Sunday, May 4, 2008

Canada follows US lead on guns in national parks

Now this is strange. Within one week of each other, both Canada and the US are considering a proposal to allow guns in their respective national parks. 

On May 1st from the Guardian
Bush administration proposes allowing concealed guns at parks

The Bush administration proposed today to allow concealed weapons inside national parks. The idea being that park visitors need protection from animals or criminal attacks. Of course this fulfills a long sought goal of the NRA. However a park service advocacy group claims "The chance of becoming a crime victim in an official US refuge is 1 in more than 708,000" and from the coalition of national parks retirees. "This proposed regulation increases the risk to visitors, employees and wildlife rather than reducing it.".
On May 3rd from the CNEWS
Parks Canada debates allowing guns in national parks with polar bear populations

Policy director Darlene Pearson said the agency is reviewing its strict 122-year-old policy of no guns in national parks as it considers allowing at least some people to carry them in eight Arctic parks to protect themselves against polar bears. The article quotes a frequent hiker "We had 13 polar bear encounters in six days and one was really close," he said. "A bear came into camp and would not go away. It took us seven flares and half an hour to chase it." Now, his rule for travel in polar bear country is simple. "You either have a firearm or you don't go."
All right they are not exactly the same thing. I've embellished the relationship a little (or whatever the correct blogging term for that is. I'm relatively new at this.). But there are similarities, as both proposals seem ill-conceived and ignore obvious and dangerous results.
In the US, Bush is talking about allowing concealed hand guns. They probably already can pack a rifle or two. Well why not George. You have a middle class that lives in gated communities. No one goes into the city at night. I've been in Texas and even Texans won't cut a car off or give a driver a finger in Texas. Who in their right mind would risk camping when the NRA show up to play Cowboys and Indians amongst the trees, (or possibly amongst the oil rigs if Bush's other plan is deployed).
While in Canada the plan is to only allow arms in the northern parks where there could be Polar Bears. Well here's a simpler solution Parks Canada, follow the hiker's new rule, don't go. Has no one at Parks Canada been following the plight of the Polar Bears that's been all over the news lately. The ice is melting, their numbers are decreasing, they are moving south and are still be hunted in Baffin Island (see "Let's go kill a polar bear"). If you allow campers to arm themselves in the parks inhabited by Polar Bears, you will have every trophy hunter in North America going camping in the Arctic and hanging meat in the doorway of their pup tents.
You would have to be a complete idiot to come up with an idea like this. I expect this from Bush he thinks the woods are full of little critters that you are supposed to shoot for fun. But, who at Parks Canada would be crazy enough to be even contemplating such a stupid idea, let alone approve it? 

And with one click to their site, we find him here

PS: I was feeling kind of upset about the fact that the blog has been ranting about Harper all week and I wanted to complete at least one post without taking a cheap shot at him. This post should fix that. I didn't mention the arrogant, neocon, sycophant once. There, now I feel better.

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