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I've recently read that the Virginia Citizen's Defense League (VCDL) has started a letter-writing campaign to ask Ms. Gale Norton, Secretary of the Interior, to change that stupid anti-gun administrative rule, 36CFR2.4, which keeps honest citizens defenseless in all national parks.

I would like to encourage that people beyond VCDL members join in on this letter-writing campaign. Therefore I've written a letter to Sec. Norton and sent it to her (both email and snail mail). Please join me and VCDL in this effort, by sending her your own letter.

Address:

Ms. Gale Norton
Secretary of the Interior
U.S. Department of the Interior
Dept. HG, 1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240-0002

Email address: [email protected]

Here is the letter I wrote:

Dear Secretary Norton,

I was heartened to read your responses to Chris W. Cox in an interview that was published in the July issue of America's 1st Freedom magazine. You said that sportsmen are the unsung conservation heroes. I'm glad to know that you view hunters in such a favorable light.

There is one question that I do wish that Mr. Cox had asked you. Firearms are not only used in the sport of hunting. They are also carried for self-defense. Are you aware that at present, 37 states (including Colorado, where you grew up) allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns for self-defense? Two of these states don't even require a concealed weapon permit for this (Alaska and Vermont). The number of law-abiding citizens in the United States who exercise the right to self-defense by obtaining such permits has grown dramatically in the last ten years. My home state of Utah (with relatively low population) currently has more than 60,000 valid permits issued. Florida, with its greater population, has more than 400,000 valid permits issued.

People obtain these permits because the right to self-defense is the right to life. This is one of the fundamental rights upon which our nation was founded, as expressed in The Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The right to keep and bear arms is also enumerated and protected in the Bill of Rights of United States Constitution.

It puzzles me, therefore, why the National Park Service has an administrative rule, 36CFR2.4, which prohibits lawful citizens from possessing self-defense firearms on National Park Service land. Crime does not stop at the border of a national park. The threats to human life and safety can come from both two-legged and four-legged beasts. In fact, there are quite a number of national parks in which crime is rampant. I recently read a list of the 10 most dangerous national parks, which includes Yellowstone National Park. The facts are astonishing -- and alarming. I've also read many cases in newspapers of violent crimes committed in national parks. Since I am forced by this rule to be unarmed and defenseless, I refuse to take my family on vacation to a national park. This is a shame, because there really are many good national parks with wonderful things to see and do.

36CFR2.4 is an administrative rule which can be erased or modified by you with the stroke of a pen. I ask that you please modify this rule to allow the lawful carrying of self-defense firearms in national parks. At a minimum, you could change the rule to allow it to be consistent with the laws of whatever state in which the park resides. That would allow people who are trusted to carry defensive firearms by their states to continue to be able to protect themselves when entering a national park in those states.

This is not only the right thing to do. It is, to be a bit partisan, the Republican thing to do. If we cannot count on a Republican administration to protect our Constitutional rights, then I'm afraid that our liberties truly are in jeopardy. Yet, this is not really a partisan issue. This is a question of the fundamental right to self-defense. The current rule goes against that principle. Please ... do the right thing and change it.

Thank You & Sincerest Regards,
Jeffrey L Johnson
Cedar Hills, Utah
 
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