons even in states that specifically ban the practice in state parks.

The Brady Campaign filed its lawsuit challenging the rule on December 30, 2008. The National Parks Conservation Association and Coalition of National Park Service Retirees filed a similar suit on January 6, 2009.

# # #


As the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign, with its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, works to enact and enforce sensible gun laws, regulations and public policies. The Brady Campaign is devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.

For continuing insight and comment on the gun issue, read Paul Helmke's blog at http://www.bradycampaign.org/blog/. Visit the Brady Campaign website at http://www.bradycampaign.org.

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Re: Anyone else see this?

Postby AldeFarte » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:41 pm

Eric, I can't help thinking you are trying to stir the pot with the above post. Anything with the word brady in the byline is so obviously left wing partisan and un-American in content that it only bears reading by me ,because you posted it! This organism is so anti-Constitutional in it's fiber that only the ignorant and the true believers don't get it. The last paragraph is a real laugher. They have zero credibility among any ,but the ignorant. To say they have an agenda doesn't even deserve a snicker.I am sure many here remember when brady was shot.It was a horrible day in America. His wench has been turning a buck off that since day one. Reagan felt a tremendous sense of guilt over a man taking a bullet meant for him. Hence he signed legislation he knew was unconstitutional. Two wrongs do not make a right. More guns will not make more gun violence.The opposite is true. John Lott has proven that empirically with research and FACTS. Whew! Gotta go outside and cool off. jls
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Re: Anyone else see this?

Postby ERIC » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:10 pm

AldeFarte wrote:Eric, I can't help thinking you are trying to stir the pot with the above post. Anything with the word brady in the byline is so obviously left wing partisan and un-American in content that it only bears reading by me ,because you posted it! This organism is so anti-Constitutional in it's fiber that only the ignorant and the true believers don't get it. The last paragraph is a real laugher. They have zero credibility among any ,but the ignorant. To say they have an agenda doesn't even deserve a snicker.I am sure many here remember when brady was shot.It was a horrible day in America. His wench has been turning a buck off that since day one. Reagan felt a tremendous sense of guilt over a man taking a bullet meant for him. Hence he signed legislation he knew was unconstitutional. Two wrongs do not make a right. More guns will not make more gun violence.The opposite is true. John Lott has proven that empirically with research and FACTS. Whew! Gotta go outside and cool off. jls


Ha! :p
I just knew this was coming. I subscribe to various news feeds related to the Sierra, and when something has a content match to the keyword content of the forums (i.e. keywords: "Sierra Nevada", "Yosemite", John Muir Trail", etc), I post it. Most times, as it was in this case, I don't thoroughly consider the source. Usually count on members like you to do that for me, which you have. :) There was, and is no agenda on my part. Probably wouldn't have even posted this one had discussion on the topic not already been underway.

So shoot me. :snipe:
Pun intended.
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Re: Anyone else see this?

Postby AldeFarte » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:28 pm

Happy to note that it is not an agenda on your part. :) jls
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Re: Anyone else see this?

Postby Hetchy » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:48 pm

How Ironic this thread is for me.
I own rifles and I am thankful for our second amendment right to bear arms. But I also realize I only ever shoot at paper targets. I don't hunt large animals so I took the ole' Ruger mini-30 down to the gunshop and sold her off. (still got a couple .22's)

I took the money and bought a bunch of new backpacking gear... to go into the national parks with.
HA! Sorry. A bit off-thread but kinda funny.

Seriously:
I can understand why a person might want to pack a rifle to hunt with. But what purpose does a concelealed pistol serve? By the time you produce it the imaginary boogie man might have already got you. And if you do produce it you are likely to escalate the situation or Mr boogie might take it away and use it on you.
I think the need to carry a firearm for protection from animals makes sense in such places where animals actually harm humans..like say.. Alaska. In that case, by all accounts, a flat shooting & hard hitting rifle is by far superior to any pistol, though not very concealable.
I think it is funny that some people would consider carrying a concealed pistol in Yosemite, or Kings Canyon.. Have you seen the bears there? They look like sick dogs, not very threatening.
If the argument is to protect you from other people. Well.. If it comes to shooting someone in the backcountry, and that someone is the only other witness, you might have some difficulty explaining that.
Personally I say:
Save some packweight, skip the gun, dump the unreasonable mental baggage, and trust in yourself to handle the self-defence senario, if ever it comes. Besides, bullets are made from lead.. what thru hiker would carry LEAD after forsaking every ounce possible including toilet paper.(oops.. too much information.. sorry!) Hetchy
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Re: Anyone else see this?

Postby gdurkee » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:40 pm

Finally, I suspect that several organizations may file a lawsuit on the grounds that no Environmental Impact Statement was done. Interior claimed none was needed because there was no substantive change. Arguably, more wildlife and even visitors may be shot or endangered as a result of this rule.
--me


Eric was quite right to post the update. Rather than provocative (in the negative sense of the term) it referenced directly parts of the discussion. Both Mike and I (rangers with over a combined half century of experience) thought it quite possible that increased poaching or killing of wildlife might result from the new regulation. In addition, all of the professional ranger organizations opposed the change as well as all former directors of the NPS. A number of you, of course, disagree; but that's the point of an environmental assessment and why the Brady Campaign and NPCA are suing -- well established environmental requirements (!) were not followed. It's now clear this was railroaded through in spite of serious questions by senior NPS and DOI managers.

While people can dismiss the Brady campaign, Feinstein et al as wild eyed radicals etc., the courts won't. They have shown they have standing, they have shown they have the backing of not-so-wild-eyed professionals with decades of experience; and they have shown that the Bush administration blatantly ignored process. I think there's a good chance they'll prevail to get a court-ordered environmental review and then this regulation will quietly sink out of site.

g.
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Re: Anyone else see this?

Postby try » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:09 pm

George, you posted the link to the article; I would be interested in your take on same.
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Re: Anyone else see this?

Postby gdurkee » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:11 pm

Try:

Hi. Not sure which link you mean -- after losing Mao on the Yangtze, I kinda lost track of the thread. I think Dave54 posted the original. But, I'll cheerfully give my cogent and considered thoughts again.

The reason given for adopting state gun laws in National Parks was to make weapons law in national parks more consistent with state gun laws. That is, whatever the laws in the state on carrying a weapon would also apply parks in that state. The problem is that over 20 parks are in several states -- what laws then apply?; federal laws on carrying in buildings supersede state laws (so you might be able to carry a weapon on park land, but definitely not in any nps facility/building); and many states only allow for concealed carry with a permit -- some recognize the permits from other states, many do not (e.g. California). So from both an enforcement stand point (that of rangers) and understanding the laws (that of visitors), there's really more confusion now that there was over the previous law: loaded and easily accessible weapons were just not allowed in a National Park.

The worry of rangers and managers is that there's an increased danger to the visiting public and wildlife. People not used to wildlife (e.g. bears) may panic and take shots at an animal -- either wounding or killing the animal or, far worse, shooting through a tent or RV and hitting someone. I've seen this happen when guns are illegal. Will it happen more as more guns are allowed? I believe so.

I agree that this potential danger is real and not enough to justify the regulation change.

In California parks, the regulation change doesn't make much difference. Only people with a Concealed Carry permit may have a loaded gun in their possession. California does not recognize permits from other states. Counties don't issue many anymore and most charge several hundred dollars for a background check. And even then, as noted, you can't carry a weapon into a visitor's center or other government building, even with a county CCW -- Federal law supersedes both state law and the NPS regulation on this one.

Again,with 40 years as a ranger in California, my experience tells me it's a dumb idea. It would never have happened had the collapsing Bush administration and previous Secretary of the Interior not ignored all the advice from career NPS managers and field rangers and pushed it through.

Neither the need to protect yourself from either wildlife or other visitors even remotely justifies the carrying of a firearm in a National Park. I fully realize there's some weird "cold dead hand" erotica going on with the possession of a gun, but that doesn't overcome the potential harm to wildlife, visitors and property as a result of more guns in parks.

Covering my ass side note: these are only my opinions, though based on extensive experience, and not those of the NPS, it pasty pale bureaucrats, or the new beloved Secretary of the Interior, who shines as a beacon of hope amidst the chaos and ruin of a once great agency.

Hope that helps.

George
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Re: Anyone else see this?

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:37 pm

Man....I would be more at ease packing heat in some of the Alaskan National Parks, maybe even all parks with grizz for that matter. YNP could care less, well unless some ranger gets too big for their britches :unibrow: :D :cool: .
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Re: Anyone else see this?

Postby AldeFarte » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:57 pm

It amazes me that no one on this thread sees this as a freedom issue! Perhaps that is what the Bush admin. was thinking? I am really confounded. It is hard not to disparage the nps and rangers who seem to see this as a right wing whacko play aimed at tweeking the liberals. Personally, I think the nps fears truly free men. I don't carry a gun all the time, but it is good to have that right without the fear of persecution.More freedom is good. Less freedom is bad.Please don't gore my ox. jls
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Re: Anyone else see this?

Postby ERIC » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:11 pm

Sorry, guys. My fault for putting gas on the campfire.
Not out of hand, yet. But locking this one down before it turns bad. :threaten:
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