Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why we need carry in National Parks

From an alert from the VCDL:

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9. Who needs a gun on the Appalachian Trail?

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Thanks to member Jonathan McGlumphy for the link:
http://tinyurl.com/5mxz4g roanoke.com

Vinton man pleads no contest in attack on Appalachian Trail hiker

By Mike Allen

A Vinton man accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a young woman who was passing through Botetourt County while through-hiking the Appalachian Trail will spend eight years in prison.

Joel Fulton Carter III pleaded no contest this morning in Botetourt County Circuit Court to a charge of animate object sexual penetration. In exchange for his plea, a 30-year sentence was suspended after eight years.

The incident occurred in early May. Authorities said the woman, who was hiking alone on the 2,175-mile trek from Georgia to Maine, had gotten off the trail near Troutville with plans to go to a post office and pick up a package of supplies that was waiting for her.

As the woman walked along U.S. 11 near the Exit 150 interchange with Interstate 81, a man offered her a ride, she told police. The man then drove her to an industrial plant, where he reportedly worked, and took her into an office building.

The woman said the man sexually assaulted her and then told her it was to teach her a lesson not to accept rides from strangers, according to previous court testimony. [PVC: So, if she had been armed and shot him, she could have said it was to teach him a lesson about not sexually assaulting women. ;-) ]

The Appalachian Trail crosses U.S. 220 just north of the Exit 150 interchange, and it's common for through-hikers to stop long enough to take advantage of a cluster of
restaurants and motels. The nearby Troutville post office is frequently used by hikers as a mail drop.

Authorities declined to give the woman's exact age or say where she is from. There is no indication that she knew Carter previously, authorities said.

Let us not forget that regardless of how safe we think we are in society, the laws of nature still apply, and that means that criminals - like all predators - prefer vulnerable victims. Shame on our Park Rangers for insisting that we have no means of defense on public land while they go about armed and safe.
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