Ranger Kathryn's Arches

April 3, 2010

Concealed carry

Filed under: 1 — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 10:35 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

40-ish male walked up to visitor center desk and asked me if his Utah “concealed carry” permit allows him to have a gun in the park. He opened his wallet and showed me his permit. Having just completed training on the new federal laws about this, I diplomatically explained to him that the sign on our front door saying “No guns allowed in federal buildings” was there for national security purposes, and it trumped his personal permit. He could have a gun in the park but not in the visitor center. He is not allowed to discharge the gun in the park, but he could carry it. (Perhaps that makes some people feel better.)

His answer was telling. “By putting that sign on your door, you are notifying any would-be shooters that your building is a Free Target Zone. I don’t like that one bit. Those signs are meaningless in court.” His point was that we were advertising that anyone could come in and shoot the place up and expect nobody to return fire, in a worst case scenario.

I smiled and said, “That’s an interesting viewpoint,” and handed his children their Junior Ranger badges while making a mental note of his description and the name I saw on his permit. What I DIDN’T say was, What’s it like to live in fear all the time, needing to be armed in order to feel safe? What kind of world would it be if we ALL chose to live like that?


  1. A thoughtful post – for which thanks.
    I have been attempting to understand the gun carry vs gun control issue and have been doing some reading. It is a murky field, at best, with passions running high on all sides – never a good scenario for an objective consideration of the facts. Also, it is not an area where one can run an experiment to validate an hypothesis, so the reliance has necessarily been on culling through historical data. This has resulted, first, in very vague conclusions and significant ‘cherry-picking’ on all sides of the issue. Balanced papers by capable authorities are rare and tend not to support one another. Publications that start from a preconceived viewpoint and are rife with ‘attitude’ are rampant.
    A healthy dose of Caveat Emptor is advised when researching this excessively charged topic.

    Comment by leroque — April 4, 2010 @ 5:46 am | Reply

  2. i bet he heard about the mountain lions and was just trying to protect his junior rangers. let me ask you this. if he was in the wild and a puma or grizzly attacked him, and he used the gun to defend himself, what are the repercussions?

    the law contradicts itself by saying, “you can have this toy, but you can’t play with it”……

    Comment by john — April 4, 2010 @ 7:11 am | Reply

    • Perhaps it was a compromise to get some legislation passed; I don’t know. Self-defense might be a condition of its own, but I will ask Law Enforcement.

      Comment by kath56ryn — April 4, 2010 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

    • I guarantee you, he was not fearful of predatory animals, but of other (presumably gun-toting) humans.

      Comment by kath56ryn — April 4, 2010 @ 5:54 pm | Reply

    • I asked LE and they said one ‘could be’ prosecuted for that, depending on circumstances.

      Comment by kath56ryn — April 5, 2010 @ 7:11 am | Reply

  3. Maybe his little gun makes him feel manly and virile.

    Comment by Ed Oak — April 4, 2010 @ 9:26 am | Reply

    • I have not a shred of doubt.

      Comment by kath56ryn — April 4, 2010 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

  4. i guess my response would have been…good thing we house law enforcement in this building;)

    Comment by triciao — April 10, 2010 @ 6:43 pm | Reply

  5. I think you nailed it, Kathryn. The gun-toting loonies are living in fear. And it’s hard to reason with folks like that, so I’ve learned — the hard way — not even to try. I just give ’em a wide berth. The sad part, or course, is the effect on the kids; they’re just learning his fearful ways. Hats off to you for managing it well.

    Comment by Ron Carroll — March 4, 2012 @ 10:14 pm | Reply

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