Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Bear Spray Or 230-Grain Fat Boy?

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 9 months ago

I said earlier that I’m no fan of bear spray unless backed up by a gun, but this little example shows why (via Uncle).  Of course, this isn’t something a 230-grain fat boy won’t stop.

Prior:

Is A Gun Protection Against A Bear?

Backpacker Shoots Grizzly In Denali: First Life Saved Since Firearms Became Legal In National Parks

When Can You Kill A Bear?

Texas Man Charged With Shooting Gun At Charging Bear

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 11 months ago

The Montana Standard:

WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) — A 57-year-old Texas man faces a federal misdemeanor charge of discharging a firearm in a national park after he reported shooting a charging bear with his .357 revolver.

Brian R. Muphy’s attorney is scheduled to plead not guilty on Murphy’s behalf during a court hearing in West Glacier on Friday. Murphy is scheduled to appear via video.

Charging documents say Murphy was hiking on the Mount Brown Lookout Trail on July 26 when a grizzly bear charged him. He told rangers he discharged his bear spray and fired a shot when the bear continued toward him. The wounded bear fled and could not be located.

It is legal to carry a gun in Glacier National Park but it is illegal to discharge it. A conviction carries a $500 fine.

By my count this is at least the second life that has been saved from a bear attack after legalization of firearms in National Parks, the first instance being mid-2010 in Denali.

Of course, Mr. Murphy is now charged with a crime.  There are two problems that could be contributing, the first being that laws are now passed in broad sweeping language that apparently ignores guilty intent, or in other words, Congress is Eroding the Mens Rea Requirement in Federal Criminal Law.

The second problem that could be contributing is that the enforcement in question may be of a regulation rather than a law, which is made via federal register by armies of lawyers sitting inside the beltway who have been (unfortunately) empowered by Congress to do just that.

But the third problem is there  is obviously a prosecutor who wants to take this case to court, otherwise he wouldn’t have a scheduled court appearance and need a lawyer.

The law becomes absolute in contemporary America, regardless of the fact that a man’s life was saved because he discharged a firearm.  But it’s absurd that Congress would have passed a law allowing firearms in National Parks early in 2010, but then refused to allow people to use that firearm to defend their lives.  Since it is absurd, it clearly wasn’t the intent of Congress (or should not have been).  Therefore, the prosecutor is likely to blame for the fact that Mr. Murphy has to defend himself in court for saving his own life.

Guns In National Parks

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 9 months ago

Guns in parks … it’s complicated:

Two months ago, as the busy summer season was winding down at Yellowstone National Park, 3-year-old Ella Marie Tucker found her father’s gun and shot herself.

Park rangers tried to resuscitate her. But Ella died, the victim of the first fatal shooting in the park since 1978.

Her death came almost four years after Congress passed a new law allowing loaded guns in national parks. At first, the tragedy seemed a realization of critics’ worst fears: a child’s death, all because guns were allowed in the quintessential embodiment of America’s backyard.

The reality is much more complicated.

Officials at parks throughout the country say the law change has so far affected little, beyond complaints from visitors surprised to see an assault rifle openly carried on a visitor’s shoulder or a handgun secured to a belt. Statistics from the National Park Service show no clear spike in crime, violent or otherwise. The parks had 282 million visitors last year, and police investigated six homicides. On the whole, parks appear safe.

In 2011 I filed a FOIA request to supply me with the NPS data on crimes in national parks after guns were legalized in 2010. The data can be found here.  We are missing the metrics from 2011, but the overall trend for homicides can be summarized (redacted) as follows:

  1. 2005 – 17
  2. 2006 – 11
  3. 2007 – 9
  4. 2008 – 5
  5. 2009 – 4
  6. 2010 – 15
  7. 2011 – not included
  8. 2012 – 6

It isn’t complicated at all.  Guns in National Parks doesn’t in the least lead to the catastrophe predicted by the gun control lobby.  We can close the books on another fear mongering collectivist lie.

Prior:

Brady Campaign Lies About Guns

Backpacker Shoots Grizzly In Denali, First Life Saved Since Firearms Legal


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