Vin Suprynowicz

The Libertarian

Vin Suprynowicz

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Sure enough. I predicted, when the videos started streaming back to America, showing our troops disarming civilians in Bosnia, Somalia, and more recently Iraq, that these brave lads and lasses were merely being trained for the new official version of “crowd control,” right here in the U.S. of A.

Did anyone notice the fine print in the Associated Press explanations of why New Orleans citizens had to line up for hours -- mothers with babes in arms standing out in the wind and rain -- before they were allowed to enter the doomed Superdome as Hurricane Katrina approached New Orleans?

So police could search and disarm them, of course.

There were widespread reports that many opportunistic young New Orleans men used the collapse of law and order there to commit rapes. (Many police officers appeared too busy looting to stay on station and “protect” anyone: See

So what was the first priority for the boys in blue after the storm in southern Louisiana? Why, wrestling old ladies to the ground and taking away their self-defense weapons, of course. (

You thought this was going to stop at the airports? Have you ever seen a map of your own city showing how hard it is to drive across town without passing within 1,000 feet of a school and thus violating the Clinton-era “Gun-Free School Safety Zone” Act, which today’s solid Republican majorities have never even tried to repeal? Just check out Alan Korwin’s, or

Remember: It’s not paranoia if they’re really after you.


He was still upbeat Sept. 9 as he sat in a wheelchair, his head supported by a metal “halo” as part of the treatment for his five cracked vertebrae, a broken nose, a fractured eye socket, and the fact his entire scalp had been torn off, initially exposing his bare skull.

Escondido, Calif. physical therapist Johan Otter, 44, expressed thanks to the National Parks Service for posting numerous warnings along the trail on which he and his 18-year-old daughter Jenna had been hiking on Aug. 25 when they were attacked by a full-grown grizzly bear apparently protecting her cubs.

The signs warned visitors to Glacier National Park that they were in bear country, and to tuck into a fetal position if attacked.

Otter followed that advice, and it saved his life, he said in the Sept. 9 press conference, though he did suffer three broken ribs and five major bites through his body.

“This bear is right at me and mouth wide open,” he recalled. “You see the fangs. You see the huge claws.” After Otter fell off the trail, the bear followed, The Associated Press reported, climbing on top of him. “I could feel the tooth going in” his head, Otter recalled.

With her father bearing most of the bear’s fury, Jenna suffered a bite on her heel and a shoulder injury, along with some facial lacerations.

Doctors used a muscle from Otter’s right side and a skin graft from his thigh to rebuild his scalp.

Otter, a marathon runner, says he feels lucky to have suffered no neurological injury, and that he plans to return to hiking, possibly even in Glacier.

Surely the Park Service could have done one more thing to improve the Otters’ chances of survival, however. They could have let them carry guns.

Although the Second Amendment bars any federal official from infringing in any way the God-given right of the people to keep and bear their own private arms, the “comprehensive guide” to hiking and fishing Glacier National Park at warns “As guns are not allowed in Glacier National Park, bear spray offers the hiker the best chance of intimidating a charging bear.”


Two years back, senior editor Dave Workman of “Gun Week” wrote “Nowadays, murder, mayhem, drug running, assaults and other crimes pose a far greater risk in several parks, according to an organization of park rangers. Interior Secretary Gale Norton is reportedly looking hard at the problem, Gun Week has learned.” (

“The U.S. Park Rangers Lodge (PRL) of the Fraternal Order of Police has, for the third year in a row, identified the 10 Most Dangerous National Parks in the country,” Mr. Workman continued. “For the first time, there are also several ‘Dishonorable Mentions.’ The listing is not based on scientific polling data, but on feedback and information from park rangers.

“Because of this worsening scenario -- especially in parks along the US-Mexico border -- an informal poll of gun owners on the Internet by Gun Week found overwhelmingly that respondents think the ban on concealed carry inside national parks should be abolished. Federal regulations prohibit citizens from going armed in national parks (CFR, Title 36 -- Parks, Forests, and Public Property, Section 2.4: Weapons, Traps and Nets).

The full text of the regulation may be viewed by visiting:

“But gun owners question why, if they are licensed by a state to carry concealed just about anywhere else, including national forests, lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, state forests and parks, why should they not be able to carry inside a national park located within their state?”

“According to Dennis Burnett, law enforcement administrator for the National Park Service (NPS), the firearms prohibition was originally instituted to prevent hunting inside the parks. Only in about 57 of the nation’s 380-plus national parks is hunting allowed. The question of allowing citizens to carry concealed for their own defense really has not been discussed, he said, but that’s not to say it won’t be. ... The ban dates back some 50 years, he said.

“The PRL identified Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona as the worst of the bunch, followed in order by: Amistad National Recreation Area and Big Bend National Park, both in Texas; Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada and Arizona; Coronado National Memorial, Arizona; Biscayne National Park, Florida; Shenandoah National Park, Virginia; Delaware Water Gap, New Jersey/Pennsylvania; Edison National Historic Site, New Jersey, and Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. ...

“Bears apparently do not constitute a danger, as notably missing from the list are Montana’s Glacier National Park, every national park in Alaska, and Washington’s North Cascades National Park.”

Park regulations prohibit concealed carry, and allow firearms only if they are unloaded, cased and, if possible, broken down, so that they are inoperable. Visitors must advise the gate attendant or park ranger they have a firearm.

Tucson, Ariz. resident Geoff Beneze, who lives near national park land in southern Arizona, told Gun Week that the ban on guns inside the park, especially in his state, “is a rather idiotic rule based on emotion rather than any rational thought.”

Beneze suggested there are legitimate concerns, especially in park lands along the U.S.-Mexico border, about illegal aliens and criminals coming north. To reach his private ranch from his Tucson home, he must travel either through Fort Huachuca military reservation or Coronado National Memorial, he explained.

“When we go to the ranch, I carry enough armament to take over Sonora, Mexico,” Beneze quipped, “both for my own recreation and due to the border unrest and the predation we’ve seen on our property as a result.

“It’s time to end the CCW ban across the entire country,” he concluded. “There is simply no statistical support for maintaining such a ban.”

Lane Dexter of Newhalem, Wash. -- a community lying in the shadow of the North Cascades National Park -- concurred.

“It is most emphatically time to end the ban on carrying weapons in national parks,” Dexter told Gun Week. “The goblins know parks are good hunting grounds for their prey. ... A valued member of my crew is the widow of a former deputy here. She was privy to happenings that most folks didn’t hear about. She will not walk in the park or recreation area without a gun. She does not recommend that any woman do so. From keeping my own ear to the ground, I know we’ve had attacks on local trails, and I don’t mean by four-footed animals.”

Parks spokesmen warn any such change in regulations would require public comment, and would not happen quickly.

But these ladies and gentlemen have sworn a sacred oath to “protect and defend the Constitution,” which still contains the Second and 14th Amendments. Not only does violating their oaths place their immortal souls in jeopardy, but they are personally responsible for every death or injury that occurs because the victims was deprived of his or her legal, constitutional, God-given human right to self-defense.

Making this change should take about as much public debate as ending slavery -- the continuation of which was justified by Justice Taney in “Dred Scott,” remember, on the grounds that if blacks were considered to be human beings, why ... there would be no way to bar them from walking around with guns!

# # #

A probe was launched after revelations that the federal Department of Education paid commentator Armstrong Williams $240,000 to promote President Bush’s bogus “No Child Left Behind” school testing initiative.

Indeed, the DOE paid education advocacy outfits to submit opinion pieces to newspapers, and many of them failed to disclose those government ties, the DOE’s own inspector general, John Higgins, stated in an official report last month.

But it’s all OK -- this was not “covert propaganda” -- because there’s no evidence the contracts were awarded with any “intent to influence public opinion through the undisclosed use of third party grantees,” Mr. Higgins ruled.

Yeah, right. Where can free-lancers apply for their DOE grants to write op-eds calling for the complete abandonment and de-funding of the government youth propaganda camps, turning responsibility for the education of children back to their parents, as it was when Alexis de Tocqueville found in Americans the most literate and best informed populace he had ever encountered?

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