Obama takes a (kinda) pro-gun position

Sunday, February 22, 2009

To say that supporters of the 2nd Amendment were unexcited about Obama is a huge understatement. He has an abysmal record when it came to supporting gun rights, but considering he was representing the very anti-gun state (for the most part) of Illinois. He campaigned as somewhat of a centrist and while I didn't think he would rescind a bunch of strict gun laws, I thought he would be neutral on the issue and not really pursue a gun control agenda.

His first gun-related action is surprisingly positive on several levels. One, he is taking a pro-gun stance in an area that is not all that likely to have garnered a lot of attention. In other words, he could have said no and there wouldn't have been a whole lot of opposition. Two, he is supporting one of Bush's last minute regulations.

According to the Denver Post, officials from Obama's Justice Department defended a regulation that allows concealed carry in National Parks. Several groups had filed a suit and requested an injunction that would prevent the regulation from taking effect. The Administration is arguing against the injunction. I haven't seen the complaint, but the Denver Post article says that the groups are arguing that the government didn't conduct an adequate study into the environmental impact of this regulation. I am curious as to what the impact would be. I suppose that concealed carriers wouldn't be able to resist the impulse to whip it out and start blasting away at wildlife and trees. The groups also contend that visitors, such as school groups, wouldn't want to visit parks.

Some conservatives are wodering if this is just some ploy or are otherwise downplaying the action. Personally, I see it as evidence that Obama is trying to be a centrist and take an intelligent view of the Constitution and civil liberties.

18 comments:

steves 6:27 AM  

Oops, in the 2nd paragraph, the second point I made is an example of something that is a surprise and not necessarily positive. I didn't mean to say that the regulations proposed by Bush were all positive.

Smitty 8:43 AM  

Even if it's not Obama per se, he has stacked his bureaucracy with people who are at least thinking rationally about things, rather than towing some sort of line or particular philosophy.

Joel 10:15 AM  

Here in Texas, the view was that he was going to have a Gistapo squad barge into every home and physically remove every weapon, down to your Red Rider BB Gun, by force. I've gotten into several "discussions" on this point with people, about how I didn't think he'd by quite as "hack and slash" with the 2nd Amendment as all that. Now I have some actual evidence to back up my assertions.

Smitty 2:13 PM  

Here in Texas

From now on, just type those 3 words, and allow the rest of us to assume the worst, most stereotypical response our brains can imagine. We will be correct in our assumption about 85% of the time, and it will save you some typing.

For example: TITLE "Guantanamo Bay Prisoners Released to U.S. Custody."

Comments: "Here in Texas."

Assumption: "My neighbors expect daily terrorist attacks, and have started to build armed checkpoints outside of all major Texas cities, which includes really any urban, suburban, or exurban area."

Now on to the topic at hand. I can understand why they would choose to uphold that particular interpretation. But I guess I am stuck on why the Hell you need to carry, concealed nonetheless, at a national park.

I get the whole discussion about what the ability to carry means to the second amendment, even though I am personally more "gun control-y" than that. But the underlying reasons as to why someone feels compelled to carry in as many circumstances as possible...is it fear?

B Mac 2:32 PM  

Just type those 3 words, and allow the rest of us to assume the worst, most stereotypical response our brains can imagine.

Can I use that for Indiana, at least when it comes to taxes, cultural issues, and the existance of the Gay?

But I guess I am stuck on why the Hell you need to carry, concealed nonetheless, at a national park.

Hippies.

Andy 3:01 PM  

I totally agree with Smitty. I don't have a problem with people carrying concealed weapons personally. If you fear for your safety, carry it on the street when you walk from the subway to your apartment.

But why carry in a National Park? Afraid the dear are gonna getcha and you have to tag them with your glock? Afraid the gang-banger is hiding under the waterfall to mug you? I guess if you are camping, someone could rob you or something. Is that the argument?

Smitty 3:01 PM  

Hippies

You can't trust them hippies, can you.

steves 3:20 PM  

The pro-gun people, just like any other group, have their fair share of nutjobs and paranoids.

But why carry in a National Park? Afraid the dear are gonna getcha and you have to tag them with your glock? Afraid the gang-banger is hiding under the waterfall to mug you? I guess if you are camping, someone could rob you or something. Is that the argument?

I have a friend whose dad spent his post-military career working law enforcement for the National Park Service. There is a fair amount of crimes committed in National Parks and it has been getting worse as people are increasingly using them to grow pot and set up meth labs. According to the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, National Park Service officers are 12 times more likely to be killed or injured as a result of an assault than FBI agents (this was in 2005).

Smitty 3:36 PM  

ational Park Service officers are 12 times more likely to be killed or injured as a result of an assault than FBI agents

Right, but those are people who carry guns given the nature of their profession. But why do I need to pack heat when I see Old Faithful?

Maybe...maybe...I can see hard-core hikers and campers packing heat. If you're going to inadvertently stumble across a pot bucket or meth lab, sure, it'd help to have protection, and hikers or campers could be in that position. But you know that Mr. Macho McMachosen will strap one on while touring around the touristy areas, and that's gratuitous.

Mike 7:11 PM  

Not sure what you guys think when you read "Here in New York City . . . " but I can say that I'm a 2nd Amendment guy.

Even though I don't own a gun and don't plan to. Funny thing about those amendments, you don't get to pick and choose which ones you like and dump on the rest.

In other words: NO SOLDIERS in my house, bitchez. I'm a 3rd Amendmentite, and damn proud of it.

steves 7:46 PM  

Right, but those are people who carry guns given the nature of their profession. But why do I need to pack heat when I see Old Faithful?

That is certainly your choice, but I just threw out those stats to show that parks are not some kind of crime-free havens.

As for need, I don't think that should have anything to do with it. In dealing with an exercise of a fundamental liberty, people shouldn't have to show a need, but the state should have to show a compelling interest in preventing the exercise of the liberty (or some other competing liberty, such as private property). In other words, a law abiding citizen should be able to carry anywhere unless the state can give a good reason why not. I do not see a compelling reason to not allow carry in a National Park.

Smitty 9:49 PM  

In dealing with an exercise of a fundamental liberty, people shouldn't have to show a need

OK. I buy that. Well said.

NO SOLDIERS in my house, bitchez. I'm a 3rd Amendmentite, and damn proud of it

Hilarious!

you don't get to pick and choose which ones you like and dump on the rest.

Makes perfect sense. Application of fundamental rights is not necessarily case-by-case, but has to be looked at in totality. If I can carry concealed, it should be pretty much everywhere. The precedent of saying "except" when dealing with a "right" is a bad slope. The issue of whether or not I want, need, or should carry in a National Park is not the issue. The issue is right to carry.

I rescind my previous snarky comments.

Bob 9:00 AM  

I could see the need for a carrying a gun in a park, especially if I am in the middle of no where with my family. It’s not like there is a cop around every corner to bail you out if you have a run in with a bear, person or even a nasty, rabid raccoon. I am thinking a 357 magnum is in order. Concealing it would just be for convenience.

I see this more necessary and appropriate than carrying in any city.

Think Deliverance people.

Joel 11:25 AM  

The biggest reason is the hiker who was KILLED AND EATEN by a Mountain Lion in a Washington park. The guns aren't to protect yourself from the meth lab guys, it's for the FUCKING BEARS and shit. They really do maul and kill people, not every day, but more than you think. It's not about taking an hour to see a geiser, it's about taking 2 weeks into the wilderness. There are also the nut jobs who stalk and kill campers, i.e. the couple in California who were found dead in their tent.

B Mac 12:14 PM  

Agreed; bears are bad. But I think Smitty's point was that the need to conceal is limited when dealing with wildlife.

"Hey BooBoo, let's go steal some pic-a-nic baskets..."

"I dunno Yogi, that guy is strapped. He could mess our shit up, and we'll end up as rugs on the Ranger's cabin floor"

Mr Furious 1:02 PM  

Good points all around. I'm pretty reflexively anti-gun. But I also clearly see steves' liberty stance.

How 'bout this? Bring back the holster! Everyone knows the score if you're sporting sidearms...

Seriously, some good reasons given here for needing a gun that I never would have thought of.

Joel 1:47 PM  

The only thing with the "conceal" part is that, frankly, gun owners don't like advertising the fact that they're tromping around like it's the old west. When you're camping and using a side arm for protection against, whatever, you'd like to not have to have it right out in the open for everyone to get uncomfortable over. And, the "conceal" definitions can be tough. I mean, if you put it on your belt, then wear a coat, it is now "concealed" and you need the C&C permit. It's can be hard to comply with rules concerning it being "open" when you have gear and what not. Much easier to simply put it in a bag, or under a coat.

steves 3:48 PM  

I would certainly prefer an "outside", non-concealed holster in the woods. It would be much quicker and would allow you to carry something that could stop a bear or some other large predator. Unfortunately, this brings a lot of unwanted attention.

In most states, including Michigan, carrying a non-concealed gun is perfectly legal. There is no law, ordinance, or regulation that prevents me from waliking down Michigan Ave. with a rifle or pistol out in the open. If I did this, I am sure that I wouldn't make it one block before people called 911 and I was stopped and questioned by the police. I would probably also get on the news. My point is that carrying out in the open can bring unwanted attention (depending where you are). Like Joel said, it is just easier to stash it where people can't see it.

For the most part, the only time I am way out in the woods is when I am hunting, so I already have a gun. The times when I wasn't hunting, I preferred to have something with me if the law permitted.

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