I am sure that most have heard about the credit card reform bill that Obama demanded must be be put through in short order. I am getting a little tired of Obama short circuiting the proper process of the Congress on passing of new bills. Congress has not been doing their job of ensuring that bad bills are not being passed. Obama demands the bill to be passed and Congress jumps to it.
This past week Senator Tom Coburn decided he could use Obama's must pass credit card reform bill to allow people to carry concealed or in the open loaded guns in our national parks, reversing a restriction that has been in place since the Reagan administration. Senator Coburn's amendment to the must pass credit card bill would allow individuals to openly carry rifles, shotguns, and semi-automatic weapons in national parks if the firearm is in compliance with State law.
Obama has already stated he will sign the credit card reform bill even if it includes the gun amendment. Surprisingly, this will restore a Bush administration policy that allowed loaded guns in national parks. In March a federal judge blocked the Bush policy. Obama accepted the ruling stating the Interior Department would review the policy over the next several months.
There is no reason for a gun amendment to be attached to a must pass credit card reform bill. It is bad enough that one has to worry about walking down a public street, or travelling along the highways, that a gun toting deranged person will open fire at any moment; and if you don't think this is the case you haven't been watching or reading the news. Now we can not even take a holiday in a national park without the same worries. It certainly will make me feel a lot less safe about hiking the trails.
There is no reason for any gun advocate or sportsman to carry a loaded rifle into a national park that does not allow hurting. As for crime, the number of crimes committed in our national parks in relation to the number of visitors is minuscule. Even outside of our national parks, allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons does not deter crime. That argument just doesn't wash, it never has, and never will. Furthermore, allowing loaded rifles to be carried in our national parks will increase the difficulty of park rangers to fight poaching. According to the National Park Service, poaching is a factor in the decline of at least 29 species of wildlife and could cause the lost of 19 species from the parks. Poaching is a chronic problem in our national parks and is increasing due the the illegal international trade of animal parts. If the amendment is passed, it will make it more difficult to apprehend poachers because possession and display of firearms will no longer be a probable cause to initiate a search for evidence of animals or animal parts.
Obama has demanded the credit card reform bill by Memorial Day. Congress needs to quit worrying about this demand and tell Obama that the added amendment should be carefully considered and debated before being allow to tag along. Obama, if he was the responsible president he should be, should readily agree. Furthermore, Obama, if he was the responsible president he should be, should veto the credit card reform bill if it contains the gun amendment sending it back to Congress to pass a truly clean credit card reform bill.