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View Full Version : Guns in Smokies OK soon


MarkHansen
02-22-2010, 08:27 PM
I was going to post this last week. From the Friday Knox News. It's been talked about for some time now.

What are your thoughts? Good? Bad? I'm not sure how many anti-gun people are on this site . . .

I've had a TN permit for some time now.

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/feb/19/guns-smokies-ok-soon/

Jim Casada
02-22-2010, 08:52 PM
MarkHansen--In my view, as a lifelong and serious hunter, a staunch propnent of the Second Amendment, and as a gun owner, it's long overdue. I've been in one situation in my life where I would have felt much more comfortable had someone in the party had a gun (it involved drunken guys who were beating women and, as it turned out the next day when we contacted Park officials, were on Hazel Creek to plant marijuana as well), and anyone who has earned a concealed carry permit has gone through rigorous profiling as well as training.
I'm opinionated on a lot of things, but other than family, religion, and country, can't think of anything I feel more strongly about than the right to bear arms.
To me, it's a banner day.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Jswitow
02-22-2010, 08:53 PM
Hey Mark,
I am for it. Though I bet at least for a while, it will make the rangers very nervous. Not sure whether I will carry one or not, probably not unless I am planning on being in the backcountry.
best,
John

gutshot
02-22-2010, 10:26 PM
I too am totally for it. I am sure there are going to be some 'issues' with guys having them in the open on their sides going around the Cades Cove loop, but I have no issue with people open carrying. I do know some vacationers from the northeast and Chicago area will have an issue with it and will make a fuss.

Should make for some lively reading in the coming months.

Speck Lover
02-22-2010, 10:37 PM
I have no problem at all with the new law. Guns have been carried in the Smokies for many years illegally anyway by "law-abiding citizens" and the criminal element. I spoke to a friend of mine who is a NPS Ranger in the Smokies recently regarding the issue, and he told me that one of his main concerns was that he felt like some people who had close encounters with bear and boar may be more prone to shoot the bear or boar as opposed to other options. Also he thought that poachers who were able to obtain a permit would have an advantage now for the simple fact that they could now carry a gun in the park "legally". I will be carrying one in the backcountry.

ahighlan
02-22-2010, 11:30 PM
I think it is a good thing.

Things will just continue as normal, like everywhere else where people carry.

jeffnles1
02-22-2010, 11:39 PM
As a gun owner, range officer, and concealed permit holder, I'm in favor of it.

I have no fear (healthy respect but no fear) of 4 legged predators. They typically have far more sense than the 2 legged variety.

My .357mag would be a last stand of defense against a charging bear and I doubt if it would really have the kind of knock down power required to stop such a charge before the bear did whatever it was he was going to do to me anyway.

2 legged predators on the other hand are a different matter entirely.

I've carried a firearm of one type or another most of my adult life and in the 30+ years I've done so, I've never needed to draw it from the holster other than at a firing range.

However, having the means to protect myself and my family in the unlikely event it would be needed, it is comforting to know I may be able to stop such an attack.

I pray that I will never be faced with a situation where deadly force is required. I don't go looking for trouble, and in fact, even when armed, feel backing down from a fight is by far the best alternative. One is better off trying to avoid a bad situation or to turn around and walk away from a bad situation. If they are wanting to rob me, I'd rather give them my wallet than shoot them. However, if my life were in danger or if my wife or son were in danger, I would take whatever steps necessary to resolve the situation to my favor. I would hope and pray that use of deadly force would not be necessary.

However, if that is the only way out, I'm not going to leave my wife a widow without a fight nor would I stand idly by as someone harmed my wife or son.

As for bear or boar, even if one were getting too close, I would imagine the loud bang from a firearm going off would most likely scare it away. A simple "shot over the bow" would be my choice before pumping rounds into the animal's body.

Jeff

jwb
02-22-2010, 11:44 PM
I agree that concealed carry in the parks is a good thing and long overdue.

Scott Spencer
02-23-2010, 12:18 AM
I am 100% for it but not because of needing protection from animals. As others have mentioned, I carry for my and my families protection against my fellow man. I am licensed in Alabama and both NC and TN had reciprocal agreements with Alabama. I'll be carrying when I am in the park from this day forward.

silvercreek
02-23-2010, 09:44 AM
I'm for it, but be aware there are public places where you still cannot have a gun. Also guns will be allowed in the Cherokee National forest. Here are couple of links:
http://www.nps.gov/grsm/parkmgmt/lawsandpolicies.htm

http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/cherokee/

kentuckytroutbum
02-23-2010, 10:39 AM
Jim Casada and Jeff S. clearly stated my sentiments exactlly. I'm all for it, and it is long overdue.

Flyfishjeep
02-23-2010, 12:38 PM
I am for it as well. I do not carry a gun, nor do I have a carrying permit. I do hunt.
If I ever decide to carry a weapon it will be for self defense more against another person rather than an animal. Jim Casada stated my views quite well.
Hopefully nobody will abuse this law, but there always seems to be a black sheep in every herd...

Rocky Hill Angler
02-23-2010, 01:11 PM
I am against it and hope that it will be revisited.

Crockett
02-23-2010, 01:29 PM
I am for it and Jim your post was quite striking on why it is a good idea. I have a carry permit as well although I probably will not carry in the backcountry since a handgun is heavy and I would find it a hassle to keep moisture away from it and such while in the creek. However, I would never want anyone elses right to be taken away if they choose to exercise it.

Carlito
02-23-2010, 01:32 PM
I'm on the fence in this case. I am all about supporting 2nd Amendment rights, but I am concerned about having more people carrying in the Park. I'm certain everyone on this forum is a responsible gun owner, but what about all the yahoos that you see in the Park every time you visit? How long will it be until someone you know runs into some redneck a-hole that has a chip on his shoulder? Do we all have to carry now to feel safe?

Personally, I still haven't decided if I think it is a good or bad thing. In fact, I've been considering a hand gun purchase for a while now for the very purpose of carrying when I am in the back country. It is a rational instinct to want to carry, but you have to admit that this new rule does change some things (some of which aren't necessarily for the better).

BlueRaiderFan
02-23-2010, 03:50 PM
We can't live our lives based on what might happen. We should live it based on the rights that the constitution guarantees us. I too share your concern, but only to a small extent. I'm much more worried about the guy that has been in prison and couldn't care less if he gets caught without a permit.

JohnH0802
02-23-2010, 04:54 PM
Jim Casada and Jeff S. say it very well. I will add just a couple of thoughts.

Gun control laws by definition have no effect on the criminal element (i.e. a criminal by definition does not obey the law, so who will a gun control law impact? only the law abiding).

For those of you who have concerns about what may happen, those arguments are remarkably similiar to arguments made as states started adopting right to carry permits. The verdict is already in, take a look at the stats from states that have permits. If you look at the data you will see a marked decline in violent crimes in states that have right to carry laws.

The 2nd Amendment guarantees an individuals right to keep and bear arms, and this individual right has been upheld by the supreme court.

I have no problem with someone choosing not to keep or carry a firearm, it is his or her individual right to make that choice. The problem I have is when someone else wants to make that choice for me.

A long overdue change.

John

rivergal
02-23-2010, 05:51 PM
I think it will be a good deterrent against carjackings and other random violent crimes,
but what do I know? I am just one of those bitter folks clinging to my guns and religion.

old east tn boy
02-23-2010, 06:34 PM
I am for it and as others have stated, not for wild animal protection (the four legged variety). I do not live my life in fear of my fellow man however, as my years advance I no longer feel I can deter or flee an altercation barehanded or fleet footed therefore I legally carry a sidearm. Enter into the scenario protection of loved ones and the decision is even easier. I never carried in the park before because I never wanted to lose my carry permit and/or gun if I was caught with it there but now I will. I agree with one posting that it may not stand which will depend primarily on the anti-gun crowd challenges. Time will tell.

Birdman
02-23-2010, 08:31 PM
Jim Casada and Jeff S. say it very well. I will add just a couple of thoughts.

Gun control laws by definition have no effect on the criminal element (i.e. a criminal by definition does not obey the law, so who will a gun control law impact? only the law abiding).

For those of you who have concerns about what may happen, those arguments are remarkably similiar to arguments made as states started adopting right to carry permits. The verdict is already in, take a look at the stats from states that have permits. If you look at the data you will see a marked decline in violent crimes in states that have right to carry laws.

The 2nd Amendment guarantees an individuals right to keep and bear arms, and this individual right has been upheld by the supreme court.

I have no problem with someone choosing not to keep or carry a firearm, it is his or her individual right to make that choice. The problem I have is when someone else wants to make that choice for me.

A long overdue change.

John
My thoughts exactly. I accidentally came between a sow and her two cubs this past summer. I was on them, stringer of fish in hand, before either party knew it because of the noise of the creek roaring. It was getting dark and I was about 1.5 miles from my truck. Needless to say, in no small measure, I was in an elevated state of fear. I would never want to shoot a bear, unless it was the VERY LAST choice. In other words, I wished it would have been legal to have my weapon that day. It turned out I didn't need it but, by the hair of a frogs back, it almost went the other way and I probably wouldn't be here typing now. I love my wife and want to do everything in my power to return to her safely each and every day as well as to protect her when she is with me, whether it be the two or four legged variety that poses the danger.

Carlito
02-24-2010, 11:41 AM
All very valid points. The more I consider it, the more that I feel like I can support the new legislation.

Rodonthefly
02-24-2010, 01:38 PM
I'm all for it, hope I never have to put it to use, but i would reather know i have it if i did need it.

ChemEAngler
02-24-2010, 01:46 PM
I too believe in the right to bear arms, and support this decision.

My thoughts now turn to what will the NPS have to do to inform/educate people who are not familiar with the outdoors and animal behavior that just seeing one doesn't give them the right to shoot it. They need to be actually threatened not just hyped up on adrenaline from the encounter. Secondly, we are already short on park rangers, I think the NPS will need to bring in additional rangers just to keep the yahoos under control and help deter these instances from happening.

BlueRaiderFan
02-24-2010, 02:09 PM
IMO, most will use good judgement, many bears that are seen will be too far away and or run like they usually do, and I would guess that 99% of the time, when a person actually does take a shot, they'll miss due to distance, fear or whatever. I think a simple sign posted at each trail head that details the legal ramifications of shooting a bear without good cause will be enough to scare most into not drawing down. JMO.

Crockett
02-24-2010, 02:15 PM
Yeah we tend to overthink or guess that bad things will happen thats human nature :eek:. My guess is this will prove to be a non-event as it was last year. In case you forgot it was legal to carry in the park between January 9th and April 20th last year before the courts suspended the law and of course nothing happened. No animals needlessly shot or people shooting each other. Here is the thread from last year with much of the same:

http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11752

Ky Tim
02-24-2010, 02:17 PM
Lots of studies have shown that when it is legal to carry, violent crime actually drops. I doubt anyone will even notice the difference.

tnh2owader
02-24-2010, 04:18 PM
I strongly agree with JohnH0802. John, my sentiments exactly. I have had a carry
permit for a couple years now and have never felt a need to carry while fishing, yet.
But I sure don't want someone else to tell me whether or not I can carry to protect
myself, my family, or my fellow man. The 2nd amendment guarantees us that right.
And if I'm not mistaken, my Bible gives me the right as well.

JohnH0802
02-24-2010, 05:13 PM
I have read several comments about people hoping that the "yahoos" and "red neck a-holes" don't abuse the law and I have just a couple of comments on this.

These are the arguments that the gun-control crowd and mainstream media always bring up to try and curtail the 2nd Amendment rights of the law abiding. However when you shine the light of truth on the facts, this is far from the truth.

I still remember all of the public outcry when Florida first passed its right-to-carry law and all of the media and gun control folks were talking about how it was going to be the wild west, with shoot outs in bars and such. This did not happen, and as I stated earlier it was actually just the opposite. When Florida started seeing increased violent crime targetting visitors and tourists, they interviewed some gang members and asked them why they were targetting the vistors and tourists, and found out that they were targetting them because they knew that they would not be armed. Florida did the smart thing and issued permits to out of state people.

I will agree that it doesn't take but one poor example to reflect badly on all of us (I have personnaly seen the consequences of poor sportsman hurting fishing or hunting access). Just realize that the number of people that abuse/misuse a carry permit are statistically irrelivant. I think what gives it legs is that it is all we hear in the media, until the next thing you know we are repeating the same things. This is just a bad stereotype, and not true or supported by the facts.

What I worry about are the criminals, as we have seen recently what they are capable of (i.e. the shooting of the elk in the park). This bothers me not just because of what they did, but because people automatically lump that person in with the law abiding sportsman and hunters, when the truth is that law abiding sportsman and hunters are the most outspoken against such actions.

John

old east tn boy
02-24-2010, 09:50 PM
I recall last year when it was legal to carry in the park, a local tv newscast lead into the story by saying, "You'll soon be hearing the sound of gunfire in the Smokies ..." Today in the Knoxville News Sentinel editorial page, the cartoon showed a thug holding up a bank with a pistol and the caption read, "The last person in Tennessee without a carry permit." From most sources I read, it is generally stated that the sport of hunting and fishing is on the decline in America. When I was a boy my buddies and I lived in the woods in autumn. Spring and summer found us on the lakes in east TN as much as school and parents would let us. Look around you now. How many kids are doing that? Mention shooting back in the 60's and the first thing that popped into our mind was squirrel, rabbit, quail or dove? Mention shooting today and kids wonder which school? Folks, we live in a world far different from that which we grew up in.

pmike
02-25-2010, 01:45 AM
I have made a practice of carrying a gun for self defense almost for as long as i have been driving, especially when traveling overnight or out of state. Even some of the nicer hotels I've stayed at have at times had warnings about high crime rates and not opening the door to just anyone who knocks.

This presents a problem to me in that I refuse to leave a weapon, loaded or otherwise in a hotel room and yet I also refuse to leave one in a car while onstream per chance some thug happens to decide my car looks ripe for the picking. It would be bad enough to return to my car and discover I had been robbed, and even worse if I returned to find them still there and armed with my weapon for use against myself or anyone with me.

The ability to carry legally in the parks will allow me to remain in possesion of my own weapon and able if needed to protect myself and those along with me.

Mike

Speck Lover
02-25-2010, 12:31 PM
Mention shooting back in the 60's and the first thing that popped into our mind was squirrel, rabbit, quail or dove? Mention shooting today and kids wonder which school? Folks, we live in a world far different from that which we grew up in.old east tn boy,

I'm off-topic here, but in 1975 I bought a used .22 rifle from a high school classmate at the high school we attended. I paid him $25.00 for the rifle, and after school I got on the school bus with the rifle and a bus load of kids and went home with it. Nothing was said to me and nobody thought anything about it back then. Heck, during deer season in our county back then, some of our school bus drivers carried a deer rifle with them on the bus in case they saw a buck on the way home in the evenings. It was never an issue. Indeed, I do live in a world far different than what I grew up in. I apologize for the sidetrack, I just needed to reminisce a little and reflect on "how far we have come as a society".

JohnH0802
02-25-2010, 01:04 PM
In that same timeframe Marines used to keep their service rifles in their trunks for the same reason. It was a common practice. Currently to move a service rifle to the rifle range in a POV requires a SNCO or an Officer.