May, 2009

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Guns in Parks or “When seconds count, the nearest park ranger is only miles away”

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Once again the gun-haters have something to scream about and once again they fail to distinguish between those who abide by the laws of the land and those who do not.  It is abundantly clear that some folks just do not understand that making or changing rules only affects the actions of those who abide by those rules.  It is already legal to have loaded firearms on property managed by the Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management.

Senator Coburn’s amendment only makes it consistent across the board to also include National Parks  and Wildlife Refuges. Since some of these can be contained within others, it has been pretty complicated and those that were  trying to comply with the laws often had a job trying to find out exactly who managed the land they were hiking or camping on.

Keep in mind also, that this new provision only allows concealed carry if it is already allowed in the state where the park is located and then only if you have a carry permit. For those that enjoy hiking and such in the back country, it will be nice be able to legally protect yourself from predators, whether they have four legs or two. As far as the “worst-case scenario” that is painted by the Brady Campaign (and usually embraced by the Tulsa World) it is highly unlikely that your family is going to be staring down an AK-47 while on a picnic since most states do not allow open carry, and even then pointing or waving a firearm in a manner that appears menacing to others, known as brandishing,  is still a criminal act in most states and locales.

Just because you will be allowed to have a loaded firearm in your vehicle or on your person does not automatically transform the area in a free-fire zone. Much to the chagrin of the local daily fish-wrapper, allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms has not suddenly transformed our streets into a non-stop wild west shootout, so there is no reason to think that it will be any different in federal parks and wildlife refuges.  If anything, it means that these often isolated and remote areas will no longer be “no one will shoot back” areas, and thus be safer for the law-abiding to visit.

When seconds count, the nearest park ranger is only miles away . . .  if you can even get a signal on your cellphone.

And, for the record, I do agree that attaching this provision to the credit card legislation is goofy and says a lot about what is wrong with our Congress and the games that are played in order to get things done.

Don’t confuse entertainment with discourse

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

What do Rush Limbaugh, Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity, Rosie O’Donnell and Keith Olbermann all have in common? They are entertainers.

Before you bow down and follow them or anyone else that makes their living by entertaining an audience, keep in mind that it’s all about entertainment and ratings and how much can we sell airtime for. None of these screaming or whining pundits of the airwaves has or is likely to ever run for office or actually “do” anything. At least with cage-fighting there is no pretense that it is anything else but watching gladiators.

The sooner we quit letting entertainment people drive the political agenda, the better off the republic will be. It’s bad enough that we have 24-hour entertainment masquerading as news in order to sell more pharmaceuticals, identity-theft insurance and gold investment schemes. We don’t have to let this bear-baiting in suits run the political process.

Rush and Rosie are both big fat idiots, and we are too if we let people like them drive the bus!