A while back, I addressed the good news that National Parks in the US would no longer be gun-free zones. Unfortunately, my celebration might have been a bit premature:
This week should’ve been a day of celebration for Second Amendment fans: The Bush administration’s ruling to allow loaded guns in national parks was scheduled to take effect on Friday. Now that rule change is under threat, as The National Parks Conservation Association and the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees filed suit this week in Washington, D.C. in an effort to block the regulation change.
In the suit, both groups claimed the Department of the Interior “adopted the gun rule with unwarranted haste, without following procedures required by law and without the consideration of its consequences that they are required to observe under law… The new regulation is an affront to the National Parks’ missions and purposes and a threat to the National Parks’ resources and values, which must be held unlawful and set aside.”
In checking around a bit on the the two organizations named above which are seeking to block the ruling, I found that the National Parks Conservation Association proudly remembers its “first major park issue” back in 1919:
[A]dvocating that the Park Service provide food for the elk that live inside Yellowstone during the winter, to prevent the elk from wandering outside the park in search of food and being killed by hunters.
Nothing against feeding the elk, but, in my experience animals don’t “wander.” They just don’t worry too much about lines on a map. More recently, in 1983, the NPCA states that:
U.S. courts rule in favor of NPCA’s amicus brief against the National Rifle Association. This ruling clarified that hunting is prohibited in national parks unless otherwise allowed by Congress.
Then, from its FAQ page, we have the following:
What is the National Parks Conservation Association?
We are an an independent, nonpartisan voice working to address major threats facing the National Park System. NPCA was established in 1919, just three years after the National Park Service. Stephen Mather, the first director of the Park Service, was one of our founders. He felt very strongly that the national parks would need an independent voice—outside the political system—to ensure these places remained unimpaired for future generations. Today, we have more than 340,000 members and supporters, and 24 regional and field offices around the country. Our Mission: To Protect and Enhance America’s National Park System for present and future generations.
A “nonpartisan voice”? All too frequently, when an organization claims to be nonpartisan, that is simply its way of saying “no one should accuse us of anything, ’cause were doing the right thing.” This organization’s history shows that it is far from nonpartisan.
Moving on to the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, we have the following description:
We are all former employees of the National Park Service (NPS), numbering 683 with more joining us each day. Many of us were senior leaders and many of us received awards for stewardship of our country’s natural and cultural resources. In our personal lives, we come from the broad spectrum of political affiliations.
One wonders where the “spectrum of political affiliations” starts and ends. From an earlier news release, we have a slightly different explanation of who the members are:
The Coalition of Concerned National Park Service Retirees consists of more than 300 former non-political career employees of the National Park Service. Many Coalition members were senior NPS leaders who received awards for stewardship of America’s top natural and cultural resources. The Coalition ranks include five former directors and deputy Directors of the National Park Service; 16 former regional directors or deputy regional directors; 20 former associate or assistant directors at the national or regional level; 40 former division chiefs at the national or regional level; and over 90 former park superintendents or assistant superintendents.
Now I see. They are “non-political.” I’ve yet to meet any lifetime beauracrats (which is what this organization would seem to be comprised of) who are non-political. No, they are political to the extent that they are interested in preserving the future of the government body which supports them. In short, they are interested in maintaining, if not expanding, the power of their department.
I trust that the interests of these two non-partisan, non-political organizations on the matter of concealed carry in National Parks will fail when held up against the clear statement of the Second Amendment.