Second Amendment supporters got a couple of pieces of good news last month.
One, perhaps the most important in a while, was that a federal appeals court didn’t buy New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s argument that firearms manufacturers should be held responsible for firearm violence in his city.
The other bit of good news came when U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne proposed new rules regarding carrying loaded, concealed firearms in some national parks and wildlife refuges.
Kempthorne’s proposal would allow visitors who have valid concealed carry permits to carry their firearms in parks and refuges in states that allow guns in parks.
Current rules require firearms to be unloaded and stored in areas not readily accessible. Rules such as this aren’t much help if a person finds himself in a situation in which he needs a firearm. If one’s pistol is locked in a car trunk while the owner is hiking a remote trail in Yellowstone National Park, it might as well be locked in the owner’s gun safe back home in Tennessee.
Kempthorne’s plan is protested by park rangers, park service retirees and conservation groups. They say the new rules would confuse visitors and rangers. What’s so difficult about knowing the law for these folks?
Rangers have a duty to know the laws they’re enforcing and visitors who wish to take responsibility for their own safety in the backcountry will take the time to learn about applicable laws where they’re vacationing.
As for the conservation groups and other park visitors not likely to be armed, they needn’t worry about the law because they won’t run afoul of it.
We’ll go out on a limb here and speculate the real reason they don’t want the rules to change is because they simply don’t like the idea of their fellow visitors having ready access to guns.
What they seem to overlook is