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Posted: 6/16/2001 4:23:59 PM EDT
Anyone watch the Discovery Channel late last night? They had their "On the Inside" program about the US Park Ranger Service. They showed all kinds of footage of park rangers who do "dangerous jobs" in our national parks. One guy was looking for drug smugglers and hiding in the woods with his M-4 (with lots of neato doodads hanging off of it), full camo, and a tac vest. Looks to me like he was really just spying on a couple of day hikers, something he admitted happens more often than not. Later on in the show, he was back trying to catch mushroom bandits. Those mushroom thieves must be pretty desperate and dangerous goons! Never mind that the winter was coming and the mushrooms were about to freeze and then die anyways. They're government mushrooms and need to be protected at all costs! In other parts of the nation, the rangers were toting M-16s and looking for deer poachers. Again, they must be pretty dangerous deer poachers! They set up a bogus dear near the road and waited in 10 degree weather at 4am for someone to come shoot it. No luck that night. I'm sure the local deer poachers were probably laughing their asses off back in their warm homes! Other busy rangers were out foiling drug runners near the Mexican border using spike strips on dirt roads. They failed to actually catch the smugglers with all that expensive gear. The smugglers high-tailed it back across the border with two flat tires. The spotters on the hill wore full camo and one carried an M-16, the other had a Benelli. Too bad neither thought to bring any kind of long range rifle with them--y'know, something that might have actually been useful if their buddies down below had come under fire. Gotta love that one guy's handlebar mustache though! Let's see, there were other parts regarding the chasing of illegal aliens, stealing of plants, and so on. Never once did the rangers actually succeed in catching the bad guys or solving a crime. One ranger in NC was killed by a nut with a hunting rifle, the nut was later captured by tribal police on an Indian reservation. Two women were murdered on the Appalachian Trail, the case remains unsovled. Another ranger was murdered by a guy who got ticked off at him for bothering him about his dogs or some such nonsense. What the show accidently pointed out was the rangers' total and complete incompetence as law enforcement officers and the tragedy of the federal parks system. Of course, the intent was to show the dire need for more funding and more manpower and to punctuate what a great job the rangers do and what a treasure these parks supposedly are. If you plan on visiting one this summer, break the rules and bring a gun for your own protection! Our national parks are a national tragedy. Such is the fate of all publicly-owned lands, which are really just government-owned lands. The government sets very strict rules about how the land be utilized and it is increasingly clear that they don't care how we the people feel about it. Despite the potential dangers of their jobs, it bothers me that park rangers are trained to use and carry M-16s and all kinds of tactical equipment and have become ebroiled in the insane war on drugs. Let the DEA fight that losing battle. And let the US Immigration Service mismanage the immigration problem.
Link Posted: 6/16/2001 4:31:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/16/2001 4:29:40 PM EDT by Callahan44m]
Considering all the activity DOES take place within their parks, do you expect them to jsut walk around with slingshots when they stumble across someone's heavily protected grow site or lab?
Link Posted: 6/16/2001 4:31:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/16/2001 4:33:09 PM EDT
Who the hell said they were trained? They probably got taken to the range once or twice and then issued a weapon. All I know is that some wacko out in the park with an M16 needs to be a little careful as how they come off to people. Lots of people carry, even though it may be illegal, while out in the great outdoors. Can you imagine walking down a nature trail with your family when you think you see some crazed maniac, probably all hopped up on crank, dress in full camo hiding behind a tree in the bend in front of you? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. Michael
Link Posted: 6/16/2001 4:39:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/16/2001 4:45:35 PM EDT
I never go out in the field unarmed. Didn't do it in Cali, dont do it here. Even if all we are going to do is exercise the 4WD on the Dakota. I bought my AR partly to be a companion on these excursions. I cant imagine someone asigned to be a LEO out here in the boonies not carrying a rifle- and why not a AR? They get M4's and M16's with all the goodies because the park service can [i]borrow[/i] them from the Army- they are all a branch of the same government after all. And the sheeple expect that if they see someone in cammies carrying a M16 in a National Park that he IS going to be a park ranger- the tragedy will come when some nutball sneeks in like that and starts going "hunting".
Link Posted: 6/16/2001 4:45:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SGB: You know, they probably say the same things about us. [rolleyes]
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Yeah, but when Im all hopped up on crank running around out in the woods in full camo with my ARs Im always by myself or with some friends. I don't spy on people and follow them around, if I do Im never wearing camo [sniper]
Link Posted: 6/16/2001 4:48:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/16/2001 4:46:49 PM EDT by sf46]
Originally Posted By trickshot: Despite the potential dangers of their jobs, it bothers me that park rangers are trained to use and carry M-16s and all kinds of tactical equipment and have become ebroiled in the insane war on drugs. Let the DEA fight that losing battle. And let the US Immigration Service mismanage the immigration problem.
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You know it would probably bother me if you had an M-16 too, Trickshot. I guess if they shouldn't have one then you shouldn't either. Did you know that there are poachers who actually make more money than drug dealers? We know how well armed the average drug dealer is, don't we? Now let's consider how well armed a guy might be whose job pays even more money doing something illegal and requires the use of firearms. (High power sniper rifles, machineguns, night vision, lasers, etc.) Ever wonder how lucrative dealing in animal parts from endangered and extinct animals can be? (Multi,multi-billion dollar industry) Now Trickshot let's see YOU try to take down one of these tough customers with ONLY an M-16 and by the way your nearest backup is over 3 hours away. Hope you can handle him and his buddies by yourself as a lot of these park rangers often are.
Link Posted: 6/16/2001 4:53:06 PM EDT
What is to say that I wont run into some of those drug runners and poachers while Im out in the same park? But yet, they don't even want me to carry a sidearm for my own protection in many cases. I just hate the two sidedness to situations such as this. They should let everyone carry and if you misuse your arms and get caught, that is when you should be ran through the wringers... Michael
Link Posted: 6/16/2001 4:53:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/16/2001 8:23:58 PM EDT by Waldo]
Link Posted: 6/16/2001 4:56:22 PM EDT
Ya... seen it... Sooner or later you will copy my way... when you take a big, nasty, ugly SHIT in the morning just before the load hits the water yell GOVERNMENT and flush it away... late night is another story... almost the same but I yell LEO...
Link Posted: 6/16/2001 5:06:18 PM EDT
When I get off work and drive home, there's a lot of miles of National Forest..(gun friendly), but there's about a 5 mile stretch of National Park Service. When you cross the boundary line there's a big sign that says "NO LOADED FIREARMS"..I'm on a state highway..F#CK THEM!!
Link Posted: 6/16/2001 5:08:48 PM EDT
And loaded firearms are perfectly legal to transport in vehicles, in this state
Link Posted: 6/16/2001 5:52:51 PM EDT
"Did you know that there are poachers who actually make more money than drug dealers?" Deer Poachers? Really? Please send them to Georgia where the vermin are taking the place. I have hit seven of the things over the years. Ticks are taking the place. And STILL the Game Warden sets up his fake deer to catch folks. Game Management... An oxymoron in this state.
Link Posted: 6/16/2001 8:22:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Callahan44m: Considering all the activity DOES take place within their parks, do you expect them to jsut walk around with slingshots when they stumble across someone's heavily protected grow site or lab?
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Yup. These areas are heavily protected. If you ever walk across one, leave immediately! No free samples. [):)]
Link Posted: 6/17/2001 8:18:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By platform389: "Did you know that there are poachers who actually make more money than drug dealers?" Deer Poachers? Really? Please send them to Georgia where the vermin are taking the place. I have hit seven of the things over the years. Ticks are taking the place. And STILL the Game Warden sets up his fake deer to catch folks. Game Management... An oxymoron in this state.
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I can't speak for Georgia, but are you closed minded enough to think that deer are the only animals that are poached and worth any money. Yes, the price of deer meat is actually up this summer because of all the government hype scaring people about mad cow disease. You do realize that bear skin rugs aren't exactly given away right? A stuffed bald eagle has a nice price tag on it too. A monster elk horn chandelier isn't free. Tasty white perch isn't sold in your neghborhood grocery store is it? Every animal in that forest has a black market value of some kind. You and I might not be willing to pay big money for this stuff, but you'd be surprised at how many people are. What was that movie with Matthew Broderick, I believe the Graduate. Yes the movie is Hollywood, but it should give you an idea of the kind of ridiculous animal parts people will pay big money for.
Link Posted: 6/17/2001 8:25:43 AM EDT
Don't you know that the Park Rangers have got to get in on that "seizure laws" action. That way they can form a swat team too.
Link Posted: 6/17/2001 8:32:07 AM EDT
Just another federal agency armed to the teeth.
Link Posted: 6/17/2001 9:18:21 AM EDT
They should go to that Marshall Degan school. Nothing protects the public like federal agents, armed with high powered weapons, runnin' around the woods in cammies.
Link Posted: 6/17/2001 10:09:06 AM EDT
I would not have a problem with Park Rangers carrying M-16s, as long as I could too. Not even CCW permit holders can carry a firearm in National Parks.
Link Posted: 6/17/2001 2:06:53 PM EDT
well i coaght the tail end of that no no pun intended and they were saying that on a ounce for ounce bases a Bear gall bladder is worth as much as coke
Link Posted: 6/17/2001 8:01:51 PM EDT
your nearest backup is over 3 hours away
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I think sf46 hit the best reason for the rangers to be well-armed. About 3 years ago, I spoke-out against the fact that the local sheriff office was arming deputies with a handgun, a shotgun, and a rifle in their cars along with enough ammo for a small war. I wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper stating that I thought that was a waste of tax money that could be better spent on training (not all of the officers even go to the state police academy!). It was published, and the sheriff called me personally to defend their decision to arm their deputies so well. He politely explained that at early AM for his officers, backup is an average of 20 minutes away. He said that city cops carried 45 rounds (three magazines) with an average response time for help of 2 minutes (there are a lot of city cops here!). He saw nothing wrong with giving his officers 10 times that plus at least one rifle. If backup takes 20 minutes in just this county to arrive, I couldn't imagine how long some of those park rangers would have to wait for help. That far away from civilization, I'd want to be armed well too. Now, if we just had the option to protect ourselves in our parks...
Link Posted: 6/17/2001 8:30:09 PM EDT
There are probably two broad groups that will read this post, those who think any LEO who works for the Federal government should be put against a wall and shot and everyone else. This response isn't intended for the first group, as their minds are already made up, but for the second. I'm posting this because I've been an LEO for the Park Service for ten years and have a pretty good idea of what's happening. The theme of the first post seemed to be that Rangers are incompetent and don't have any business with an AR-15/M-16 or any other weapon for that matter. I would agree that the show didn't show any great triumphs on behalf of the Rangers. It seemed to me that the camera crew only spent a single day at each of the three parks they covered. When you only show a small time frame, its not likely that you're going to get any great successes. For instance, when you run animal decoys for poaching cases you don't always get someone every night. I think that a lot of what was done was semi-"staged" as mushroom poaching is huge in some areas and its not hard to catch them. I suspect they did that patrol so late in the season because the TV crew was there and wanted to see it. As far the as the border stuff goes, retreat back to Mexico is a pretty common response. I was baffled at the "all that expensive gear" comment - spike strips are pretty cheap. Considering the resources those guys had I thought they did pretty well, the load didn't make it across. As far as the "mushroom goons" go, the show didn't tell you that the mushroom poaching is so severe that the gangs end up fighting over who takes the mushrooms. This has escalated to the point that the "poor" mushroom poachers are all armed, and frequently with AK's & SKS's. I don't know about you, but if I'm going to contact someone with a long gun, I'd like one of my own. I don't think its fair or accurate to make a judgement on the LE abilities of the Rangers based on the limited coverage offered. The Park Service is like any other LE agency, they have good people and bad people, and everyone has good days and bad days. I've known some incredibly sharp people that have been recruited (without result) for more prestigious LE agencies. As far as doing the work, the Park Service doesn't have much choice. Especially in Arizona, the only people that are going to care about that area are the Rangers. If they weren't doing the enforcement, that area would become a gateway and the volume of traffic would increase. As far as training goes, all LE Rangers go through the same LE school that all other federal officers go through (except FBI and DEA). Due to the hiring practices, its pretty common for a Ranger to go through the academy twice. The quality of the training is about par for LE training - its not the best and could definitely be improved but they're not complete idiots.
Link Posted: 6/17/2001 8:30:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/17/2001 8:29:19 PM EDT by ajp3jeh]
I would agree with you that what's happening on our public lands is a tragedy. The simple fact is that the field ranger staff has been cut by ~1/3 over the past ten years. People argue for less government not realizing everything that will be cut. If you think the Park Service lands are bad, consider the National Forest System - they average ~one officer for every 120,00 acres. Something the show didn't convey as well as it could have is the relative danger associated with the job. The show discussed the two most recent murders of Rangers but didn't mention the third Ranger who was killed during the 1990's. Also not mentioned was the well documented fact that NPS Rangers have the highest assault rate of any Federal LE agency. Because they tend to be secluded, public lands are popular hiding places for fugitives. Several of the folks on "America's Most Wanted" have been caught on Park Service lands. I've personally arrested a gentleman wanted in 17 jurisdictions for armed robbery and assault. As far as the Marshall Deegan comment, the Rangers in camo were on the public lands they were supposed to be patrolling - not trespassing. Also, for all of you concerned with LE officers having AR-15's I'd recommend this thread: http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?id=19662#lastPost Finally, let me address the issue of firearms on National Park lands. First, the law was enacted way before "shall issue" laws became common. The law is intended to prevent opportunistic poaching and every Ranger I know of worries about the presence of loaded long guns - not your typical CCW fare. I have encountered numerous individuals who have possessed handguns in either open carry or CCW and I have never cited anyone for it unless they were committing a more serious crime.. I don't know of another Ranger who had done it as well unless the person was being arrested for some other offense like DUI or drug possession. Believe it or not, some of us are good card carrying NRA members who shoot competitively and have no problems with being armed. I personally know of instances when people defended themselves with a handgun on Park land and were commended on it. In all likelihood, if you're a legitimate CCW holder, the Ranger will ask that you unload the weapon and secure while he or she is there. Let's face it, if you're carrying concealed no one should know about it in the first place. I am in no way advocating that anyone ignore the law - it makes it easier on everyone if you're in compliance. I'm trying to point out that you're right to self-defense includes NPS lands - you've just got to play the game. I always recommend carrying your pistol, unloaded, in a case with a loaded magazine in the case but not in the weapon. The handgun can still be accessed quickly and this complies with the law. I think that a legitimate CCW exemption to the law would be a great solution but I don't write the laws. If you're that upset about it write your congressman or do something useful to change the law.
Link Posted: 6/17/2001 8:32:30 PM EDT
That deer decoy sting operation reminds me of a true story that happened to a friend of mine last hunting season. Seems the local DEC had their robo deer in a likely area for road hunters. Joe hunter is driveing along and sees robo and decides to teach the LEO's a lesson. He proceeds to pull off the road and walks the legal distance away from road and opens fire emptying his 12ga auto with slugs into robo deer. Immediately several officers jump out behind some trees and start yelling at him to stop shooting. Acting somewhat supprised joe responds with what am I doing wrong? 1)I have a buck tag. 2)I am the legal distance away from a public road. 3) I have a legal firearm for deer. The officers responded with couldnt you tell it wasnt real and proceded to write him a ticket for destruction of govt property. To make a long story short it was thrown out of court immediately. Joe had the last laugh but robo deer didnt fare as well.
Link Posted: 6/17/2001 8:37:38 PM EDT
I don't really understand the need that a Park Ranger may have for an M16... I would think that a good 30-30 Lever Action or a 30-06 Bolt Action would be a more appropriate tool for the job of handling 2 and 4 legged vermin. The idea of Cops and Rangers running around in cammies with M16's and acting like some sort of "Rambo" instead of just being a "cop" is a sign that things are getting out of control. Rangers and Cops should have restrictions preventing them from utilizing Semi-Automatic or Fully Automatic weapons.
Link Posted: 6/17/2001 9:10:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97: I don't really understand the need that a Park Ranger may have for an M16... I would think that a good 30-30 Lever Action or a 30-06 Bolt Action would be a more appropriate tool for the job of handling 2 and 4 legged vermin. The idea of Cops and Rangers running around in cammies with M16's and acting like some sort of "Rambo" instead of just being a "cop" is a sign that things are getting out of control. Rangers and Cops should have restrictions preventing them from utilizing Semi-Automatic or Fully Automatic weapons.
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Sure, wait a lot of posts on this site point out the fact that LEO's are citizens. Are you saying citizens should be restricted to bolt or lever action guns?? They should be equipped so they can be ready for what might reasonably happen. LOts of people say they have SHTF plans and weapons. Well the SHTF in small ways all the time, and people call "the law" to deal with it for the most part. If I need a cop when the SHTF I would hope the the one(s) they send is equipped to handled the situation.
Link Posted: 6/17/2001 10:06:52 PM EDT
i think they should have to obey the as i damn BS restrections i do
Link Posted: 6/17/2001 10:20:15 PM EDT
As individuals yes, OK. But the Law Enforcement AGency should be able to buy the weapons it wants/needs with the features it wants/needs.
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 11:53:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/21/2001 11:57:01 AM EDT by sf46]
Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97: I don't really understand the need that a Park Ranger may have for an M16... Rangers and Cops should have restrictions preventing them from utilizing Semi-Automatic or Fully Automatic weapons.
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Well geez Mr. Liberal, since the cops obviously have no need for semi or full auto guns, then the average citizen doesn't have much need for those either. That makes for an extremely easy solution! Let's just take away everyone's guns! The only people people who really have a need for those kind of guns are the criminals, so we'll just let them keep theirs and take away everyone else's guns! [;)] Where do I apply for my drug dealer machinegun permit? [;)] How do I prove I'm actually a drug dealer to get this permit? Maybe they'll just take my word for it. [;)]
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 12:16:24 PM EDT
Park Rangers with M4's???? That's odd. The green cops ONLY had 9mm Berettas to chase off me and a friend of mine riding our dirt bikes at a nearby sandbank. !)@m^ fool came running at us, hand on holster ready to draw.
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 12:36:21 PM EDT
Lets get them GE Miniguns [:D] Ice
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 12:40:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ajp3jeh: There are probably two broad groups that will read this post, those who think any LEO who works for the Federal government should be put against a wall and shot and everyone else.
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It's too bad that you chose to preface an otherwise excellent and informative post with such an ignorant statement.
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 12:40:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/21/2001 12:49:11 PM EDT by Trickey]
Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97: I don't really understand the need that a Park Ranger may have for an M16... I would think that a good 30-30 Lever Action or a 30-06 Bolt Action would be a more appropriate tool for the job of handling 2 and 4 legged vermin. The idea of Cops and Rangers running around in cammies with M16's and acting like some sort of "Rambo" instead of just being a "cop" is a sign that things are getting out of control. Rangers and Cops should have restrictions preventing them from utilizing Semi-Automatic or Fully Automatic weapons. Your opinion is your opinion, but think about what you are saying! Law Enforcement, lets take a look at that word. I'm not a brain surgeon but my guess is that these people are responsible for enforcing the law! So If all the gang bangers and drug dealers, hell even shiners down in the smokey mountains around where I'm from have all of the firepower how are these people supposed to enforce the law. These people are already breaking the law, so what makes you think that they won't use their weapons to prevent themselves from getting locked up. Firearms are an equalizer, for us and law enforcement. You want to equip these people that are supposed to be protecting us with pea shooters, they will lose all respect from the criminals. Law enforcemnt, park rangers, and law abiding citizens all have the right to keep and bear arms, no restrictions! Sure there are peopl out there on a power trip. I see people every day driving like there in the winston cup, should we take away there cars! I hope that people with your mentality feel real safe, becuase when joe criminal is robbing you, raping you or your loved ones at gunpoint, semiauto, full auto or assualt rifle whatever, you will be happy to know that Johnny Law will be showing up to save you with his red rider bb gun if you have your way
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Link Posted: 6/21/2001 12:42:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/21/2001 12:42:51 PM EDT by maelcum]
I would have no problem with a park ranger DRESSED like a park ranger carrying an M4 in my park, IF, and it's a big if, he has no problem with me being in my park (you and I own the federal government) with my M4. I do have a problem with any sort of law enforcement officer dressed in a manner which does not clearly identify him as such (ie, dressed in a military manner, or ala Mall Ninja). Citizens have the right to dress however they want, but LEOs in the performance of their duties need to be clearly identifiable as such. Also, someone said "well wait, aren't LEOs citizens?" Not when they are on duty. They are "public servants." Citizens have rights that on-duty police officers do not. Ok, now go ahead and try to argue that this isn't true :) All your national park are belong to us!
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 12:46:09 PM EDT
SF46, The Drug Dealer Machinegun Permit is number WS38490 and in order to recieve it please fill out the forms on the ATF site and submit them with the following: One photo ID- anybody's, preferably somebody you don't like. A list of all drugs and/or cleaning solvents you are going to distribute with sample dime bags. And a list of what type of weapons you would like to carry into National Parks, Airports, Blockbuster, etc. Upon recieval of these items, the ATF will immediately issue as many licenses as you requested for you and your brute squad. These license need not be carried on your person as long as you have a personalized note with somebody's ssignature allowing you to miss school or carry fully automatic weapons while distributing your stuff. If you have any questions email me at bob@aol.com and I will get right back to you. Ice
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 12:56:57 PM EDT
You guys just don't F@#king get it do you!!!!!! We should all have M16's Every able bodied Male Non-Felon in the U.S.A over the age of 18 should have one issued to him! That would keep people safe and just think how much fun it would be to have them. If you were a crook, Crack dealer, theif, rapist, or other type of bottom feeding pile of shit would you bother somebody that you knew had an M16 and was trained to use it?
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 2:58:58 PM EDT
Amen brother, I dont get some of these peoples mentalities
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 4:33:50 PM EDT
Read State Department Bulletin 7277 and take note that our Feds are quickly becoming the militarized "Internal Security Force" as delineated therein. A national, military, guestapo like force to be used against the people. It is dangerous and deadly beginning of what is to come. Tyranny. It is later than you think.
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 5:12:44 PM EDT
Oh boy, I can see this has gotten way out of hand. I guess I didn't make it clear that I was mostly poking fun at the tv show and how they chose to edit it. They more or less make park rangers look incompetent and militant. "Oh, there's a car parked alongside the road, that *must* be a smuggler! Better get out my M-16 carbine!" Makes for better tv than, "well, we helped some people change a flat tire today." ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz... I'm no fan of federalized property, states should run those parks or possibly even private organizations of some sort, I don't know. Why should people in Nebraska help pay for a park in Colorado they will likely never visit? I respect most of the park rangers' job description--fighting fires, helping people, and conservation. On the other hand, I draw the line at using rangers as drug cops and smugggler and immigration paramilitary patrol units. Are they really protecting the safety of park visitors? How? Some bureaucrat thought that up, not the rank and file. The friendly guy in the Smokey Bear hat is a thing of the past, I guess--more American innocence lost forever. If you want to carry an M-16 or AR-15, that's not up to me and it's none of my business. I just wish rangers and other federal agents would back off from the authoritarian track that was portrayed on the show. If you're a park ranger, you definitely need a good rifle. You probably don't need tactical gear and full camo to chase after deer poachers or mushroom bandits.
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 6:27:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/21/2001 7:03:28 PM EDT by trickshot]
Thanks for the constructive post, let me try to digest and then dissect some of what was said:
Originally Posted By ajp3jeh: The theme of the first post seemed to be that Rangers are incompetent and don't have any business with an AR-15/M-16 or any other weapon for that matter.
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Hardly, what I said, more or less, was that they were acting like paramilitary goons.
I think that a lot of what was done was semi-"staged" as mushroom poaching is huge in some areas and its not hard to catch them. I suspect they did that patrol so late in the season because the TV crew was there and wanted to see it.
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Yes, it was definitely staged--in order to paint an unrealistic portrait of what park rangers do for a living.
As far the as the border stuff goes, retreat back to Mexico is a pretty common response. I was baffled at the "all that expensive gear" comment - spike strips are pretty cheap. Considering the resources those guys had I thought they did pretty well, the load didn't make it across.
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The spike strips may be cheap, but Benelli shotguns, ammunition, 1000yd. spotting scopes, trucks, and manpower certainly don't come cheap. Just so one cheesy drug shipment doesn't make it across. The one they spotted was probably the decoy, 10 real shipments made it across that same afternoon.
As far as the "mushroom goons" go, the show didn't tell you that the mushroom poaching is so severe that the gangs end up fighting over who takes the mushrooms. This has escalated to the point that the "poor" mushroom poachers are all armed, and frequently with AK's & SKS's.
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Well, hopefully they will wipe each other out in a "turf war" then. The American people won't miss the mushrooms from the parks they never visit in any event.
I don't know about you, but if I'm going to contact someone with a long gun, I'd like one of my own.
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Great, yet later in your post you mention how you don't like to see members of the public armed with rifles. Double standard there, wouldn't you say?
I don't think its fair or accurate to make a judgement on the LE abilities of the Rangers based on the limited coverage offered.
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I go with what I have to work with, sorry.
Especially in Arizona, the only people that are going to care about that area are the Rangers.
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Exactly my point about government land.
If they weren't doing the enforcement, that area would become a gateway and the volume of traffic would increase.
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Not if drugs were legal and the welfare state was turned off. The reason they are a "gateway" has nothing to do with how the parks themselves are managed.
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 6:52:54 PM EDT
Let's see, now, if memory serves me correctly, I seem to recall that it was the Park Rangers who investigated the Vince Foster suicide (make that murder) was't it? And we all know how that turned out. What a white wash. Real efficiency, not!
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 7:01:46 PM EDT
Continued
Originally Posted By ajp3jeh: The simple fact is that the field ranger staff has been cut by ~1/3 over the past ten years. People argue for less government not realizing everything that will be cut. If you think the Park Service lands are bad, consider the National Forest System - they average ~one officer for every 120,00 acres.
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You seem to forget that for most of 4.5 billion years, the entire continent got along just fine without any governments or oversight. Since few people visit these parks and they are wildnernesss areas, 1 officer for 120,000 acres isn't all that unrealistic. Even in the 1800s there were only a few lawmen for entire territories. Somehow mankind managed to keep going. How is it that field ranger staff has been cut while every other agency has seen exponential growth? Is it the fuzzy math where you're talking about a cut in growth vs. a cut in total size? Like Bush's budget cuts--they're not a cut in last year's budget, just a cut in how much it would be increased this year.
Something the show didn't convey as well as it could have is the relative danger associated with the job. Also not mentioned was the well documented fact that NPS Rangers have the highest assault rate of any Federal LE agency.
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Don't they explain the risks when you fill out the application forms? How many rangers have been murdered since the service began? How many total rangers have their been? I'll bet the homocide rate is less than 1%. Probably safer than my commute to work every day.
Because they tend to be secluded, public lands are popular hiding places for fugitives. I've personally arrested a gentleman wanted in 17 jurisdictions for armed robbery and assault.
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Good job. They should have featured you on their program. Public lands are good hiding places, dumping places, etc. because they don't belong to anyone specifically.
Finally, let me address the issue of firearms on National Park lands. First, the law was enacted way before "shall issue" laws became common. The law is intended to prevent opportunistic poaching and every Ranger I know of worries about the presence of loaded long guns - not your typical CCW fare.
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The law was enacted before gun owners turned the tide against unconstitutional laws is what you really meant to say. If I ever ran into your opportunistic poachers or the mushroom gangs (with SKS and AK rifles) I'd sure like to have my AR handy. Maybe you could form a posse of ar15.com guys and go out looking for them. I'm sure lots of guys here would help out for free.
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 7:02:20 PM EDT
I agree with aj3p, in many instances Park Rangers are faced with some pretty dangerous individuals and groups, especially along the borders. Let them have their M4s, just let me have one too!!
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 7:03:35 PM EDT
I have encountered numerous individuals who have possessed handguns in either open carry or CCW and I have never cited anyone for it unless they were committing a more serious crime.. I don't know of another Ranger who had done it as well unless the person was being arrested for some other offense like DUI or drug possession.
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Sure *you* have done this. But what if I run into your exact opposite? If someone is committing an actual crime, by all means they should be disarmed when being arrested. Drug posession and DUI? Give me a break!
Believe it or not, some of us are good card carrying NRA members who shoot competitively and have no problems with being armed. I personally know of instances when people defended themselves with a handgun on Park land and were commended on it. In all likelihood, if you're a legitimate CCW holder, the Ranger will ask that you unload the weapon and secure while he or she is there.
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We supposedly live in a land where it is not up to you to give your assent to others being armed. If you were a "good, card-carrying" GOA member, I might be impressed. I'll bet I'd have a time getting the ranger to unload his gun and keep it secure while he's in my presence. Double standard again... What's the difference if you have a CCW or not if you open carry? It's still technically illegal on federal government property anyways, people can be arrested at your discretion. I wonder if people headed west in the 1800s asked each other to unload their weapons when they ran into each other on the trail? I'll bet if a federal marshal asked you to do that back then, he'd be looked upon with great suspicion.
I am in no way advocating that anyone ignore the law - it makes it easier on everyone if you're in compliance.
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I think this is the statement I find most objectionable in the whole post. Compliance is a cost that is too often becoming an unreasonable expense. Maybe ignoring the law is just what is called for--we should not abide by unconstitutional laws. Now if we could just get a fair trial after being arrested for them...
I'm trying to point out that you're right to self-defense includes NPS lands - you've just got to play the game.
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Funny, I never thought of self defense as a game.
I always recommend carrying your pistol, unloaded, in a case with a loaded magazine in the case but not in the weapon.
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I recommend you do the same and you let me know how it feels, okay?
The handgun can still be accessed quickly and this complies with the law. I think that a legitimate CCW exemption to the law would be a great solution but I don't write the laws.
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I think a total repeal of the law would be more appropriate. CCW permits are just another way to make gun owners toe the line.
If you're that upset about it write your congressman or do something useful to change the law.
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I think my Congressmen and Senators have made it quite clear that they really don't care what I think about anything. Sir, I mean no disrespect to you, but if you stop and think about a lot of the things you said, you may begin to understand what it is that so many gun owners are upset about. I'm not the enemy, yet I am treated like a suspect and a second class citizen and have no rights whenever I'm around you if you don't feel like it.
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 9:12:06 PM EDT
When you're out there alone, I'd think you'd need to be at least as well armed as the badguys... especially since you're outnumbered.
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 9:24:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 10:39:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sf46:
Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97: I don't really understand the need that a Park Ranger may have for an M16... Rangers and Cops should have restrictions preventing them from utilizing Semi-Automatic or Fully Automatic weapons.
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Well geez Mr. Liberal, since the cops obviously have no need for semi or full auto guns, then the average citizen doesn't have much need for those either. That makes for an extremely easy solution! Let's just take away everyone's guns! The only people people who really have a need for those kind of guns are the criminals, so we'll just let them keep theirs and take away everyone else's guns! [;)] Where do I apply for my drug dealer machinegun permit? [;)] How do I prove I'm actually a drug dealer to get this permit? Maybe they'll just take my word for it. [;)]
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I would like to make a point: Actually I am NOT a Liberal..and I certainly don't believe in the Constitutionality of ANY Gun Control Laws (even the CCW's are an UNCONSTITUTIONAL restriction on the Second Amendment). So why did I post the above ? Because a little ol AR15 shoots a little itty bitty 22 cal bullet. And the normal load to use is surplus FMJ ammo... Whereas a 30-06 Bolt Action will take bigger vermin at LONGER ranges and with greater precision that a little AR15 will. Also...I think that if we NON-LEO's are to be restricted on our choice of firearms..then so should government employees. Otherwise we end up with a quasi-feudalistic society..where a privileged few are allowed to be armed..and the serfs are not. Besides..a 180 grain bullet fired from a 30-06 rifle just seems to work better on a bear than a 55 or 62 grain .223 FMJ round..
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 11:59:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Boomer:
Originally Posted By ajp3jeh: There are probably two broad groups that will read this post, those who think any LEO who works for the Federal government should be put against a wall and shot and everyone else.
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It's too bad that you chose to preface an otherwise excellent and informative post with such an ignorant statement.
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That statement was very "tongue in cheek." While I haven't seen that exact sentiment expressed in those words, I'd say its a slight exageration of an attitute that isn't uncommon on this board.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 1:51:29 PM EDT
Trickshot (and others), I appreciate your responses and specifically their well-tempered and logical nature. I'm not quite sure where to start here, whether to address your specific points or to respond in a more general manner, I suspect that I'll do both so let's see: I don't believe that the television show painted an unrealistic portrait of what National Park Service (NPS) Park Rangers do for a living. I think that there is a lot of confusion because the term "Park Ranger" is used by so many different agencies, federal, state, and local and the job description varies greatly. Even within the NPS Ranger division, there are two broad groups with the title - those who work in "Interpretation" (the folks who give presentations and guide hikes) and in the "Protection" division (providers of police, fire, EMS, and/or SAR services). Those rangers who work in the Protection division are commissioned as law enforcement officers and since the early 90's have been recognized as full time LEO's who receive the same training and retirement as other federal LEO's. There has always been someone who provided a "police" function in the National Parks. It is important to remember that National Parks (1875?) predated the National Park Service (1917) and initially it was the U.S. Army who provided this police function. When the National Park Service was formed every employee had law enforcement authority. This created all kinds of problems and the designation of specific employees as LEO's occurred in the early 1970's. Since their inception, the National Parks have always needed this police function to protect the park (& its resources) as well as the people visiting the park. Initially, this enforcement focused on protection of the wildlife from poaching, both opportunistic and commercial. As visitation has increased over the years, the need to protect visitors has increased and this now includes providing fire, emergency medical, search and rescue, as well as law enforcement. Your typical Ranger generally has skills far beyond that of a "cop," at my most recent duty station, we had our own structural fire program, EMS (I was a quasi-paramedic), and SAR program.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 1:53:51 PM EDT
Many National Park areas have LE problems that the Rangers attempt to deal with. In some areas it is poaching of wildlife, in others it is the theft of archeological resources. There is a certain need for traditional police responses to drunks, assaults, noise complaints as well as drug trafficking and manufacture. For these reasons, I don't think the show provided an "unrealistic portrait." If anything it only showed a small set of the LE problems we address on a regular basis. In specific regards to the drug trafficking, it is important to remember that the US Border Patrol dramatically increased their enforcement in California in hopes that by increasing the difficulty of border crossing, the actual number of crossings would decrease. This meant that much of the illegal drugs and aliens began to enter the US through the Arizona desert. Organ Pipe's location on the Mexican border meant that it was directly in the path of this new traffic. I would argue that the park staff at Organ Pipe has an obligation to be tougher in their enforcement so that the park does not become a "weak link" and a focus of the traffic. While it may be true that 10 other loads went across at another location, it is likely that those loads did not cross Organ Pipe, preventing damage to the park and its resources. As far as the expense of the equipment and personnel, I would suggest that these things are already budgeted and part of the operation of the park. Every place I've worked has had spotting scopes, shotguns, and trucks - at Organ Pipe they are using them to address the most serious LE issue they have. While discussing LE in general, let me address your comments about the danger associated with the job. You seemed to scoff at the idea that NPS Rangers have been killed in the line of duty. The actual numbers are a little more significant. Since its inception, "30 US Rangers have died in the performance of law enforcement duties." Seven of those deaths were felonious assault with firearms. Of the remaining numbers 10 were killed in auto related activities, either in pursuits or being struck by a drunk driver. "Other causes have included falls, exposure, and drowning." There have been 100+ documented "shootouts" with suspects and in these incidents, eight Rangers have been shot and wounded. One thing I don't understand is what seems to be your general animosity towards the very concept of National Parks. One of their main proponents was Teddy Roosevelt - not exactly a left wing nut case. The whole idea is that there are certain natural and historical resources that are so significant that they should be preserved for the potential enjoyment of future generations. I'm not sure if you object to conservation or if you feel it is not the proper role for the federal government. I feel that many of the sites in the National Park System do protect significant areas and that this is a worthy pursuit. It has been my observation that lands designated as state parks do not emphasize the conservation aspect and tend to be developed for recreation at the expense of preservation.
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