Packing Heat

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Guns will be allowed in our national parks starting Monday, February 22 (George Washington’s birthday). The controversial law, which was first introduced by the Bush administration, was slipped into a massive credit cards bill in 2009 and signed by Obama. The law allows citizens to carry concealed weapons as well as hunting rifles and shotguns in all our national parks. A few states are trying to pass bills that would block the law in their park units, but none of those states sit below the Mason Dixon.

Hunting is still illegal in most national parks and the majority of park visitors won’t notice a difference after the law goes into effect on Monday. But I can’t help but think of the hunter that poached an elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park a few months ago. He was driving through the park, had a rifle, saw an elk, and obviously was not evolved enough to control himself. So he shot the elk. It was simply a matter of opportunity and means. Beginning February 22, more Elmer Fudds will find themselves in similar situations, faced with the opportunity to kill something, and now, the means to do it.

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