Firearms in National Parks – self-defense doesn't just mean from human predators

Here’s a couple that’s surely glad Congress came to its senses on carrying firearms for self-defense in national parks:

Officials say a backpacker shot and killed a grizzly bear with his handgun in Alaska’s Denali National Park.

Park spokeswoman Kris Fister says man and woman reported that they were hiking Friday evening when the bear emerged from trailside brush and charged the woman

The man opened fire with his .45 caliber semi-auto sending 9 rounds in the bear’s direction. It doesn’t say how many actually hit but the bear turned and walked back into the brush. Rangers found it dead the next day about 100 feet from where the attack occurred. Defensive armaments are important regardless of whether the predator attacking is of the human variety or not. While we here in northern Virginia aren’t likely to encounter bears in our local parks – haven’t seen anything more threatening than an aggressive squirrel, myself – it’s not hard to imagine running into a rabid fox. It’d be way smaller than a bear, that’s for sure, but would you really want to go hand-to-…er, paw with one?

I’m glad the couple is OK and I’m sorry this situation happened at all. I don’t like hearing that animals like grizzlies get killed coming into contact with people. This situation does show the wisdom of carrying a firearm for self defense in a park and it confirms the wisdom of our legislature in allowing it.

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