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Kytroutbum
12-06-2008, 01:02 PM
This will probably generate more posts than the requirements to be a Ky/Kentuckytroutbum (:>). http://www.doi.gov/news/08_News_Releases/120508.html.
As a GUN OWNER and having had two bear encounters in the Park the past few years, I still have issues with hand guns in the park. WE ALL know that there are just too many folks who leave any commonsense they have at the Park Boundaries. Also what percent of tourists carry enough firepower and the have the ABILITY to put down a bear compared to wounding it! I would rather not have to deal with someone else's wounded bear. If I needed a gun to protect myself, I feel carrying my shotgun with slugs would be better. In the Mont/Wyo. Beartooths, I keep it as a BACKUP TO MY BEAR SPRAY in my camper not on the stream.

I don't believe the current Bear Policy is working (probably due to lack of ability to enforce)?I'm for thinning out the bears some way and reinstilling some fear of man, may be a special quote hunt by drawn permit with a guide? Allowing handguns for protection is the wrong way.

Randall Sale
the "Original"(Ky/Kentucky)troutbum

pmike
12-06-2008, 03:08 PM
..some of the all too many 2-legged predators out there. I am including my response posted on another site in that regard. I also would admit there are some folks i would not want to stand next too if they had a loaded sling-shot, much less a loaded handgun. I am hopeing that the training necessary for concelaed carry will encourage common sense and better safety among those who choose to carry, yet realize there will always be some exceptions.


By the way, my understanding is that the Park Rangers used their .40 caliber service weapons to put down the bear a couple of years ago that attacked and killed the woman from Cosby. While a shotgun would be better, I am confident a .357 could slow down and stop the majority of bears. I would first opt for pepper spray though! I have never used the spray on a bear, but have used it on dogs almost as big as a bear and it stopped the dogs sprayed right in their tracks.

I am glad...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

...that we are moving in the direction of allowing licensed, concealed carry in the parks. Many of you recall the incidents in Florida a few years ago when thieves and thugs were targeting tourists. this happened shortly after the concealed carry laws were passed allowing Florida citizens to carry legally. The general consensus of law enforcement was that the thugs began to target tourists at the time, choosing them as likely to be unarmed over citizens who were more likely to have armed themselves for self defense. They realized the thieves were choosing their victims based upon the license plates on their cars and rental cars. Soon after this the renatl cars plates were replaced so it was no longer apparent that the drivers were out of state and less likely armed to defend themselves.

Concealed carry is not about law enforcement or being a vigilante, it is about self protection and defense. I appreciate and respect the law enforcement we have here in the USA, but police are only human and they cannot be everywhere they need to be, when they need to be there to protect everyone. I recall a few years ago that a citizen filed and law suit against their local police dept because that dept had failed to "protect" this person against attack and injury. As I recall this involved a domestic situation in which restraining orders had been served. The basis of the suit was in part due to the logo that is commonly found on law enforcement vehicles, "To protect and to serve!". The point being that the departments policy included this statement and in this situation had failed to protect. The suit was thrown out, the reason being that regardless of the motto, it was unreasonable for anyone to expect the level of effort by any law enforcement agency, that would be necessary to afford them protection.

Back over the last couple of years as this fellow who murdered that older gentleman and his wife off the Blue-ridge Parkway and the young lady in north Georgia, not to mention the lady in the Natl park in Florida...I wondered what would have happened had he encountered one individual who was armed and had the resolve to defend themselves or their loved ones. It appeared that this fellow intentionally stalked folks in areas that were "gun free" by law, which in his case was a like shooting fish in a barrel.

I do and have carried for years, and plan to continue to do so. My greatest prayer in this regard is that i never have to defend myself or my loved ones by use of lethal force, but be assured in the need arises, I will and I'll do so without any regret.

Mike
__________________
"Fly-fishing has many attributes, but none more pleasing than it's ability to liberate the young boy that still hides within me"

jeffnles1
12-06-2008, 04:26 PM
This debate rages on. There are so many emotional and political overtones that it's really hard to sort the wheat from the chaff.

A law abiding citizen who is reasonably well trained having a firearm is no more dangerous than a reasonably trained carpenter with a hammer. I have a KY CDW permit. If it were legal to carry in the park, I would.

I have absolutely no fear of bears. Healthy respetc, yes, fear, no. A bear is not going to plot and scheme to do me harm. A bear may react to something I've done, or behave out of some physical need but a bear is not going to lurk in a parking lot to attack me over money. A bear is not going to harrass me because it's drunk or stoned. A bear is not going to mollest my son or rape my wife or torture someone I love just because it wanted to.

Nope, it's not the bears that cause me to carry a firearm. It's the two legged predators that are FAR more dangerous than than the bears.

I carry a firearm anywhere it's leagl to do so. Unless you knew me, you would never know I had a firearm with me that's why it's called concealed. In the years I've carried, there have only been two times when I've been glad that I've had it with me.

One was when a domestic dispute broke out at a gas station in the car next to me. The two of them were really going at it. One of my best friends is a retired state policeman from Nevada and he said domestic disputes were the calls that really made him nervous. A husband / wife arguing have absolutely no sense of reason or self control, especially when fueled by drugs or alcohol. Fortunately, they drove on and nothing happened when I was there.

The other time was when I was at a local lake and a woman let her stupid mean pit bull off the leash. Unlike with a bear, a pit bull is trained to be mean and the idiot woman let it off the leash. The dog charged me, I did put my hand on the butt of the pistol and yelled at the dog. I never pulled the firearm clear of the holster. Yes, I would have shot the dog.

I pray that I never have to use any of my firearms for antthing other than target shooting and target competition. I don't want to shoot anything or anyone.

To get a CDW permit, one must go through training and pass a test. No, it's not difficult and the training and testing I had to go through to be a certified range officer was much more extensive but not just any boozo can get a permit.

Personally, knowing that only the bad guys have guns in the park makes me a bit nervous. Evening out the odds a bit is not a bad thing.

Just my $.02 worth.

Jeff

Kytroutbum
12-06-2008, 05:05 PM
I agree to a degree with you, my concern is individuals in "bear situation" using a firearm "sooner than necessary" and wounding a bear. If we were to look at bear provocations in the park, most would be linked to someone else's interaction. Either feeding them at a backcountry site or harassing them somehow. A person's reaction to an approaching bear should involve making them aware of you, backing away, Yelling, etc, THEN the use of Spray if they threatenly approach, and use of firearm as last result. My concern is more for HUMANS being attacked than protecting the bears.

Also, Outdated Bear Spray has the same Pepper Concentration just slightly less propellant. Instead of going out 40 feet, it may peak at 25-30. We carry out of date cans in all our cars and in a backpack when hiking, or birding in non bear areas.

pmike
12-06-2008, 06:17 PM
The closer the animal is when being sprayed, the easier the target and stronger the concentration of spray of the spray that hits them. One of my biggest concerns would be of a person spraying the canister empty in a panic before the animal they try to spray is within range. In such a case the animal if charging would arrive as the can sputters out the last drop or so.

I don't recommend this, but in a situation a few years ago, I was riding a bike for exercise late at night and early in the monring. I did this to avoid the heat a bit and to get exercise. One night as I was riding I heard a dog barkling and could also hear it's feet hit the ground as it began to chase me. It was too dark to see, but by the time I sprayed, I actually felt the dog's breath on my outstretched hand. As soon as the spray released, the dog immediately stopped it's attack and began to run the other direction. The next day I drove by in daylight to see what manner of beast it was and as i approached the area I n oticed a huge Chow laying in the yard. The next day I went on my ride a bit earlier and again this dog began to growl, bark at me, and run toward me. This time as i lifted the can of spray toward him, he stopped in his tracks, turned around and walked up to his owner's porch to lay down. Yet again a few days later he heard my bike as I approached, this time he remained on the porch and stood to look my direction. Once more I held up the spray to prepare to use it, but this time he immediately sat down and quit barking. He became familiar enough that he never chased me again.

In the park, I honestly can't think of anyhthing better if necessary than bear spray or one of those throw away boat horns that makes loud noise and would tend to confuse and most likely scare a bear away.

Mike

Kytroutbum
12-06-2008, 06:34 PM
I spend about a month in the Beartooth Mt.s -Cooke City where there are more grizzly than people. My wife and I each carry a can holstered and carry one as A BACKUP IN THE MESH on the side of our pack readily AVAILABLE. We check the dates when purchasing to get a good can and buy a new one every time out there "The procedure" is to fire a short 1-2 second burst, then assess the situation, wind, etc. The idea is to put a "cloud between you and the bear. Its oil base so it will suspended and "hang" in the air. Watch the wind, it can come back on you. We were told by NFS personnel who suggested it to practice with it before needing it, which we did.

sammcdonald
12-06-2008, 07:57 PM
the original proposal was to allow guns in national parks to states that allowed guns in their state parks...that would have excluded gsmnp because both tennesse and n.c. prohibit guns in the state parks....however, the proposal was changed, without public notice, and supported by rep. bob corker of tennessee.....

JimmyC
12-06-2008, 08:38 PM
Great news! I'll be yankee hunting, forget the bears.

pineman19
12-06-2008, 08:38 PM
I don't have a problem with guns or many people that use them. The responsible gun owners that are used to being in remote area do not worry me. People who don't normally spend a lot of time outdoors in remote areas with guns concerns me, especially in the most highly visited park in the United States. I see the possibility of animals and possibly humans being injured by people panicking and using a gun when it isn't necessary. To be honest this another case of government not looking at whole consequences of a new law or anything else they do. There is a big difference in allowing guns in a park that has relatively few visitors as to the Smokies.

Once again, I'll say I have no problem with most people carrying a concealed weapon, just idiots who are not used to being in a outdoor environment with guns. There is a big difference in a homeowner having a gun to protect their family and home and carrying a gun to protect themselves in the outdoors environment.


Neal

pineman19
12-06-2008, 08:42 PM
BTW, I am a Yankee, actually a Halfback as you all like to say. Fire away.

JimmyC
12-06-2008, 08:48 PM
Awh, heck. Don't get its widdle feelins hurtid!

pineman19
12-06-2008, 08:51 PM
LOL, your funny son. Lord knows you southerners aren't sensitive.

JimmyC
12-06-2008, 08:56 PM
What is LOL? Lots Of Love? That's only legal in Massachusetts, "son." Pine away, pineman. You'll remain the plague of Sevier Co. Have a good one, and be sure to retort with something witty and, of course, not at all sensitive. =)~

It sure is sad someone has to be so, well, unhumorous. There isn't a shred of evidence that suggests life is serious!

ChemEAngler
12-06-2008, 09:15 PM
BTW, I am a Yankee, actually a Halfback as you all like to say. Fire away.

Pineman,
How did you end up in Luttrell? I have lots of family there, and outsiders typically are slow to be accepted. When I go up there for holidays and special occasions, I like to think of it as international travel... Nice people up that way, they are just very set in their ways.

Also, guys can we keep this discussion civil this time around. I know it is not my responsibility, but I am going to be the first to ask that we all act like adults here. I would hate to see this thread get locked, or the people stirring up trouble getting banned. Just my thoughts....

Travis

Paula Begley
12-06-2008, 09:44 PM
All I am going to say is that anyone who wants to comment here needs to read the rules of the site. They can be found here (http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/faq.php?faq=vb_faq#faq_b). Rule number 6 is particularly pertinent.

Thank you.

Paula

Dukee
12-07-2008, 12:17 AM
This is a good thing for law abinding concaled carry holders. Probably a bad thing for the bears. Having had a few bear encounters, I never felt the need to defend myself. The bears live there, I am the visitor and I act as such. When fishing out west I keep a lightweight 44 as a backup to my bearspray. Bearspray is a much better deterrent than a handgun for bear.

Two legged varmits are another matter. I do feel at a distinct disadvantage in a National park knowing the criminals and other law breakers are carrying weapons anyway. Where better to mug/ beat/ rape or kill someone than in a national park where your victims is probably unarmed.

I am a law abiding concealed carry gun owner. I maintain profeciency with my firearm and compete regularly in IDPA/ IPSC events. I have never drawn a weapon in self defense although I came close in Colorado once when a man high on something threatened my son and myself behind a resturaunt. Luckily he was armed with a small club and I felt confident in the ability to defend us without a gun. If he had a knife or gun, it would have been a different situation, especially with my 9 year old son standing behind me as we were backed up against a wall. Given a choice I would rather have a can of bearspray for a bear/ dog or other animal. In retrospect the bearspray would have probably defused the situation in Colorado too...:biggrin:

Speckleman5
12-07-2008, 04:06 AM
I have a gut feeling that this thread shares the fate of its close relative who was banished into cyberlimbo several months ago. Am I correct oh so gracious moderator?:biggrin:

Paula Begley
12-07-2008, 08:01 AM
I have a gut feeling that this thread shares the fate of its close relative who was banished into cyberlimbo several months ago. Am I correct oh so gracious moderator?:biggrin:

I see no reason why the members of this board cannot carry on a civil conversation regarding the proposed change of regulations on gun carry in the park.

It shouldn't be too hard to follow the site rules and to be respectful of one another. We are, after all, adults.

Paula

pmike
12-07-2008, 10:19 AM
THANKS Paula and Byron for continuing to provide this incredible forum! Robin, Victoria, and I pray that ya'll, Daniel, and the rest of the staff enjoy the Lord's richest blessings for the Christmas holidays and New Year to come!

Mike,

ijsouth
12-07-2008, 02:35 PM
I've wondered about whether to jump into this thread...I understand the viewpoints of both sides on this issue. I don't think anyone wants to see a bunch of idiots, potentially likkered up, packing heat in the park, and the bear issue is certainly one to consider. However, I believe it is a good decision, for the simple reason that it is our constitutional right, a right that was recently clarified by a Supreme Court decision. Now, that right is certainly subject to reasonable restrictions - the question is, should the Park be one of those areas where restrictions should be in play? I think that, in a situation like this, whenever possible the benefit of the doubt should be given to enabling freedom, in this case the freedom to protect ourselves. Now, the fact that it will be limited to those with concealed carry permits is an example of a "reasonable" restriction - that will tend to prevent the frivilous from bringing guns into the park. The concerns with the bears is a real one, but judging from the responses on this thread, I think most who have enough experience with firearms to get a carry permit also realize that most handguns don't have the stopping power necessary in a bear confrontation, and that repellent is a better option. I don't think we'll have much to worry about in that department; if that proves not to be the case in a few years, this policy can be revisited and revised.

Anyway, that's my .02....and opinions are like noses, everyone has 'em.

jeffnles1
12-07-2008, 04:55 PM
I don't think I can improve on what JSouth has said.

Those with concerns, please take a deep breath. This is not going to be open season on bears. Yes, someone somewhere is probably going to shoot a bear but it's not going to be a wholesale bear shoot.

Guns are not evil and the people who own and carry firearms are not necessarily evil. Some evil people do carry firearms but be assured, the evil ones already are carrying firearms in the park.

The people who apply for, and are granted, concealed carry permits are NOT the ones you need to worry about.


I'm glad this conversation has remained civil. There's absolutely no reason this should turn into a heated discussion.

Jeff

kytroutman
12-07-2008, 06:14 PM
The question is, will the ability to carry a concealed firearm affect the amount of fishing in the park? Maybe not for the carrier but the potential for confrontations with someone else carrying a firearm, not only for the bears, but the attack squirrels, the kung fu deer and the most dangerous, the acorn spewing wild hogs. I have fished the Smokies for more than 30 years and have never had the fear of a bear attack (yes, we have met on paths and streams and both ran in opposite direction of each other). On the other hand, I have had run ins with the liquored up, loud-mouthed visitors (both local and not) that would make me want to avoid the park if the potential of a firearm is present.

92Esquire
12-07-2008, 08:10 PM
I welcome this change. I have my permit, and prefer to be armed, especially when I am a significant distance from help (oddly enough, that's most of the time). I probably can't lay anyone's fears to rest about people who legally carry, but I can tell you that in my experience, I pray that I never, ever have to even draw my weapon in a confrontation. Anyone who's done any research on the topic understands that the conflict does not end there - it typically only begins. That's why for any reasonable person, drawing a weapon is truly a last resort - a step only to be taken if the alternative is death or serious bodily injury.

Also understand that the people you need to fear carrying a weapon have been doing so already. Prohibition does not stop lawbreakers - it only disarms the lawful.

ijsouth
12-07-2008, 08:18 PM
I really doubt that the averaged sauced louse in the park will suddenly find the level of responsibility to go meet the qualifications to get a concealed carry permit. In other words, I don't think there will be a sudden rash of yahoos packing - if that turns out not to be the case, then the policy will have to be revised. Yeah, I've seen plenty of idiots in the park, but to be honest, I see far more every day, driving to and from work...and I fear a moron juggling a cell phone, a Big Mac, and a newspaper behind the wheel more than anything else. I just don't think we should deny a citizen their rights, especially with a reasonable restriction included. As for encountering such idiots while fishing, the beauty of the park is, while it is heavily visited, one can lose the crowds in a hurry. For example, I fished Kanati Branch for a while last week, the day after Thanksgiving; within only a few steps from the road, I put "civilization" behind me.

Treecatcher2
12-08-2008, 01:51 PM
I figure some folks have guns, some don't. Some have permits, some don't. I try to stay away from most folks when I visit the park to fish. Sometimes this means a longer walk but that's ok. Just being there is enough and if I occasionally catch a fish or two that's a bonus.

I agree with ijsouth, its the folks I am on the road with that cause the greater concern.

lauxier
12-08-2008, 11:53 PM
there's lots of bears in the park these days--I don't think I can blame anyone for carrying a firearm,if carrying a firearm makes that person feel safer. I won't be carrying a firearm.I've got bear spray,that stuff will stop almost anything.There's just one thing I think we should remember,if you were to actually be put in a situation in which you needed a firearm,I think you will need it badly.I don't think I can abide the strangeness of gunshots ringing out in the park.One shot fired at 1 charging bear will be followed by 10 shots fired at non-bears.I am a gun person,I own several. let's keep the park quiet and isolated from " the way of the gun."(a good movie,by the way)

Ky Tim
12-09-2008, 10:28 AM
I have a KY CCDW permit and I don't worry to much about bears. I worry about the two-legged folks. Had a bad experience a few years back driving from Cherokee to Gatlinburg in the dark. Now I was in posession of a firearm. It was taken apart and stored seperately from the ammo in the trunk of my wife's car. It was really of no use to me that way. Fortunately things worked out, but I will admit to being a little worried.

flydoc
12-09-2008, 02:29 PM
I'm not concerned about the permit holders. For the most part they are responsible gun owners.

I'm worried about yokels just reading the headlines that guns are allowed in the park now and thinking anybody can bring in a gun. Those are the folks I'm worried about doing something stupid.

18inchbrown
12-10-2008, 11:29 AM
I do not believe that people who get drunk and carry firearms would get a concealed carry permit. They are idiots who will carry a weapon anywhere anytime no matter what.

I believe concealed carry is for law abiding, God -fearing, people who want to protect themselves from the people I describe above. The legalization of gun access in National Parks is for the protection of individuals against assault from other individuals. Our society is getting more and more uncivil and with the advent of concealed carry it will make the crooks think twice about randomly assaulting apparently defenseless people simply because the crooks do not know who is carrying. I myself do not have a concealed carry permit but I am thinking about obtaining one the older I get.

BlueRaiderFan
12-10-2008, 08:32 PM
I do not believe that people who get drunk and carry firearms would get a concealed carry permit. They are idiots who will carry a weapon anywhere anytime no matter what.

I believe concealed carry is for law abiding, God -fearing, people who want to protect themselves from the people I describe above. The legalization of gun access in National Parks is for the protection of individuals against assault from other individuals. Our society is getting more and more uncivil and with the advent of concealed carry it will make the crooks think twice about randomly assaulting apparently defenseless people simply because the crooks do not know who is carrying. I myself do not have a concealed carry permit but I am thinking about obtaining one the older I get.

Exactly...A criminal will carry a gun anywhere, anytime...Why not allow a those that follow the law to exercise their RIGHT to carry a gun?

tire guy
12-10-2008, 08:46 PM
As I understand rules of the park liquor is not permitted, that has not prevented a lot of people from enjoying their adult beverage. So with that said I treat most everyone I do not know as someone with the potential to have a gun legal or not. Therefore when carrying a gun in the park is legal I will still assume everyone has the potential to carry only now those carrying legally will be better trained and probably more capable of making good decisions. Most trained gun owners will treat everyone as having the potential to carry a weapon therefore those untrained and probably illegal weapons are the ones to be afraid of. Also most trained gun owners will never let anyone know they are carrying a weapon. Hopefully for you and me you will never know when I have a gun with me. Now I am going to read more about fly fishing.

Brian Griffing
12-11-2008, 09:20 AM
Tire Guy, very good post. In fact, there a number of very good posts on this thread.
I had determined to stay out of this conversation this time, but Tire Guy's post compelled me to add something. I agree that it is usually best to conceal a lawfully carried weapon. Because of society's feelings towards firearms, you are better off concealing your weapon (legally, of course) than wearing it openly and overtly displaying it to the general population, many of whom believe guns can magically "go off" by themselves.
But in the woods, where guns are slightly more accepted and less of a shock, I take a different tack. I put a large Smith and Wesson .44 magnum on the side of my hip, where I can reach it easily and quickly. The greatest benefit of that gun is that it sends a clear and unmistakable signal to any potential thugs at the end of a deserted road that they have chanced upon the wrong guy and their best bet is to wait for a softer target. I learned years ago when dealing with the mujahideen and other terrorists that you don't have to be impregnable, you just have to be more vigilant than someone else. Criminals are going to go after the easy prey, and I will not be easy. It goes hand in hand with that old saying; "You don't have to outrun the bear, you just gotta outrun your buddy."

kentuckytroutbum
12-11-2008, 12:39 PM
Tire guy, you and the others have made some very very good points. I was suprised when the National Park Service said that they were going to allow firearms in the Parks. Wonder if the Supreme Court's Heller decision had anything to do with that. Hopefully so.
Barbara & I both had CCW licenses when we lived in Texas. A very high percentage of Texans have CCWs. If you had a CCW, it HAD to be concealed. Sure made everybody more peaceable, because you never knew who might be armed. It works!

caught 108
12-11-2008, 05:40 PM
I feel Good knowing that my chances of surviving,A Hungry Bear Attack or some Crazy Person with intention's to end my life.While Fishing in the Smokies Just Got Better.

BlueRaiderFan
12-11-2008, 08:17 PM
I think it depends on that states laws that the park resides in. If the state allows fire arms in their parks, then you can have one in the national park residing in that state. So, this all goes down to states laws and rights, I believe. I think you can have one in Tennessee state parks with a CWP.

sammcdonald
12-11-2008, 09:25 PM
the tennessee and n.c laws prohibit guns in state parks.....but the final proposal as sponsored by bush and, locally, bob corker, struck the states laws from the issue....and now when bob corker runs again, my vote goes to whoever is against him

BlueRaiderFan
12-11-2008, 10:35 PM
Oh Corker is definitely getting my vote after this! It's about time our constitutional rights were observed! Now law abiding citizens can exercise their right to carry arms.

Dukee
12-11-2008, 11:52 PM
Brian- That was a real thought provoking post, I never considered carrying openly in the park, but then again, I have never carried in the park anyway. Once away from the crowds, open carry may be the way to go. I also think all bear shootings should be closely scrutinized. This change should not increase bear shootings in the smokies, but I know it probably will.

kytroutman
12-12-2008, 09:59 AM
I'm trying to figure out if it's necessary to purchase a Kevlar vest to wear under my waders.;-)

pmike
12-12-2008, 12:08 PM
I'm not sure if tjey still are, but one review I read a couiple of years ago reported that LL Bean's, "Wicked Tough Waders" were in part tough due to the use of Kevlar in their construction.

Mike

jeffnles1
12-12-2008, 02:24 PM
Kevlar waders, bear shootings, drunk locals shooting up the park, gunfights, etc. are all straw man arguments.

The issue at hand is should a person who has been trained and deemed responsible by their state government to carry a concealed deadly weapon for the purposes of self defense be entitled to carry a weapon in a National Park?

If we're going to dispute the straw man falicies:

Bears - if someone shoots a bear and it is determined it was not in self defense, that person will be prosecuted and fined. Poahcers kill bears in the park all the time and when caught, they are prosecuted and fined. Will bears get shot? Who knows? Maybe, maybe not. Should a person have the right to protect himself from an animal attack? I think so.

Drunk Locals with guns - Guess what, criminals don't care about the laws anyway. They're not going to be stopped with the current law banning firearms and a law that allows law abiding citizens to carry a firearm isn't going to impact the criminal use of firearms one bit. The only difference is I will no longer be unarmed and at the mercy of a criminal in the event of attack.

Kevlar Waders - That one is actually kind of funny. I got a laugh. But the truth is that even in the event that a handgun calibre firearm were shot in the park, the odds of you getting hit by a stray bullet are about the same as winning the Lottery Jackpot. Actually, the Lottery may honestly have better odds. Now, consider the effective and maximum ranges of most handgun calibres. The effective range (actually hitting what you're aiming at) is under 100 yards for the overwhelming majority of handgun users. Yes, I have competed in events where we shot handguns at targets 200 and 300 yards out but these were high calibre, long barrel speciality weapons, not the typical 9MM 40cal, 357 concealed carry firearm. The maximum range (how far will a projectile travel) of these weapons is probably about 500 yards at the most. Now, consider that any branch, rock, tree trunk or hillside is going to stop the projectile. Standing in your favorite stream, how many places in the park do you see where there is an uninterrupted straight line (actually arching like a footbal pass from an NFL quarterback) path from you out 500 yards? There are not any. So, you're looking at probably 50-100 yards at the absolute maximum. You would get struck by lightning several times before a stray bullet found you. And that is assuming one of people with a concealed carry permit ever actually fires a shot.

When one looks at this as a logical discussion, the risk is quite low indeed. It is, and always has been, an emotional argument and, unfortunately, has over the years degraded into a one political party vs. another political party debate. The probability that you will drown in a river or die falling on a rock is far higher than the chance you will be hit ba any stray bullet, yet we go fishing all the time.

Jeff

kytroutman
12-12-2008, 02:51 PM
I'm pretty sure that Pastor Mike and myself were being facetious about the Kevlar and the waders. A good sense of humor is a great personal attribute.

jeffnles1
12-12-2008, 05:20 PM
I'm pretty sure that Pastor Mike and myself were being facetious about the Kevlar and the waders. A good sense of humor is a great personal attribute.

KYtroutbum, I know. That's why I said I got a laugh out of it. I did think it was kind of funny to think of folks with bullet proof waders. Now, if I were fishing in Washington DC, they may be needed :smile:

Mainly, I was trying to point out that the emotional part of the debate seems to overshadow the reality of the situation.

No, I didn't think you were serious and knew you were joking and, I did laugh at the idea...

Jeff

kytroutman
12-12-2008, 06:24 PM
No harm Jeff. I have fished the Smokies for more than 35 years. During that time, I have seen the tourist traps increase, the LRCTU greatly improve the fishing opportunities in the park and the amount of visitors to the park increase dramatically, among others. The only thing that has not changed is the level of stupidity with some of those who use the park. The pertains to a small amount of people, but include the locals as well as tourists. My personal opinion that many of the concerns regarding firearms in the park are due to these people, but have sparked some interesting conversation on this blog.