Self-reliance in the forest

The opinion by Danny Bernstein on guns and parks [“Safe and Sound: Let’s Keep Guns Out of Our National Parks,” April 23] seems to be coming somewhat out of left field. I wonder what her own personal firearm experience might be.

The notion that one might get into a shootout over a camping spot with an obnoxious old man is not modus operandi for most gun owners, anymore than running over arrogant bicyclists is par for the course for most motorists. Most gun owners regard their weapons as dangerous tools, much like automobiles and chain saws. The quote that people are in more danger in malls than national parks is not exactly true. In a mall, one is surrounded by people and the possibility of help. Alone in the woods, you must rely on yourself.

Ms. Bernstein uses extrapolation several times to argue “what if” people should use guns in arguments, or bring dogs and logging to the parks, but this is not a reasoned argument. “What if” more and more criminals decided to move operations to our parks? “What if” a mad bear or rabid raccoon attacked a child etc? On more than one occasion I have seen staunch anti-gun people look to those who are armed for help in dangerous situations. Let’s maintain a sensible balance and not let emotion and personal distastes prevent honest citizens from choosing the option of self defense.

— Marc Mandon
Asheville

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