News and notes from the outdoors…
Guns and national parks
Got a lot of good comments on the post concerning guns in national parks. The post concerned a law written by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn that would allow people to carry firearms into national parks that are in states with right-to-carry laws. The overwhelming majority was in favor of allowing it, and you can read those on the post. I also got some reaction via Facebook. Here’s a sampling:
“If I ever want to ‘carry,’ it will be to protect me against drunk car-campers and vicious dogs whose inconsiderate day-hiker owners don’t keep on leashes. A handgun wound will just be enough to make a bear angrier! In the mean time, I do not justify the extra weight.”
“Well, protection from a dog, coyote, cougar, and human thugs is the idea. I’m not a fan of Tom (Coburn) but the police are quite a distance from you out there, and it’s not fair to miss out just because you fear of what could happen in a worst case scenario…”
Food for thought. Thanks for contributing to the discussion.
Bill Becquart from the OKC Outdoor Network noted that for all the people who go into wild areas, he’s surprised at how few take the time to learn what to do in an emergency situation.
The OKC Outdoor network is hosting a wilderness first-aid course March 6 and 7 in Edmond. There’s still time to sign up.
My take: I agree. Too many people look at national and state parks as being safer than they really are. Or perhaps more “controlled” than they really are.
We expect theme parks, resorts, golf courses, schools, shopping centers and other man-made public spaces to be safe. Laws are in place to enforce that.
Because most of us live, work and play in those environments – and consequently, so few of us do the same in wild environments – we have become comfortable with the thought that we’re safe wherever we go. But that’s simply not true.
Man-made areas can be rather sterile. That’s why people like to go outdoors and enjoy nature. But nature has its own rules. Weather, terrain, wildlife and other factors have existed forever, and how these things work weren’t designed with lawyers in mind, if you get my meaning.
Turn an ankle because of a poorly designed walkway and someone will pay, something will get fixed, etc. Do that on the trail and you’re out of luck.
So that means you should be ready to prevent emergencies from happening before you hit the trail and know what to do (and be properly equipped) to handle mishaps in places where help may be hours away.
Anthony from Mannsville read a post I wrote about “roughing it,” or basically going beyond your comfort zone to explore more of the natural and international world.
He asked about places in Oklahoma where he could do more tent camping.
I’m sure a lot of you would have suggestions. Mine included the Wichita Mountains, Robbers Cave State Park, Beavers Bend and just about anywhere in the Kiamichis.
Got any more ideas? Send them my way.