Guns, freedom, common sense

Pretty much everyone agrees that people shouldn’t have guns in planes and bars. Guns don’t mix well with alcohol. But what about other places?

Pretty much everyone agrees that people shouldn’t have guns in planes and bars. Guns don’t mix well with alcohol. But what about other places?

For more than 30 years Washington, D.C. has outlawed gun ownership in your own home. Interestingly, D.C. has also had one of America’s highest homicide rates for 30 years. Hmmmmm.

I have talked to people here who support the D.C. gun ban. But when I ask if they would put a sticker on their front door announcing, “This House is Gun-Free: No firearms inside,” they all say no. Why let criminals know you’re defenseless, they say. Exactly.

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the Constitutionality of the D.C. gun ban, and will likely strike it down.

What about guns in national parks? Fifty-one Senators recently wrote the U.S. Interior Secretary, asking him to lift the restrictions on law-abiding people carrying a gun into a national park. Immediately a chorus of opposition arose, singing the same stanza: “Why would anyone need a gun in a National Park?”

Well, I can think of two good reasons.

First, consistency. I went hiking in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest three years ago while visiting Sitka. While checking in at the local ranger station, the ranger asked if I had protection “in case you encounter a bear.”

“Huh?”

“We recommend that hikers carry some kind of protection, whether it’s bear spray or a gun.”

“A gun?”

“Yes,” she said. She went on to say that they advise hikers how to deter chance meetings with bears (make noise when hiking, especially when rounding corners, wear bells, or blow occasionally on a whistle), but if you’re attacked, you have to be able to defend yourself.

The alternative is … well, not to defend yourself.

I opted for the spray. But while firearms are allowed in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, they are banned in Alaska’s Denali National Park.

Does that make any sense? A bear is a bear and both places have them.

Two years ago while hiking with the family in the northern uplands of Yellowstone National Park, we thought we saw an elk in the distance. When the “elk” was about 250 feet away, it became clear that it was a Girizzly and was headed in our direction.

Nothing happened, but if it charged and all deterrence failed, what is a husband and father to do? According to park rules, anything except using lethal force against it. What dad wouldn’t use lethal force to protect his children?

The second reason that guns should be permitted in National Parks is reasonableness.

Washington state law regulates responsible gun ownership, including a provision to allow law-abiding citizens who pass a background check to carry a concealed firearm. But upon entering a National Park in this state, you have to remove, unload and store it. Why? If I can be trusted to carry a firearm in a busy city or a small town, what suddenly changes when I approach the entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park?

The National Park proposal simply extends state law to the National Parks inside that state. The only reason not to do that is blind opposition to guns, period.

The reason for the 80-year-old regulation in the first place wasn’t safety, it was poaching.

Not many people poach big game with pistols.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Why should the threat to Taiwan concern us in WA? | Brunell

Unfortunately, what happens in Taiwan doesn’t just stay in Taiwan — it… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Election 2021: Closer look at King County races | Roegner

The race for Mayor of Seattle will dominate the regional media, but… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Questions surround vaccine exemptions for state workers | Roegner

With about 4,800 state employees in 24 agencies requesting vaccine exemptions, which… Continue reading

Dr. Jayendrina Singha Ray serves as Faculty of English at Highline College. Her research interests include postcolonial studies, spatial literary studies, British literature, and rhetoric and composition. Prior to teaching in the U.S., she worked as an editor with Routledge and taught English at colleges in India.
What the Afghan wants to say: Arezo’s journey to America | Guest column

In our little Zoom room, I hear my interviewee break into sobs.… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Can a Texas-style abortion law happen in Washington? | Roegner

If politicians really want to anger women voters, the easiest way is… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Reasons to ban Gov. Jay Inslee’s natural gas ban | Brunell

Column: Switching from natural gas to electricity is complicated and will impact everyone.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Vaccinations improve our health and employment numbers | Brunell

It is not surprising that COVID-19, which ravaged the world, was disastrous… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Firefighters vs. the governor’s vaccine mandate | Roegner

We all thought we were in this fight with the coronavirus together,… Continue reading

Providence employees look at anti-vaccine mandate protesters as they cross the street outside of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett on Aug. 18, 2021. Olivia Vanni/Sound Publishing
Editorial: A message to the unvaccinated and unmasked

We know you’re frustrated with mandates and advice, but consider our frustrations and, yes, our anger.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Back to the classroom during abnormal times | Roegner

If it didn’t feel so normal, we might forget about the coronavirus… Continue reading

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
What’s up with the real estate market? | Guest column

As we all know, the residential real estate market and prices have… Continue reading

9/11 Memorial in Cashmere, Washington. Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos
Twenty years after tragedy brought us together | Guest column

Recently, I was reflecting on where I was and what I was… Continue reading