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Gary L. Otnes, Published June 11 2009

Here is rationale for guns in parks

There’s been a couple of cartoons recently in The Forum lambasting those who might carry a concealed handgun in a national park.

It should be realized that within national parks, a handgun small enough to be concealed by a hiker, etc., would not be sufficient to stop a mountain lion or a bear due to the insufficient stopping ability of such a weapon.

The reason for arming a national park hiker and/or camper is the human element ... the drug-cooking and/or drug-induced semihuman. Remember that there have been written instructions to park users on how to act if a hiker should stumble upon a meth cooking situation and the raging paranoid cooker. Further, some time ago there was a television report on the increasing crime rate within parks, national and state.

And finally, a person carrying a concealed firearm within a park has to have a permit to carry. I have one for Minnesota and can attest to the thoroughness of the training given each permittee.

I know that it is fashionable to talk down the use of weaponry to save oneself, but I know such fashionability is only on the part of those who have never had to protect themselves.

We gun owners and users realize that the chances of having to use a weapon in self-defense is a rare situation indeed, one in several million, but can happen, nevertheless.