While all of us have been watching our elected officials rush the most expansive spending bill ever in our history, other things are going on, believe it or not. The stim-u-less bill was hastily voted on on Friday, the 13th, because we are in such a “crisis”, then sat for 4 days before the President signed it amid much hoopla and, incidentally, more spending. At an estimated $57,000 per hour to use Air Force One, the new president flew to Denver, CO to sign this “crisis” spending plan. It would be almost funny if it wasn’t so dire….but I digress.
SB 22 has been going on. Senate Bill 22 is a bill proposing to vastly increase the number of acres to be put under government control in the hands of the Park Service. What’s so bad about that? Well, for one thing, it increases federal control of public and private land. And NPS land is under a strict gun ban. Some see this as not only a land grab, but as further restrictions on gun use. It also seems that this particular bill is made up of 150 separate pieces of legislation that couldn’t pass on their own merits. But Senator Reid has lumped them all together and pushed it through the Senate in January with a vote of 73-21. In the Democratic House, measures have been taken so that there can be no amendments or alterations made to the bill. It would go from there directly to the President’s desk. Read a more in-depth description of this bill here. I think I will put a link on my sidebar too.
What I find so bizarre in all of this is #1. Government keeps wanting to take away private property rights. This has been going on so much in the last few years, that I find it particularly scary. #2. I have a hard time understanding the mindset of those who want to take away guns from the law abiding citizens. For years, I have listened to reports of young women who have gone missing in national parks…they don’t come back alive. What if they were allowed to carry a weapon to protect themselves? Maybe they would have a chance. Consider Australia’s recent dis-arming of its citizens one year ago. Their crime rate has gone up. The criminals don’t participate in turning guns in…they keep theirs. They understand (even if the nanny state doesn’t) that an unarmed public is ripe for the pickings with little or no consequences for themselves. This just does not make sense. Is it yet another symptom of the nanny state’s mindset that “we can take care of you”? Aren’t we actually ceding ground to the criminals when we disarm the law abiding citizenry?
I don’t think I will be doing any hiking in a national park anytime soon. And that’s a shame. It’s hard for this law-abiding citizen to really believe that our elected officials make plans to put us in more danger, but that is certainly the way it appears.
Hmmmm….maybe with all the new state sovereignty initiatives going on, the states affected by this will “just say no”.
UPDATE 3/20/09–This just happened this week. Apparently, in federal district court in D.C., anti-gun advocates have applied for and received a temporary restraining order against implementation of the new rule allowing concealed carry in national parks and wildlife refuges. Read about it here.