Harry Reid is being attacked by Republicans for not allowing this to go to vote so that Senator's Obama and Clinton wouldn't have to vote on it during the election year (and that is a pretty good reason to keep this out of the bill since it's such a wedge issue and the Republicans would do the same if they were in power).
Teh Republicans will not hear of it. After all, the MOST important right we have in this country according to many is the right to bear arms... well except for some of us who live in suburbia and don't like the idea of vacationers with loaded guns in our national parks unless they are part of some sort of hunting expedition where regular unarmed people dare not go and are forewarned to only enter at their own risk. Or how about having a couple of "Yahoo National Parks" where folks with loaded weapons are free to roam and shoot themselves all they want? Park Rangers are concerned about public safety and poachers should an amendment like this pass. But what the hell do Senators care about public safety and poachers anyway? And obviously they don't care what park rangers think cause what do they know about parks and stuff?
AP The fight over guns comes as nearly half the Senate is pushing the Bush administration to let gun owners carry firearms into national parks and wildlife refuges.Don't they already have hunting places in America where the most macho among us can shoot their dinner? Aren't national parks supposed to be a refuge against encroaching civilization? Haven't white men wreaked enough fucking havoc in the wilderness with their guns in this country's short history?
Forty-seven senators have signed a letter asking Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to lift the Reagan-era restrictions requiring park visitors to render their weapons inaccessible. Guns do not have to be disassembled, but they must be put somewhere that is not easily reached, such as in a car trunk, said Jerry Case, the National Park Service's chief of regulations and special park uses.
Thirty-nine Republicans and eight Democrats signed the letter seeking to overturn the regulations, which were approved in the early 1980s by then-Interior Secretary James Watt.
Now here is the excuse that really gets me in this story and it has nothing to do with protecting your ass against grizzly bears while you're camping in the great wilderness:
..."Unloaded and disassembled guns locked in your trunk are of no use when a rapist is attacking your family," Tatro [Coburn's spokesperson who should be fired] said.Rapists? Oh good lord, I never thought of that. Is there a flurry of rape activity in national parks that I haven't read about? By all means then, Annie git my gun.
Maybe he meant that wimmin folks ought to carry loaded weapons when they are hiking and camping in the national parks so that they can protect themselves against violent men with their pants down... oh I don't know. I guess if a rapist was attacking a female friend of mine while we were hiking, I could hit him over the head with a frying pan or kick him hard while he was unzipping his fly... or something. Oh Lordy Lordy.
This gun amendment is holding up the whole expanding wilderness protection bill and for what?