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THIS IS NOT A DISTILLED WISDOM FILE. It is a running summary of one topic discussed in this news group since inception. Most readers have opinions pro and con, we do not attempt to summarize all these here. <OUTLINE TO GO HERE> The following is a summary of points made in five separate rounds of discussion: points and counter-points. Additions, corrections, etc. are welcome and encouraged so long as they add to the main points of discussion. First person accounts are not added to simply get the facts (points). Material which can be simply inserted is preferred. This file was created to summarize an issue which frequently muscles its way into discussion in MANY newsgroups including sci.environment, (as well as talk.environment and ca.environment), rec.misc, ba.general, ca.general, ba.transportation, ca.driving, *.politics.*, ca.earthquakes, ba.mountain-folk, rec.skiing, etc. [if you have a specific group at add, send it.] Topic: Backcountry Fire-arms The discussion seems to always start with the perceived need for self-defense from animal threats. In all cases, it is assumed that a gun user is knowledgeable about the use and maintenance of fire-arms and "deadly force." It is noted that a "small-minority" of indeterminant size is responsible for trouble. Obviously the reader is not in this minority (1/2 8^). The NRA and other organizations teach fire-arms safety classes. Responsible use of fire-arms is occasionally touched. This issue is acknowledged by all. This part of the issue ends. The specific thread continues on the issue of potential human threats (irresponsible use). It is noted that existing law-enforcement personnel are either come under this threat or are not around (absent, the "Where is a cop when you need him?" argument). Inevitably, the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution is invoked. In keeping with the spirit of this discussion the text is offered herein: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." There, that's out of the way 8^). Interest in militia is noted to sci.military, soc.history, soc.culture.arms-d and similar groups. Recreation discussion of fire-arms is notes to rec.guns (including ranges and targets), political argument (civil liberties) to talk.politics.guns (although argument here seems to be one sided [preaching to the chorus]). A new moderated rec.hunting (to include archery or bow hunting, not just fire-arms). You can walk into an argument on guns and control in practially any unmoderated newsgroup. [Reminds me of punji traps.] Hunting and Stalking (Pursuit) On occasion, posters have mentioned the "thrill of the hunt." These threads have not take off. Those clearly against hunting have tended to jump on those comments rather quickly. Non-hunt stalking has occured. An issue of the wastefulness of certain types of hunts notes that more primitive people make full utilization of the prey: foods, skins, bones, etc. Limited small bore (pistol) hunting was also covered (not much depth). It is generally acknowledged that hunting with a bow and arrow (modern compound bows, not TV-Indian, etc.) requires more skill than just fire-arms. The hunting season in CA is extended for these skilled people (without attracting a lot of new interest). Also separate from the issue is the use of historic, ball and musket methods of shooting. No one debates that. Pistols Rifles The discussion forks at this point between rifles and high powered pistols: (e.g., .357 and .44 magmum). Clearly, pistols are a questionable defense against large charging animals, and as noted, a wounded animal is frequently more dangerous. The discussion on the use of hand-guns is therefore clearly one of personal safety against two-legged threats (or sport, but this issue is rarely discussed in r.b.; more appearing in rec.guns). Also not discussed are such topics as loading of ammunition, static targets (remember to check your backstop, and the possibility of unseen innocents, etc.). I shot a bullet in the air, where it fell I didn't care.... Bears Black Grizzlies Polar Bears. Alaska Lions Africa When the discussion on self-defense toward the beginning of r.b., an interesting transition tooks place. The first discussion resolved that prevention and avoidance were key, even in places with grizzly bears like Alaska. The second discussion tended to technological defense. It is admitted that grizzly and polar bears are real threats, but in a short span of a year net opinion changed. Not that this was a enlighened opinion, but more because of the unknown. A test question was asked about the need to carry firearms for self defense in Africa against lions. All respondents admitted they were not familiar with the hazards of Africa. It is the unknown which both draws and carries hazards in this terrain. Despite the popularity of books and films by the work of the Adamsons, real knowledge of the area remains steeped in popular accounts of "Deepest, Darkest Africa." Many accounts of animal attacks by grizzly bears have proven to be hearsay and are largely unsubstantiated. Actual accounts of attacks are documented by such authors as Aliston Chase in Playing God in Yellowstone (1989?). Checking Chase's references, or finding the literature by the Craigheads, Peacock, and other authors. Specific laws governing the use of fire-arms vary according to land-use area. Fire-arms of any type are forbidden in National Parks (US Department of the Interior), EVEN in event of "self-defense." Transport varies from absolutely forbidden to acceptable if the arms are "broken down." National Forests and USFS Wilderness Areas (Dept. of Agriculture) vary depending on the specific area. Areas closer to high density population areas will tend to prohibit fire-arms. "Wilderness" is used in the legal sense of a roadless areas greater than 5,000 acres. Some areas have specific hunting seasons, and some of these areas allow greater time for bow hunting. But the discussion of bow hunting has never taken off (perhaps in rec.hunting). Bottom-line: check BEFORE entry. The same goes for BLM and Primitive Areas. Note the Parks, Wilderness areas, and Forests are set aside specifically for the long-term presevation and use. The Parks are FOR the animal and plant inhabitants. It is Government intent that the existing generation of users do not have rights above and beyond future users. This places the USNPS, USFS, Environment Canada, and other Agencies in a position balancing preservation and use. Anti-hunting It is the position of some people that hunting (not just fire-arms), trapping, and even fishing constitute "cruel punishment." Such people are frequently attacked as "tree-huggers," "Bambi-lovers," etc. Similar retorts are 'fired back' and forth further escalating the emotional content of the issue. Both sides have differing sets of values. Non-fire-arm defense -- Another slight diversion from fire-arms First: it is important to understand what threats exist. Tigers don't live in the Americas or Africa. Being aware at all times of the threat is important. Never cut off a mother from its cubs. Never corner animals, even small animals can put up a fight. Never wound: do not throw rocks, use pointed sticks only as a last resort, use Mace or similar chemical agent (incapacitant: CN|CS). The Joke goes: Two hikers come upon a grizzly bear. One stops to put on running shoes. The other says, "What are you doing? You can't out run a bear!" The other replies: "I don't have to out the bear I only have to out run you." Morbid hiker humor but a grain of truth to it. Another joke is how to do you tell the difference between a black bear and a grizzly? The black (brown) bear will follow you up the tree, the grizzly will just knock it over. It doesn't have to be a grizzly; readers go to Africa and the threats are different. Remember that wild-er-ness is a place where the animals can eat you. Think about that for a moment. Avoidance and prevention The "anti-gun" position is one of avoidance and prevention. Noises from things such as pots, bear-proof containers (ABS, Kevlar, etc. in Alaska). During the tenure of the fire-arms discussion the current tenor of defense measures has changed from -- keeping on the thread of bears, the curent National Park Service recommendations FOR BROWN/BLACK BEARS (not grizzlies) is to make noise, beat pots, etc. The previous policy recommendation was based on avoidance: bear bagging or containing food, bear hangs (10 ft away on a weak limb, from the ground and main tree, assert territory: pee in the area, etc.). Current policy attempts to take a more active role with posturing. IF IN EVENT OF ATTACK the standard recommended action is: Black/brown bears: in the event of an attack, fight back. Grizzly bears: the standard recommended action is 'playing possum'. Running may not be advised. Neither insures survival, but the opinions of these people holds that getting eaten is a part of wilderness: it is a potential and a 'natural' process. If you don't want the threat, don't go into the area. This is the bear's (lion's) habitate, humans are just visitors. Ponder this carefully. IF IN DOUBT ABOUT POLICICES OR RECOMMENDATION ACTIONS: ask a Park or Forest Ranger, or obtain local information (e.g., County Sheriff). This information is particularly fluid. Two-legged threats There is no denying that a criminal or psychopathic element exists in the human species. This author was asked to help collect information on a "wanton murder" in Yosemite Valley (near the Awanhnee Hotel). [In fact, if you have information or an awareness of this, contact the author immediately. Anonmity is assured.] It is the the counter position that such actions are NOT the norm. The question is always asked: "Yes, but how frequently does this happen?" to which always comes the answer "Enough." 'Enough' is never defined but people's values are 'respected' at the price of ambiguity. Accidental Discharge of Weapons Accidental discharge is an issue skirted in discussion. The topic appears to have aspects similar to the topic of accidental nuclear war. No kidding. Escalation is a property of this, issue. One un-named, for obvious reasons, poster admitted the mistake he had committed. Accidental discharge has included dropping a fire-arm (many gun enthusiasts noting that safeties attempt to prevent this, next paragraph), targeting improper objects [e.g., domestic cows], etc. The problem with this topic are the limited set of scenarios which can be covered in discussion. 'What-if' discussion tends to diverge fairly quickly. Readiness is a separate issue borders on paranoia. A weapon disassembled and stored has limited defense value, but walking around with weapons drawn and ready are tantimount to declarations of war orthe actions fo a SWAT Team. Note, too, that 'concealed' weapons are illegal in some states. On the issue of accidental discharge due to dropping the gun, most guns have safeties which reliabilty prevent this. The issue which is not determinable is the outcome if a round has been chambered, this is gun dependent, but the question always then asked, is why that round has been chambered in the first place. The Argument of "Culling" Some hunting groups justify their position about the need to cull over-populated herds of animals. Animals 'requiring' culling include mule deer, Bison, elephants, water buffalo, et al. No argument exists about the over-population of these species. The issue/problem isn't one strictly of quantity. The position is that predator-prey relations have been tipped by Man in favor. Never has there been a discussion on the lottery system used by Montana Fish and Game to select marksmen (this is not hunting as stalking is not involved). One popular film is based on the writings of Farley Mowat (Never Cry Wolf). The research on predator-prey relations is based on studies decades back in such areas as Isle Royale National Park. The balance there being dynamic rather than static. These "natural" processes are what preservationists seek to maintain for both long-term study (observation) and 'enjoyment.' One semi-meaningful/semi-useless spin-off thread has been to question what constitutes a 'natural' process. This writer has not been present for the start of all these discussions, but the written literature on wilderness is replete with articles and books on this subject. Back to the issue of fire-arms. Extinction is a very real possibility. California's state animal was the California Grizzly Bear: ironic that the animal is extinct. Guns caused their demise (as well as urban encroachment). It serves as a warning to man and other species. Some have argued that man's extinction of some species [it's always some, not all] might be destined. This theory, part of a larger theory called Pleistocine-Mammalian Extinction, has some followers, but no biologist seriously says mankind should eliminate species. This holds for other species such as wolves, coyotes, regarded as once as hazards now as "pests." Does manifest destiny extend to animal species? Do the rights of a few animals extend over those of people? This latter will depend on individual values (of which there exist at least four basic positions, beyond the scope of fire arms). Killing one more member of an endangered species, even for purposes of 'self-defense,' hinges on those values independent of weapons. Additionally, a physical weapon can be turned against the owner/user. Many vs. one fire fights have also been discussed to no conclusion. Added info: United States Code (USC) TITLE 10--ARMED FORCES Section 311. Militia: composition and classes (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able- bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32 [TITLE 32--NATIONAL GUARD, Appointments and enlistments: age limitations], under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are commissioned officers of the National Guard. (b) The classes of the militia are-- (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and 2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia. Eugene, the following information is taken from "(Your Guide to) FEDERAL FIREARMS REGULATION 1988-1989" This is published by the BATF and is available free just by calling them. I recommend getting a copy; there is a lot of information in it. Additionally, the BATF will give you a booklet that contains a summary of State laws if you ask. Public Law 99-308 An Act to amend chapter 44 (relating to firearms) of title 18, United States Code, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS. (a) Short Title.- This Act may be cited as the "Firearms Owners' Protection Act". [FOPA to those who discuss it frequently] CHAPTER 44--FIREARMS Sec. 921. Definitions. 922. Unlawful acts. 923. Licensing. 924. Penalties. 925. Exceptions: Relief from disabilities. 926. Rules and regulations. 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms. 927. Effect on State law. 928. Separability clause. 929. Use of restricted ammunition. [skipped a bunch of stuff] Sec. 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms. Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or ***any political subdivision*** [emphasis mine; this seems to include the National and State parks since they are political subdivisions] thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by the chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible for the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. Hope this helps! Re: "Militia" definition. The Federal amendments to the Federal Constitution were born on a pattern that had been seen in the several colonies. Immediately after the Declaration of Independence, the 13 colonies set to the business of figuring out how to govern themselves as states. 8 colonies created both Constitutions and Bills of Rights. Virginia had set the precedent for elegance and completeness fairly early. Other colonies which adopted a BOR emulated the Virginia model with minor modifications based upon their particular regional concerns (Baptists vs. Anglicans etc). James Madison, a Virginian, the man Congress picked to draft the Federal BOR, relied heavily upon the Virginia BOR. He had been part of the original Virginia committee which drafted the Virginia BOR. ================ Here is the relevent text: (From the Virginia Declaration of Rights; June 12, 1776) Article 13: That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided, as dangerous to liberty; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. ===================== Here is the Federal 2nd Amendment: (December 15, 1791) Article II: A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. ====================== Shoot to stop not to wound. That only works in the westerns. See below for more details. The rules are - A gun is always loaded. - Never point the muzzle at something that you don't want to put holes in. - Never put holes in a creature that you are not willing to see dead. 1. Drawing a weapon should be done only if you are willing to follow through. 2. Depending on the circumstances you may not want to fire immediately. If you do not fire immediatly (i.e. the threat is coming slowly enough that you can give the attacker the opportunity to change his/her mind) then keep your finger along side (not in) the trigger gaurd. If you are using a double action revolver or pistol _DO NOT_ cock it! This unnecessarily increases the possibility of a neglegent discharge. 3. If upon drawing the attacker ceases the attack (e.g. turns and runs) you would be on very shakey moral ground if you were to fire anyway just because you had drawn the weapon. The law would also be unlikely to approve of your actions. 4. In most cases drawing the weapon ends the attack and (3.) applies. 5. If you draw but the attacker does not cease you must follow through and end the attack by shooting to the center of mass. It is _EXTREMELY_ unlikely that the attacker will be wearing body armor but if they are then you are in the unenviable position of having to attempt a head shoot. 6. If the attack is coming too quickly to allow the attacker the option of reconsidering then skip 2-4 and go directly to (5.). Whether armed or not it is wise to be alert to possible attacks and be prepared to take what ever action is consitent with your world view. If lethal force is a viable option then you should take very seriously how and when you will use it. I personally do not associate with anyone who takes lethal force lightly. ====================== Flame wars. Disclaimer: we have left out some people's specific stories and concentrated on the points made by many different opinions (pro, con and in-between). This is a summary of the major points made. Contribution to the above: refinements of language, clarification or addition of points is encouraged, BUT please make suggestions which are simply edited or appended. You would be surprised how many people refuse to make life a bit easier. Anonmity guaranteed. "In the end,there were no simple answers. No heros. No villains. Only silence. But it began the moment that I first saw the wolf. By the act of watching, with the eyes of a man, I had pointed the way for those who followed." "The pack returned for the cubs as there are no orphans among the wolves. Eventually, the losses of that autumn became a distant memory. I believe the wolves went off to a wild and distant place some where, although I don't really know, because I turned away and didn't watch them go." --Tyler (Farley Mowat), Never Cry Wolf References: [Pending] A. Chase J. Craighead D. Peacock %A Gary Kleck %T Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America %I Aldine de Gruyter %C 200 Saw Mill River Road, Hawthorne NY 10532. %D 1991 TABLE OF CONTENTS of this chain: 6/ Non-wisdom: fire-arms topic circular discussion <* THIS PANEL *> 7/ Phone / address lists 8/ Fletcher's Law of Inverse Appreciation / Rachel Carson / Foreman and Hayduke 9/ Water Filter wisdom 10/ Volunteer Work 11/ Snake bite 12/ Netiquette 13/ Questions on conditions and travel 14/ Dedication to Aldo Leopold 15/ Leopold's lot. 16/ Morbid backcountry/memorial 17/ Information about bears 18/ Poison ivy, frequently ask, under question 19/ Lyme disease, frequently ask, under question 20/ "Telling questions" backcountry Turing test 21/ AMS 22/ Babies and Kids 23/ A bit of song (like camp songs) 24/ What is natural? 25/ A romantic notion of high-tech employment 26/ Other news groups of related interest, networking 27/ Films/cinema references 28/ References (written) 1/ DISCLAIMER 2/ Ethics 3/ Learning I 4/ learning II (lists, "Ten Essentials," Chouinard comments) 5/ Summary of past topics >A test question was asked about the need to carry firearms for self >defense in Africa against lions. All respondents admitted they were >not familiar with the hazards of Africa. I am familiar - too a small degree - with the hazards of Africa. At least as they apply to someone travelling Overland in that continent. The overwhelming opinion, drawn from many books about African travel, talking to many travellers and from personal experience is: Don't take firearms with you when travelling in Africa. They will cause you more problems than they are worth. If you attempt to cross a border with firearms you will probably end up in a lot of trouble. There are many situations where you come up against the average belligerent drunk border guard with an AK47. In these situations diplomacy is they key and armed traveller with a "You have no right to do this to me attitude" is likely to end up in lots of trouble. These situations will be far more common that encounters with wild animals. Outside the parks there are pityfully few game animals of any kind. If you are entering a game park you will be expressly forbidden to carry any firearms. If you have an official guide and will spend some time outside a vehicle he will most likely be armed. I always assumed much of this was to create a 'mystique' of danger rather than due to a real threat. In most parks you need a vehicle to even get in ( apart from Mana Pools in Zimbabwe where people regularly get eaten ). We did in fact get very close to some lions ( 2 feet from the open car window ). They were dining on Wildebeast and therefore not interested in stringy humans. If you were to spend a lot of time in a park filming or doing research then perhaps a weapon may be useful. Something to scare the animals away would be far preferable as all the dangerous animals are all protected. >Non-fire-arm defense -- Another slight diversion from fire-arms >First: it is important to understand what threats exist. Tigers >don't live in the Americas or Africa. This is a good point. The most dangerous animal in Africa in terms of human death and injury is the hippo. Seeing as most Hippo fatalities occur either at night or when driving a boat over a submerged Hippo a firearm is not much use. >[some] readers go to Africa and the threats are different. Remember >that wild-er-ness is a place where the animals can eat you. Think about that >for a moment. Like I said - unless you are in a park there is remarkably little game around. >Two-legged threats >There is no denying that a criminal or psychopathic element exists in >the human species. In Africa - where life is cheap and any traveller is unimaginably wealthy - the two legged threats are definately the ones to watch. >The Argument of "Culling" >Some hunting groups justify their position about the need to cull >over-populated herds of animals. Animals 'requiring' culling include >mule deer, Bison, elephants, water buffalo, et al. No argument exists >about the over-population of these species. The issue/problem isn't >one strictly of quantity. The position is that predator-prey >relations have been tipped by Man in favor. In Zimbabwe and Botwswana there are _lots_ of Elephant. Far to many for the tiny parks they have to live in. Hwange park in Zimbabwe for example is obviously over populated with Elephant. Whether culling is the answer I don't know but some management is required before there is nothing left to eat in the park. As an aside, at Hwange park, they have been cutting the horns off the Rhino to make them worthless to poachers. If this experiment works - and doesn't affect Rhino's too much - they will do this to all their Rhino's. My conclusion is that firearms have limited use in Africa and it should be highly recommended that no one takes them with them. If you are going to be in a specific situation where firearms may be necessary ( note I don't think there are many of these ) you should go through the local channels to arrange this. Taking your own gun into almost any of these African countries is a potential nightmare. From: Andy Freeman <firstname.lastname@example.org> In article <1993Feb6.email@example.com> you write: >Accidental Discharge of Weapons >Accidental discharge is an issue skirted in discussion. Which is probably appropriate, given the magnitude of the problem. We're talking about at most 1,500 fatal incidents each year. Given a population of >250 million, with some 200 million guns in 50% of the households, and one might reasonably ask "don't we have something important to discuss, like bathtub and ladder-safety?" Someone seriously interested in life-preservation would be looking into avoiding incompetent MDs and miss the whole discussion. Not to diminish the value of those 1,500 lives, but the "accident" literature shows us that we're not talking about "random" incidents. Kleck found that "gun cleaning" appears to be cop-speak for "the family needs the insurance money; they don't need the suicide stigma". A fair percentage of the hunting "accidents" are duels. Another significant fraction are incurred by people who don't legally own. Then there's the people who can't be protected by anything short of incarceration in a padded room; people who stupidly (?) insist on finding some way to kill themselves (or their children). These are merely some of the people who, for varying reasons, can't be protected by any "safety" measure. Unfortunately for people who think that safety is a huge problem, they also dominate the problem. In other words, there's not much potential benefit no matter what you do. Note that education, with the possible exception of universal training in schools for EVERYONE, not just those who own, might have some effect, but at what cost? (Yes - we do have to consider the balance between incurred costs and realized benefits.) This is not to say that gun safety is unimportant, just that most everyone seems to do alright and it isn't obvious that there's anything that can be done for the exceptions, let alone that there's anything worth doing. >Additionally, a physical weapon can be turned against the owner/user. It is also possible that all of the air in my bedroom will suddenly rush to one side. Some people will insist on handing a weapon to an attacker. Others won't. It appears that the latter don't have a problem with losing guns. (The only people who lose guns to "attackers" are cops who "lose" them to blind holster-grabs from behind. That's a consequence of carrying stupidly in a way peculiar to cops. I wonder if there's a benefit?) >The Argument of "Culling" >Some hunting groups justify their position about the need to cull Other people point out that only the people who kill seem to care enough to pay for habitat. Sure, non-hunters have started to get into the act, but hunters have been at it for decades and throw in serious money. We can also argue that they don't always protect the "right" things, but the choice hasn't been between "right" and "wrong" - it has been between "suboptimal" and "nothing". Moreover, every species in those habitats benefits, not just the game species. Sport hunters also point out that they haven't killed anything to extinction. That's been done by market hunters, to satisfy people who pay money for animal products. (That's still happening - when was the last time you saw a "red fish". Then there's the real killer - development.) Hunters also point out that the places that have elephants allow sport hunting of elephants. It seems that the locals value elephants when said elephants are valuable to said locals, and when they value elephants, they protect them. When said elephants have no economic value to said locals, the elephants disappear because, the local either don't care or take active measures to get rid of them (elephants are extremely distructive). Once again - we see the distinction between market hunting and sport hunting, with the added twist of local benefit. Of course, it does feel good to sacrifice someone else's liveihood on the altar of "wouldn't it be nice if?". After all, if they were important, they wouldn't be living out there in the sticks, depending on the exploitation of a silly animal. They'd be information workers. -andy stalks the wilds of safeway From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Denis McKeon) Newsgroups: rec.backcountry Subject: Re: [l/m 6/7/93] summary of one past topic Not Distilled wisdom (6/28) XYZ In article <CCxJHq.LJr@nas.nasa.gov> you write: >Panel 6 >[skipped a bunch of stuff] > >Sec. 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms. > >Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or >regulation of a State or ***any political subdivision*** [emphasis >mine; this seems to include the National and State parks since >they are political subdivisions] Gene - one could make the argument that a political sub-division is an area in which voters select representation, rather than an area which has been divided by politicians - in these terms, any *voting* area - precinct, muncipality, state house, state senate, US house & senate - would be a political sub-division, but a park, forest, etc. would not. Also, since a *voting* area could vote to ban firearms, Sec. 926A may have been written so as to forestall that possibility. I'll agree that a park superintendent could also try to ban firearms by regulation. Disclaimer - I am not a lawyer, even though I sometimes write like one. Suggestion - change the wording to: >Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or >regulation of a State or ***any political subdivision*** [emphasis >mine; this seems to include the entire USA. -- Denis McKeon email@example.com Article 48250 of rec.backcountry: From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Chris Chapman) Newsgroups: rec.backcountry Subject: Re: Guns on the trail??? Date: Thu, 26 May 1994 15:22:00 GMT Organization: The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas Message-ID: <cchap.293.2DE4BE97@bongo.cc.utexas.edu> References: <Jqxv2Em.email@example.com> In article <Jqxv2Em.firstname.lastname@example.org> chris <email@example.com> writes: >I do not own a gun for protection, nor have I ever dreamed of >carrying a gun--especially on the trail. However, as our society >continues to deteriorate, we find that their is no complete refuge >from the insanity--not even in the wilderness. >There have been enough killings across the nation (on the trail) >to be concerned. >I think I will caryy a gun from now on while out in the woods. >Would you? I'm not too sure it's a good idea. Chris -- I accidentally broached this subject here a few months ago, and received an outpouring of responses. I had suggested that one should not carry a gun, and many people wrote in to say that guns are okay, when one is trained and familiar with them. In fact, I own guns and I am trained and familiar with them, but I would *not* carry one backpacking for the following reasons: 1. Wilderness areas are much safer than our cities (also see (6) below). The media likes to report when bad things happen in the wild, but it actually is relatively rare. For instance, CNN reported that the couple attacked recently in California were hiking. They *weren't* -- they were parked at a scenic overlook. Also, the "backpackers" (so-called by CNN) who were attacked by the sociopath in Australia were actually european- style tourist/*hitchhikers*, I've been told. 2. In many places, such as National Parks, it is illegal to carry a gun, and the rangers will promptly enforce this. (related to number 5 below). *3*. A decent gun and ammo adds a lot of extra weight to my equipment. For survival value, it would likely be better to spend this weight on an extra quart of water, a couple of survival bars, and another space blanket. (Or, depite my nausea at the idea, a cellular phone.) This one (3) is the real clincher for me. 4. If a mistake did occur, and this is possible depite my gun experience, it will be much more serious and more difficult to seek help 5. If I wear my holster, my gun may frighten others. If I don't, it will be inaccessible in case of a sudden threat (like a mugging). 6. On a similar note, I go to the woods to *escape* from such things as urban violence. (If I cannot even hike out 20 miles and feel safe from thugs, then perhaps it's time that we all stop hiking and start cleaning out our thugs! After all, it was (in part) efficient law enforcement that made the West a safe place to hike ... ) No flames intended or requested ... just my $0.02. -- chris -- firstname.lastname@example.org Article 48346 of rec.backcountry: From: email@example.com (B. C. Webb) Newsgroups: rec.backcountry Subject: Re: Guns on the trail??? Date: 26 May 1994 14:15:22 GMT Organization: IBM T.J. Watson Research Center Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> References: <Jqxv2Em.email@example.com> In <Jqxv2Em.firstname.lastname@example.org>, chris <email@example.com> writes: >I do not own a gun for protection, nor have I ever dreamed of >carrying a gun--especially on the trail. However, as our society >continues to deteriorate, we find that their is no complete refuge >from the insanity--not even in the wilderness. >There have been enough killings across the nation (on the trail) >to be concerned. >I think I will carry a gun from now on while out in the woods. >Would you? I'm not too sure it's a good idea. It's not even Memorial day and we have the annual backcountry guns flame war starting. The usual topics are (1) my gun, cold dead fingers. (2) more likely to shoot self. (3) kooks on trail, with/without g. (4) bears. (5) illegal/legal national parks, forests. (6) concealed. (7) quickdraw. (8) Frank Cary (excuse me if I got your name wrong.) (9) I feel safer/less safe. (10) machine guns, mortars and portable nuclear warheads. (11) armed bears. Please use one of the above numbers to indicate which category you're posting to. 2,9,11,10 Newsgroups: rec.backcountry From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Eugene N. Miya) Subject: Cascade: Classic bad bear jokes...Another Far Side References: <cjs9.89.000939A8@cornell.edu> <1994Jun23.email@example.com> <paul_d.417.0009D266@frango.hsc.colorado.edu> Date: Thu, 23 Jun 1994 20:26:04 GMT firstname.lastname@example.org (David Paul) writes: >email@example.com (Andrew J Velkey) writes: >>Carl Steckler <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >>>>(Joseph Cotton) writes: >>>>>>>My favorite Far Side about bears... >>>>>> >>>>>These things are beginning to get very repetitive! Once is enough, >>>>>okay? Read the previous jokes so we don't keep posting the same >>>>>ones over and over. >>>>> >>>>What's wrong? Can't bear a little repitition? >>>>-- >>>I think that he BEARly has a leg to stand on. >>>Carl (EX-Jarhead) > >>d.v. "Please spare us the 'grizzly' details on this matter" tee-hee > >Looks like this group is becoming a real "den" of humor. Perhaps someone >should add a "bear clause" to the FAQ. Ur...(sa)... Sure, fur (fur sure?) yer information, just say "6." Vol 36 of the Code of Federal Regulation sets federal law governing >parks, forest and public property. > >Section 2.4 of Vol 36 of the Code of Federal Regulation governs firearms. Newsgroups: talk.politics.guns,misc.legal,alt.politics.radical-left,rec.backcountry,alt.politics.usa.constitution From: lein@cat Subject: Re: Why I hate the Brady Bill Message-ID: <CuqMFn.8Dr@walter.bellcore.com> Organization: NJ References: <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <mjfreem.777079531@hubcap> <1994Aug18.firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 15:45:22 GMT > |> I do support the Brady bill for the following reasons: > |> > |> 1) I feel that to keep a lawful society, we must have gun restrictions. > |> It is simply too easy to do crimes when you have easy access to guns. > "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms..disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one." Thomas Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria, Criminologist 1764. > > |> > |> 3) The constitution does not give you the right to carry a surface-to- > |> surface missile to protect your house. > |> There are and should be limits > |> to the type of firepower you can have. > "The citizen has, at all times, the right to keep the arms of modern warfare, and to use them in such manner as they may be used, without annoyance and hurt to others, in order that he may be trained and efficient in their use." --Andrews v. State 50 Tennessee Reports 165 (1871) > |> I think you can protect yourself > |> equally well - if not better, with a shotgun than with a handgun. That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United states who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms... --- Samuel Adams > |> But it > |> is more difficult to do a crime with it. Not impossible, just more > |> difficult. "Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." B. Franklin > > |> It is perfectly reasonable for the government > |> to impose gun laws designed to reduce the potential to do crime without > |> affecting your ability to *reasonably* protect yourself. > "Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of the tyrant and the creed of the slave." -- William Pitt, 1763 > > |> 4) The government has already restricted gun laws. This is not some giant > |> leap forward. > "I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." - James Madison > > |> For example, sawed-off shotguns are not allowed. Why not? > |> Because there is no legitimate purpose for them. Neither is there a > |> legitimate purpose for assault type weapons. > "It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error." -- Justice Robert H. Jackson > > |> The Brady bill proper introduces the idea of > |> waiting periods for handguns. I believe that handguns should be eliminated > |> altogether. > "Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA - ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State." -- Heinrich Himmler "A right delayed is a right denied." -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. > |> If we are going to have them, they should not be sold on the > |> spur of the moment and without checking to see if the buyer is a felon. > |> If you are > |> inclined to classify me as a commie liberal, realize that I am a former > |> NRA member, I have taken the NRA safety course, and I own a rifle and > |> two shotguns. I believe that a certificate from a gun safety course > |> should be required before the purchase of any gun, including BB guns. "Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you [sic] do". --- New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani "We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans..." - President Clinton (USA TODAY, 11 March 1993, page 2A) "Goverment is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is FORCE! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a FEARFUL MASTER." George Washington The following is from *Survival with Style* by Bradford Angier: The Ideal Weapon The challenge of keeping going on your own will be easier to answer if you have a firearm and ammunition. It comes to the question of what weight ammunition used with how heavy a firearm can reasonably be relied upon, ounce for ounce, to give you the most food. If you have any choice in the matter, hand guns are not worth their weight and bulk as survival weapons. Because of inadequacies in the pieces themselves, no matter how expert you may be, you can not be reasonably sure of anchoring your big game with them. Even in customarily good game country, you can hunt a month and see only one moose. Your life may depend on securing that moose. The best survival weapon, it follows, is a hard and flat-shooting rifle. There is no need to add that it should be rugged and accurate. Neither is it necessary to append that a shotgun is no adequate substitute, for although having about the same bulk and weight as a rifle, it shoots larger and heavier ammunition at usually much smaller and closer prey. Something could be saved by using a carbine instead of a rifle, but the extra length and weight will be justified completely by the additional accuracy. As far as that goes, it would be difficult to argue against the extra pound of a good trelescopic sight, if only for the often vital time one adds to the most productive game-getting periods of the day. The following is from *The Complete Walker III* by Colin Fletcher: Guns I was appalled to see in a magazine recently a serious two-sided discussion on *Packing Iron* (*Should Backpackers Carry Handguns?*). The case in favor, by a writer from the National Rifle Association, quoted specious arguments and statistics to suggest that we need to protect ourselves from co-members of the species. It even called guns *good in snake-infested territory* (any informed and balanced person knoes that if you really want to kill a snake the surest way is with a stick). The case against gun-toting, made by the National Parks and Conservation Association, advanced many of the good and obvious arguments: if someone wants to shoot you, then by the time you've got your gun out you're probably already shot; reaching for a gun is the surest way to turn threat into shooting; the terrible certainty of accidents from plain mishandling, especially by the inexperienced; the tragic danger, bordering on certainty, that some scared individual, imagining himself threatened by *a marauding animal*, will kill a hiker. The case closed with the sensible comment that *the small benefits of carrying a gun are far outweighed by the negatives.* Among the negatives it listed *increased hostility.* And that, it seems to me, is the crux. The whole spirit of backpacking would be defiled. Perhaps I should add that this is no ivory tower judgement. I once carried a handgun in Alaskan grizzly country. During World War II I spent six years of my life being trained to use and then using small arms for lethal purposes. I can't help thinking that *Packing Iron* was published less because of the need for airing a genuine controversy than because of the smell of a magazine-selling article. Unfortunatly, the publicity probably increased the chances of widespread gun-toting. Statistics from Bowling for Columbine (2002?) Gunshot deaths Country 381 Germany 255 France 165 Canada 68 U.K 65 Australia 39 Japan 11,127 U.S.A. -- Looking for an H-912 (container).
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