I'm pleasantly surprised to see the content of most of the posts here. As someone who carries daily, it always amazes me that people equate gun ownership/carry with crime. While it's true that some criminals have guns, the following is hardly ever true:
1. The criminal has a license/permit for the weapon.
2. The criminal wouldn't commit the crime if unarmed.
3. The criminal couldn't break-in/steal/attack/rob/kidnap without a firearm.
4. The criminal wouldn't think twice if the victim was armed and commit the crime anyway.
The idea of letting the owners of the Park( that's We the People, FYI) legally carry firearms inside our National Parks is long overdue. As for the change, as recent history has shown, if people are angry at the government, they don't have to go inside a federal building to show that anger and harm other people. You still cannot carry your firearm into any building on National Park land, so when camping at Elkmont you'll need to lock your firearm in your car to make your way to the bathroom - even though it makes no sense at all. ( It's the federal government, what did you expect - something totally sensible? ) The only thing prohibiting law-abiding citizens from carrying their weapons does is make more of those "gun free zones" where criminals know they stand less of a chance of being shot if they try their game inside those areas.
btw - if a bear attacks me I will kill it. I have the range time and the handgun capable of doing so. They are not super-beasts and one or two rounds into the head should do it. Just for safety's sake, I carry 12 rounds of .40 hollow point. I will not hesitate to kill boo-boo if he decides to attack me and I will not regret doing it. Saving a bear's life is not my priority. Saving my own life, or that of a family member is...
That said, I predict that some idiot will kill a snake, bear or other human being without reason within 2 years. Sadly, there are people out there that have a hard time with common sense.