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Loaded, Hidden Guns in National Parks Puts Visitors at Risk [Barf Alert]
Sun Herald ^ | 2/7/08 | Paul Helmke/Brady Campaign

Posted on 02/08/2008 9:06:24 AM PST by kiriath_jearim

A proposal facing action by the U.S. Senate would force National Park and National Wildlife Refuge managers to allow more loaded, hidden handguns in national parks and wildlife refuges, endangering the public as well as wildlife.

"This is more of the same from the gun pushers - any gun, anywhere, at any time," said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "Why are we putting hikers, campers and families at risk by introducing loaded, hidden handguns into our national parks and refuges? This proposal is a bad idea that the Senate should reject."

Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, an ally of the gun lobby, plans on offering an amendment to a broader bill on public lands issues that would weaken reasonable gun restrictions in Federal lands adopted in 1982 by the Reagan Administration for the National Park Service after extensive comments and review.

At the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, this amendment would undermine the firearms policy discretion of land managers who allow firearms for hunting in many refuges during hunting season, but prohibit them when no hunting is in season or where no hunting is allowed.

The Coburn proposal was the subject of a letter sent in December to Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne. The letter, signed by a number of U.S. Senators, called for the elimination of common-sense limits that allow park visitors to have firearms as long as they are unloaded and lawfully stored.

Late last week, gun violence prevention groups - the Brady Campaign, the Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence and the Violence Policy Center - sent a letter to Secretary Kempthorne indicating that "given the heightened security risks in the post-9/11 world, as well as contemporary concerns about poaching on federal lands, we find the Reagan Administration regulation to be both necessary and appropriate." The letter is available at http://www.bradycampaign.org/action/parks_letter.pdf

A letter sent to Senators last Friday, signed by the Association of National Park Rangers, the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees and the U.S. Park Ranger Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police states: "In our view, Senator Coburn's amendment will make poaching in parks even more prevalent than it already is, thus reducing the opportunity for children, families, and Americans from all walks of life to easily view wildife that so many parks provide."

Separately, the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees stated in a news release that "It is a hoax to suggest that there is some big demand out there for people to be able to tote semi-automatic weapons on the trails of Yellowstone or nine-millimeter pistols on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The current rules in no way prohibit guns in parks, but they do work to discourage that tiny percentage of irresponsible individuals who would engage in poaching and target practice at the expense of irreplaceable natural and historic sites."

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.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Government
KEYWORDS: 110th; banglist; drugcartel; forests; immigration; mexico; nationalparks; tomcoburn
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1 posted on 02/08/2008 9:06:31 AM PST by kiriath_jearim
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To: kiriath_jearim

The National Park Service would be surprised at how many concealed weapons people carry while they are in the Parks.

There’s never a Ranger around when you need one.


2 posted on 02/08/2008 9:10:20 AM PST by Thunder Pig (Sometimes you have to roll the hard six. ---Cmdr Wm Adama)
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To: kiriath_jearim
I wish someone had a gun on the trail in Blairsville on the first of Jan. and had left that old SOB twitching on the ground with a big hole in his chest!
3 posted on 02/08/2008 9:11:15 AM PST by southernerwithanattitude ({new and improved redneck})
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To: kiriath_jearim

Does the Sun-Herald actually do any reporting, or do they simply regurgitate press releases?


4 posted on 02/08/2008 9:14:58 AM PST by NY.SS-Bar9 (DR #1692)
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To: Thunder Pig

This is actually quite funny. Who will enforce it? The park rangers? I know they wouldn’t even attempt it in Alaska. These anti people live on another planet, maybe they will enforce it for the park service.


5 posted on 02/08/2008 9:15:19 AM PST by Eska ( the re)
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To: kiriath_jearim
Related editorial from a month ago:

Our View: Federal lands should have consistent gun rules (From Idaho)

6 posted on 02/08/2008 9:18:59 AM PST by Domandred (McCain's 'R' is a typo that has never been corrected)
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To: Thunder Pig

The key words in the PArk rules are ...loaded..

Carry what you will, just take the magazine out.

I have had prople freak out when I open carry and they see the pistol on my hip.

I assure them that if they are attacked by any of the local wildlife, I will hurry to report it to the local park Ranger. That usually nets me a few odd looks, I guess they just don’t ‘get it’.


7 posted on 02/08/2008 9:23:41 AM PST by ASOC (The Captain doesn't choose the storm....)
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To: ASOC

Law or no, anyone who ventures into the wilderness without a firearm is a moron.


8 posted on 02/08/2008 9:34:21 AM PST by Poison Pill
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To: kiriath_jearim
So, Paul Helmke, can you tell me the answer to this question: have more people died in National Parks from shooting incidents, or being killed by bears?

Right. I didn't think you would know the answer to that question, either.

9 posted on 02/08/2008 9:36:39 AM PST by willgolfforfood
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To: harpseal; TexasCowboy; nunya bidness; AAABEST; Travis McGee; Squantos; Shooter 2.5; wku man; SLB; ..
The latest bleatings from the


10 posted on 02/08/2008 9:42:58 AM PST by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: kiriath_jearim

Paul needs to be in jail for “aiding and abetting” and “accessory to murder”.


11 posted on 02/08/2008 9:47:18 AM PST by Dead Corpse (What would a free man do?)
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To: ASOC

Care to elaborate on the legalities thereof?


12 posted on 02/08/2008 9:49:29 AM PST by ctdonath2 (3.14159265358979323...)
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To: kiriath_jearim; All

WastedYears typing

That title is very misleading, which is the gun-grabber’s credo.

Carrying a pistol concealed on your person is not the same as having pistols hidden throughout the parks, which is what the title means.


13 posted on 02/08/2008 9:51:46 AM PST by wiggen
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To: wiggen

No kidding. They way they worded it, I was ready to get a GPS and go on a geocaching hunt.


14 posted on 02/08/2008 9:54:37 AM PST by B Knotts (McCain has sausaged us in the past, and will sausage us in the future if we let him.)
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To: kiriath_jearim
Yeah, I'm sure allowing legal concealed carry will increase the poaching in National Parks. Hahahaha... So what is the favored handgun caliber of choice for poaching big game???

Silly liberals

15 posted on 02/08/2008 9:56:37 AM PST by Double Tap
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To: B Knotts

Christmas woulda come early for you.


16 posted on 02/08/2008 9:58:12 AM PST by wiggen
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To: kiriath_jearim
Hmmm.

I'm far more concerned about Loaded, Hidden Hyperbole.

17 posted on 02/08/2008 9:58:21 AM PST by xsrdx (Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas)
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To: kiriath_jearim
"This is more of the same from the gun pushers - any gun, anywhere, at any time," said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Sounds like more of the same from the nutless gun grabbers - no guns, nowhere, ever.

18 posted on 02/08/2008 9:58:51 AM PST by RoadKingSE (How do you know that that light at the end of the tunnel isn't a muzzle flash?)
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To: wiggen
That title is very misleading,

You need to watch out for those wascally Wugers, hiding in the bushes, waiting for an innocent hiker to wander by.

19 posted on 02/08/2008 10:03:05 AM PST by RoadKingSE (How do you know that that light at the end of the tunnel isn't a muzzle flash?)
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To: kiriath_jearim

” The current rules in no way prohibit guns in parks, but they do work to discourage that tiny percentage of irresponsible individuals who would engage in poaching and target practice at the expense of irreplaceable natural and historic sites.”

Lord knows, the already existing laws against poaching would not deter these people if they were allowed to legally carry in the park...


20 posted on 02/08/2008 10:08:21 AM PST by Old Teufel Hunden
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To: kiriath_jearim
You've all missed the point. We need to prohibit firearms in the parks to keep criminals from shooting people. No guns means no gun crimes. Just look at the examples - Washington DC, New York City, San Francisco = 0 guns, 0 gun crimes.

Anyone who thinks that the wildlife is dangerous hasn't watched a Disney movie. Grizzly Bears and Alligators are just like people and are simply misunderstood.

It's important for the children that we keep these restrictions. If not, minorities and poor people will be hurt the worst.

21 posted on 02/08/2008 10:08:41 AM PST by mbynack (Retired USAF SMSgt)
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To: kiriath_jearim

If I remember correctly Ron Paul, FR’s favorite kook, is for allowing visitors to pack heat while in National Parks.


22 posted on 02/08/2008 10:11:06 AM PST by Carpe Cerevisi
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To: kiriath_jearim
Loaded, Hidden Guns in National Parks Puts Visitors at Risk

that's right. if you come across a hungry wolf, bear, cougar, etc., you don't want to try to yank your gun out from its concealed spot.. so carry open!
23 posted on 02/08/2008 10:14:23 AM PST by absolootezer0 (white male christian hetero married gun toting SUV driving motorcycle riding conservative smoker)
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To: ASOC
I assure them that if they are attacked by any of the local wildlife, I will hurry to report it to the local park Ranger.

you need a variation of my shirt, it says
my neighbor wants to ban all guns, their house is unarmed. out of respect for their opinions i will not use my guns to defend their house.
24 posted on 02/08/2008 10:17:01 AM PST by absolootezer0 (white male christian hetero married gun toting SUV driving motorcycle riding conservative smoker)
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To: ctdonath2
Sure
If you go to the *NRA* site, they advise:
Generally, firearms are prohibited in national parks. If you are transporting firearms, you must notify the ranger or gate attendant on your arrival, and your firearm must be rendered inoperable before you enter the park. The National Park Service defines inoperable to mean unloaded, cased, broken down if possible, and out of sight. Individuals in possession of an operable firearm in a national park are subject to arrest. Rules in various state park systems vary, so always inquire first.

National Forests usually follow laws of the state where the forest is located. (so YMMV)

In Alaska: (from NPS.gov)
May I carry a gun in the park?

It is legal to possess a firearm anywhere in the park in accordance with all other applicable state and federal laws. This is different than the rule in most Lower 48 National Park areas, but is allowed here for protection from bears and other dangerous wildlife. Hunting is strictly prohibited within the park.

From the search function of the same site:
19. Can I carry my gun while hiking in national and state parks? A quick summary for firearms: NO in some national parks, but YES in others. National forests, state parks, fish & wildlife refuges, BLM land, general state lands: YES, but, check concealment laws. In other words, always check before carrying firearms.Alaska Public Lands Information Center scan help you contact the correct park or agency

SO - in Alaska, where I live, it’s a no brainer.

OTOH, we see in the Springfield Armory Park site.....
NOTE: No Personal Firearms [or weapons of any kind] allowed to be carried.

No personal firearms, knives over 2 inches, or other weapons of any kind are allowed on Federal Property due to Federal and State Laws even if you have a license to carry firearms. Please don’t bring them with you to this site.

Lastly, if you look at legal definitions you typically see: classify a "loaded" gun as one with "a shell or cartridge in either the magazine or chamber thereof, and in the case of a muzzle loading shotgun or rifle, containing powder in the flash pan or in the bore or chamber or containing a percussion cap and shot or ball."

If you have questions on the local rules, ask. Bottom line, you may carry anyplace, you just have to be prepared to live with any fallout.

25 posted on 02/08/2008 10:22:11 AM PST by ASOC (The Captain doesn't choose the storm....)
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To: southernerwithanattitude
Loaded, Hidden Guns in National Parks Puts Visitors at Risk

Hidden guns!! Oooooo, so scarey!!!

26 posted on 02/08/2008 10:24:41 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: kiriath_jearim
"Why are we putting protecting hikers, campers and families while putting muggers, kidnappers, child molestors, rapists, murderers, and people who might have dirt on the Clinton's at risk by introducing loaded, hidden handguns into our national parks and refuges?"

Fixed! He was obviously misquoted.

27 posted on 02/08/2008 10:24:41 AM PST by Ignatz ( RENT THIS SPACE)
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To: Carpe Cerevisi

On another thread he wants to forgive GI Bill and school loan benefits to deceased soldiers.

When will the kookiness end?


28 posted on 02/08/2008 10:26:30 AM PST by Eagle Eye (I'm a RINO cuz I'm too conservative to be a Republican.)
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To: kiriath_jearim

Oh, the horror of it all! Some hidden gun may jump up from the grass like a rattlesnake and shoot some poor chid’ren.


29 posted on 02/08/2008 10:29:48 AM PST by TexasRepublic (When hopelessness replaces hope, it opens the door to evil.)
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To: kiriath_jearim; Joe Brower

Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, an ally of the gun lobby, plans on offering an amendment to a broader bill on public lands issues that would weaken reasonable gun restrictions in Federal lands adopted in 1982 by the Reagan Administration for the National Park Service after extensive comments and review.


Poll on Sen. Coburn's website:

"Should law abiding citizens be permitted to carry guns in national parks?"

Yes --- 86%

No --- 15%

2154 total votes


30 posted on 02/08/2008 10:32:03 AM PST by EdReform (The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed *NRA*JPFO*SAF*GOA*SAS*RWVA)
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To: Thunder Pig; All

The forest service knows full well there are plenty of guns in the forests. They’re used to protect the hundreds of thousands of acres under dope cultivation by Mexican Drug Cartels. Anyone going into these ‘protected’ areas without a gun in crazy. Many people have been shot.

The Mexican border has moved 800 miles north
(Photos of these camps here)
http://towncriernews.blogspot.com/search?q=green+cards+and+gangs

DOBBS: Mexican drug cartels are operating not only with impunity across the border with Mexico, but with impunity deep within the United States; 800 miles from Mexico, drug traffickers are now operating on the California/Oregon border in our nation’s national forests.

Authorities, this week, seized $80 million of marijuana. But officials say the bust was only the tip of the iceberg.

CASEY WIAN, CNN (on the ground in the Siskiyou Mountains): Just after dawn Tuesday, 100 law enforcement officers meet at a staging area in the Klamath National Forest.

DARRELL FROST, SISKIYOU COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPT.: The Mexican cartel type stuff, is these folks are willing to protect their marijuana groves and so the potential for trauma from gunshot wounds is high.

WIAN: Deputies head out to set up a perimeter hoping to catch growers before they flee. Then the raid begins. (on camera): Marijuana gardens are located in such remote terrain that sheriff deputies must be air lifted in by helicopter, two at a time on a rope. Another chopper hovers above the garden providing cover in case these growers shoot at the incoming deputies.

WIAN: And the money appears headed to Mexico. From the living quarters and supplies, to sophisticated irrigation systems, these gardens bare all the signs of Mexican drug traffickers. The SWAT team pursued about a dozen men though the thick timber.

WIAN: Though they escaped, deputies seized plenty of evidence, including boxes of .45 caliber bullets, notebooks in Spanish and a cell phone. Investigators are tracking the kingpin.

LT. JIM BETTS, SISKIYOU COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPT.: We’ve got a rural area, that hunting season is going to be starting in another week. There’s going to be a lot of people coming into the woods here. And for the safety of those people, we needed to get this out of here.

WIAN: Eight hundred miles from the Mexican border, Mexican drug traffickers are spreading throughout this and other national forests. But a familiar problem is on the traffickers’ side. Federal money for operations like this is scarce.

JOHN GAINES, CALIF. BUREAU OF NARC ENFORCEMENT: These are all damage to our natural resources that our citizens, you know, shouldn’t have to put up from the occupying force of foreigners, that are coming in here and taking over our land.

FOLLOWUP: Michelle Malkin followed this story further in her article “GANGLAND”.
www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin030205.php3

“The most notorious criminal alien gang enterprise on the American landscape is Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, the El Salvadoran-based syndicate engaged in murder, drug trafficking, and human smuggling across Central America and the United States. MS-13 members, many of them juveniles, have been implicated in gang rapes, machete mutilations, and cop killings on both coasts. According to Siskiyou County Sheriff Rick Riggins, MS-13 paraphernalia and weaponry have been discovered deep on federal forest land in northern California, where Latino gangs have established massive marijuana-growing operations.

Most recently, Ebner Anibal Rivera Paz, the reputed leader of MS-13’s Honduran branch, was nabbed in Texas last month after escaping from his native country, where he’s wanted in connection with the Christmas holiday massacre of 28 people, including six children. “[snip]


31 posted on 02/08/2008 10:34:55 AM PST by AuntB ('If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." T. Paine)
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To: Ignatz; Poison Pill; All

See post 31


32 posted on 02/08/2008 10:39:10 AM PST by AuntB ('If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." T. Paine)
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To: kiriath_jearim

Everybody knows that criminals wouldn’t DARE to bring a gun into a place where it is against the law.


33 posted on 02/08/2008 10:42:57 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: kiriath_jearim

Just hope you don’t come across an illegal patch of pot protected by armed illegals..


34 posted on 02/08/2008 10:46:16 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICEís toll-free tip hotline ó1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRGeT)
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To: kiriath_jearim

Sounds like the people at the Brady Bunch are loaded all the time.


35 posted on 02/08/2008 10:51:42 AM PST by WOBBLY BOB (Conservatives are to McCain what Charlie Brown is to Lucy.)
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To: kiriath_jearim; Joe Brower; Dead Corpse
Parks need to be kept gun-free, so that serial killers can safely kidnap and murder unarmed college students.

Why, if Meredith Emerson had had a CCW pistol in that Georgia park last December, she might have hurt that poor old serial killer Mr. Hilton!


36 posted on 02/08/2008 10:57:40 AM PST by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: Blood of Tyrants; AuntB

bump to above


37 posted on 02/08/2008 10:58:57 AM PST by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: kiriath_jearim
more loaded, hidden handguns in national parks and wildlife refuges

The title sounded like a GPS game to find caches of "loaded, hidden, handguns".

38 posted on 02/08/2008 10:59:32 AM PST by x_plus_one (The entire Islamic moral universe devolves solely from the life and teachings of Muhammad.)
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To: kiriath_jearim

Heck, that’s the best place to hide your guns, that way, they are not on property that can be connected to you. And they wont accidentally get dug up because of development. ;]


39 posted on 02/08/2008 11:01:24 AM PST by Boiling point (If God had wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates.)
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To: Joe Brower
Loaded, Hidden Guns in National Parks Puts Visitors at Risk

Simple solution, open carry.

40 posted on 02/08/2008 11:19:10 AM PST by SJackson (If 45 million children had lived, they'd be defending America, filling jobs, paying SS-Z. Miller)
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To: Poison Pill
Law or no, anyone who ventures into the wilderness without a firearm is a moron.

Bump

Speaking as an ex-moron, I would rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6.

41 posted on 02/08/2008 11:26:28 AM PST by kanawa (Don't go where you're looking, look where you're going.)
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To: kiriath_jearim
........said Paul Helmke......

What a wuss he must be!

42 posted on 02/08/2008 11:34:00 AM PST by Bradís Gramma (Vote for my German Shepherds!!!! They're smarter than what's running!!)
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To: Carpe Cerevisi
Yes, Dr. Paul is soooo kooky that he wants the government BOUND by the Constitution!

ZANY I tell ya!

43 posted on 02/08/2008 11:46:29 AM PST by JOAT
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To: Thunder Pig

I tried carrying a concealed Ranger, but he was too heavy and he wanted none of that. Now I pack a pistol.


44 posted on 02/08/2008 12:57:02 PM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty.)
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To: willgolfforfood
Fish, Wildlife, & Parks literature on Bears recommends not shooting an agressive bear,

"You will only make it angry."

It then goes on to suggest, "if the bear charges you strike it on the nose and face with your fists to drive it away."

Doh!

If a bullet is just gonna piss off a bear, what do they think one's fists will do?

45 posted on 02/08/2008 1:00:40 PM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty.)
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To: Carpe Cerevisi
Carpe Cerevisi = Seize the beer?
46 posted on 02/08/2008 1:02:57 PM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty.)
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To: AuntB

Late Fall I was exploring deep in the Upper Still Water Forest and found a bouldered-off road. IT had numerous spray-painted signs, which said, “KEEP OUT. You will be shot.” It also had swastikas and what not.

My first thought was dope growers.


47 posted on 02/08/2008 1:07:34 PM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty.)
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To: Bear_Slayer

You are correct.


48 posted on 02/08/2008 1:32:50 PM PST by Carpe Cerevisi
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To: kiriath_jearim
The Brady disarm everyone idiots are at it again. May they be eaten slowly by grizzlies and wolves on the next visit to a National Park.
49 posted on 02/08/2008 1:38:22 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: Carpe Cerevisi

I might have to exercise that encouragement.


50 posted on 02/08/2008 1:44:18 PM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty.)
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