Wednesday, July 1, 2009

National Parks are not always safe

I found this article on CNN's website about two campers who were murdered four years ago in a National Forest.

The article interested me because I believe that National Parks are not as safe as people may think; and despite what critics say, I don't think that disarming the populace before they enter a public place is smart policy.

With this article, I point out that carrying a gun on this land was legal. The son of the victims opines that the killer could have been a hunter:
"Whoever did this to my mom and Steven knew these woods well," said Gary Bauman, Jeanette Bauman's son. "Obviously, there are people in the woods with guns, maybe hunters, but I believe my mom and Steven were just at the wrong place at the wrong time."
I think that's a stretch. There is always the small likelihood that a hunter could negligently shoot someone thinking that they're a critter, but a hunter wouldn't kill two people and their dog.

Here is more from the son:

He is not certain whether Bauman and Haugen were armed but said his mother does not own a gun.

"It's possible Steven may have a handgun, as often campers do for protection from bears," he noted.

If Steven owned a handgun, why would he leave it at home? I know there's a visceral reaction amongst those who have never shot a gun that would make them scratch their heads at my question, but I'm asking from the simple point of view that it makes no sense to have the ability to repel two and four legged creatures and leave that ability behind. Humans are at the top of the food chain because we're smarter than the beasts in the field. There is nothing malicious or evil about having the means to keep critters that would kill you at arms distance.

There could be other reasons, like that maybe he owned a .22 pistol and knew it wouldn't be of much help. Who knows for sure now. The take away from this is that vast lands are full of savage things that can kill or maim you, and being prepared is not a bad thing.
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