Have Gun, Will Travel to America’s National Parks
As of yesterday, the traveling public is now allowed to bring loaded handguns into most of our national parks as long as they follow the local state laws (for permits and whatnot). Hunting, however, still is illegal within national parkland, as is discharging your weapon, as is bringing a loaded gun into a visitor’s center, so I’m a little unsure of what this new law is supposed to achieve.
The lifting of the loaded handgun ban in national parks has some wondering if this will damage the spirit of the national park system for the American public, while others are wondering if it will serve to strengthen our constitution’s second amendment. Can both be compatible? Without interjecting politics into the discussion, I honestly am wondering why a person would need a handgun in the woods if they can’t hunt or fire?
The arguments I’m seeing on other blogs are that a handgun would help in a bear encounter or during a run-in with a crazed human being (some are arguing that right now criminals are already bringing guns into national parks, so this is a way to even the field). Others are afraid that this would open the doors to target practice in the backcountry, danger to protected species, environmental damage, illegal poaching, and increased violent crime.
What do you think? Will this change the mood of our national parks drastically, or will things remain status quo?
My name: Rachel Berg.
Favorite way to get around: By Venetian gondola during starlit high tide, gliding past decaying and slightly spooky palaces, with perhaps a bottle of prosecco placed between the gondola seat cushions.
View that took my breath away: Unable to sleep in the mystical city of Sfat in Israel, I wandered outdoors predawn and was treated to a purple-on-purple sunrise below the mountaintop that seemed to emerge feet-first through ground-level clouds.
Greatest travel lesson learned: Sunny weather isn't everything. Some of my best travel memories involve go-karting through a deluge turned mud-fest in Mexico, drinking tea in the cold Denali tundra, and watching electric thunderstorms roll through national parks out West.
Most challenging travel moment: Getting leveled by altitude sickness in Cuzco and realizing that my body was forcing me to slow down and rest despite the fact that there was so much to do and see.
Travel ambition: To see the northern lights.