By Chad Love
There's already been a boatload of bloviation expressed on the recent reversal of the ban on loaded firearms in our national parks, some of it sensible but most of it (predictably) bordering on hysterics.
This column from the Huffington Post is a perfect example:
"In fact, the new rule is likely to make national park visitors less safe around wildlife. Packing heat could give some people a false sense of security and make them more likely to approach bison, elk, moose, and grizzly bears, rather than keep a safe distance which is better for both people and animals."
But the most certain outcome of this congressional action is that it will promote poaching. The National Park Service warned in its fiscal 2006 budget submission each year for the past several years ... The data suggests that there is a significant domestic as well as international trade for illegally taken plant and animal parts." Poaching, the agency said, "is suspected to be a factor in the decline of at least 29 species of wildlife and could cause the extirpation of 19 species from the parks."