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Letters: State park gun laws don't allow mayhem

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The June 6 Enterprise political cartoon depicted Smokey Bear covering his genitals saying, "I knew allowing guns in national parks was a bad idea," while two men recklessly shoot into the air, and flee with his pants and wallet.

I suggest the Enterprise consider informing the community with facts before printing half truths and mockery, a trend set by the main stream media. Headlines reading "Heading to a national park? Now you can pack heat," no wonder misconception exists that could endanger the public and lead to prosecutions of uninformed parties.

Let's fill in the voids. The bill does not allow the mayhem in the parks the media portrays. State park gun laws will now apply to the national parks within state boundaries. Have we had a shooting epidemic in our state parks? In contrast to careless deception, you cannot just carry a loaded firearm in the park. You will need to be a police officer or attempt to obtain a carry permit valid in the state of the park. This reduces confusion, especially for those traveling between state and national parks. Rule change begins next January.

It's interesting how often the same fear driven ideology was calmed by facts for 23 years. As the number of shall issue permit states more than quadrupled, the propaganda of permits causing wild west shootouts, and blood flowing in the streets has transformed to unspoken optimism due to dramatic decreases in violent crime in every concealed carry state. Illinois and D.C. (2 of 3 remaining no carry zones) experienced increases in violent crime. No state has repealed its rights to carry. Lawful concealed carry has not been an issue in the wide variety of venues it is allowed. Permit holders are a remarkably law-abiding population subclass. Florida issued over 1,408,907 permits in 21 years, and revoked only 166 for firearms crimes. (Annual per capita 0.56, murder rate under 0.0 of 1,408,907+ armed adults.)

If you should encounter that ill intended grizzly bear, cougar, or criminal, when seconds count, the park ranger is just 30 minutes away.

Bryce Bellomo, Nevis

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