Opinion: Just Say No to Camping With Guns

Nothing good will come from it.


It was a Friday night in July 2016, the height of tourist season. But having camped in this gulch for decades without incident — not even a hungry bear — we didn’t anticipate how much had changed since our last visit five years before.

We drove past the Forest Service campground, which was, as usual, full, and on up a dirt road too rough for anything but a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Camping was allowed along the road in designated sites. These were the only free sites anywhere near the resort town of Aspen, Colorado, and functioning cellphone service. It was a calm, pristine evening, Venus rising above the trees, the sound of the creek after a long, congested drive as restorative as a Vivaldi concerto — until the guns started firing.

By bedtime we were pinned down. At almost every other campsite, it seemed, except for ours and the one across the road, people were armed and shooting their weapons. It sounded like an NRA convention had taken up residence, with members flexing their firepower on behalf of the Second Amendment. The veteran across the road, who was camping with his two boys, said the gunfire was all too reminiscent of his two tours in Iraq. He ordered his sons to stay in the camper and not to go outside without him, even for a quick pee.

With ice axes, brought for the climb tomorrow, in hand, my friend Babs and I walked down the road to ask our neighbors to knock it off. By then, their chainsaws had also buzzed into action, toppling the two tallest aspens in the grove and decapitating them. When we arrived, they were dragging the trunks to their bonfire to keep it going for the rest of the night. To our surprise, their SUVs bore Colorado license plates, so their ill-mannered behavior couldn’t be blamed on ignorance. Not that ignorance was any defense.

The large sign at the mouth of the gulch made it clear. How could they have missed it? No shooting, no chopping down trees, no food left out to attract bears. Our neighbors weren’t the only campers in the gulch who violated all three bans. At other campsites below us, boulders pinged and tree trunks crackled, as round after round struck its target, and smoke from a dozen bonfires drifted uphill, penetrating our tents.

Our neighbors seemed polite enough; the sight of the ice axes wielded by two women old enough to be their grandmothers might have helped. They actually apologized for the noise, but by the time we crawled back into our sleeping bags, the shooting from somewhere close had erupted again.

Earplugs were useless. The pop, pop, pop of bullets discharged in rapid succession rang out relentlessly, their capacity to terrify amplified by the echo chamber of the gulch. I nearly smothered myself with the down jacket I placed over my head. At midnight, the vet across the way drove away. He said his ex-wife would never forgive him if their boys were gunned down on a camping trip with Dad. I would have poked my head out of the tent to wish him well but I didn’t want to get caught in any crossfire.

Our experience was not unique. During Fourth of July weekend in 2015, a grandfather was shot dead at a Forest Service campground near Woodland Park, Colorado, while sitting at his campfire, roasting marshmallows with his son-in-law. His daughter and three grandchildren were taking a walk, and though they were not injured, they had to endure the kind of horrific experience no one should have to endure. In news accounts about that incident, a Forest Service spokesperson reported a quintupling of shooting incidents over the previous two years.

I tightened the drawstring on my bag, lowered my head to half-mast, and hugged the floor of the tent so hard, a foxhole might have opened up. At dawn, my head throbbed from lack of sleep — a hangover that would dog the entire hike. At 6 a.m., we made our escape, driving up the road to the trailhead for our ascent of a 13,000-foot peak. I’ll never camp in that gulch again.

Here’s some advice to campers with guns: Leave your arsenal at home. You have nothing to fear but yourself. And think of those three kids who have to live with the memory of their bawling mom for the rest of their lives as she stood over her father, pleading for him to breathe. They never caught the shooter. Whether it was homicide or an accident, Granddad was dead.

This story was produced and published by High Country News. Jane Parnell is the author of the mountaineering memoir, Off Trail: Finding My Way Home in the Colorado Rockies, recently published by University of Oklahoma Press. Photo by Scott Goodwill on Unsplash

 

Showing 83 comments
  • Native
    Reply

    Is this satire? Can’t tell…

    • Matt
      Reply

      No, this isn’t satire. I’ve been camping in Pike NF (Colorado) twice, had gunshots ringing out until midnight the first time and found three boxes of spent cartridges (9mm, 556, 45 auto) when walking the road the second trip.
      Trigger happy campers are a problem. Ones who shoot in full dark and don’t have a backstop. Right to a Bear Arms all you want, but do it safely and respectfully.

      • Jason
        Reply

        Nothing gets people fired up like gun talk. 🙂
        I was going to post about how this is an example of one dummy ruining things for everyone, but apparently I’m late to the party! For every scumbag, there are hundreds of responsible folks, so blanket statements based on the misdeeds of a few are inappropriate. Maybe I should rewrite this story:

        Just Say No to Camping with People from Colorado.

        No guns is fine when help is nearby, but when you are in the wild and there are crazies afoot, I’m not taking chances.

        • Donald Dailey
          Reply

          Couldn’t have said it better myself. This shouldn’t even be an article!!!

        • Eddie
          Reply

          Well said. Thanks..and watch it for those people from CO!

        • Anne
          Reply

          Did you read the article? They weren’t using guns for protection, they were playing with them all night and doing so irresponsibly. But yeah, if you’re ok with that, don’t come camp in CO.

    • MC
      Reply

      Sounds like you need to move to a gun control state buddy…camping=shooting..

  • Dougie Fresh
    Reply

    I don’t hike/camp with a gun but I get why folks do. If you feel safer with one that’s cool with me but it should be kept/carried safely and not used unless in extreme emergencies to save a life, prevent an animal attack, etc. Save the target practice for the range or your own property. That has no place on shared public lands…

    I’d also say leave the campfires for your back yard fire pit too… Forest fires are waaaaay more scary to me than a 20 year old with a glock camping with his friends. Backpacking stoves cook food better and building/keeping a fire up is too much work…

  • Bovii
    Reply

    No.

    This isnt an issue with guns but with assholes. I’m not asshole enough to shoot carelessly(or at night or from a campsite). I would say tell assholes not to be assholes but when has that ever worked.

    • Joe
      Reply

      Its not an issue with guns, but with assholes – but telling them not to be assholes doesn’t work…

      Dealing with the guns sounds like a good next step, no different then the other rules we have to abide by while camping.

      • Bovii
        Reply

        No thanks

  • martyg
    Reply

    Yeah…. I’d never abide by this. Coming from Washington State were we’ve had a number of killings in FS campgrounds (including the campground host and a camper who’s vehicle was stolen by the killer) and NP’s, I carry whenever I am near the road. I get a few hundred yards in and the Glock goes away in the pack.

    Road camping totally wigs me out. I’d rather be 5 miles and one hard climb in. It weeds out the riff-raff.

    Its not a gun issue. Its an issue of people being assclowns with guns – just like they can be with their trucks, ORV’s, mtn bikes, canines, etc.

  • Jim
    Reply

    Sorry, my guns travel with me. But then I’m not going to be using it unless I am threatened.

  • Kevin Curry
    Reply

    The National Forest land that borders my cabin sounds like a war zone all weekend these days. I used to love bushwhacking my way into the hills for a few days but now I feel like I’d just be risking getting shot. They’re quite clearly mixing substance abuse with their antics as well which is scary. And many of the firearms they’re shooting are clearly illegal. Nothing like heading to the hills for a relaxing weekend at the cabin so I can listen to automatic weapons all night.

    • martyg
      Reply

      Dude – so sorry to hear that. Unfortunately it seems that the people with the poorest judgment gravitate to the most destructive toys. If only they’d use those toys to thin their gene pool. MG

      • JD
        Reply

        People wonder why I don’t hike in America and you have just said the one thing I say to people who ask. I’ve been to some really “dangerous” places including hiking in Iraq. Switzerland have more guns per person than the USA and I’ve hiked there too. The difference is in all these places gun are tools for a job, in America guns are toys, toys get played with and there’s nothing dangerous about having a 6 pack and playing with a toy. Until the culture around guns in the USA changes then bans are the only solution that makes sense. And lets be honest the USA is never going to change it’s stance or culture on guns it’s to engraved into the American way of life.

    • Rodney
      Reply

      Have you reported these illegal activities to the authorities?
      If you haven’t you are part of the problem.
      People are always wanting to complain about something, but they do not want to get involved in correcting stupid behavior.
      I once witnessed a tent camper beating the holy bejesus out of his girlfriend. I hollered for him to stop and he took off for a short jog.
      I sent my wife for the rangers and brought her into our r.v. for first aid and to await the arrival of authorities.
      Boyfriend went to jail and she got medical attention.

    • D
      Reply

      You know there illegal how exactly? Because they scare you? If they are illegal report it. My guess is they are perfectly legal. I own many guns and just about everyone I know does as well. I don’t now of a single one that is illegal.

      Shooting in a developed or undeveloped campground is stupid. No excuse for that.

      • Chris
        Reply

        Isn’t that the illegal part here? That they’re shooting in the campsites and cutting trees down?

        • D
          Reply

          Reading is key. From the original post. “And many of the firearms they’re shooting are clearly illegal.”

      • James
        Reply

        I think the issue is whether or not it is legal to discharge the firearm within the bounderies of a campground designed for recreation not as a range. The author of this article references a “sign” at the entrance to the campground which prohibited discharging firearms, which would make the act of discharging the firearm (regardless of the legality of carrying the firear, or the legality of the firearm itself) illegal. The issue is simple. This is not about ownership of the weapon or the ability to carry the weapon, but about when and where it is appropriate and legal to discharge it.

        Shooting in a developed or undeveloped campground, in this case, is illegal. No excuse for that or for the remaining stupidity involved.

  • Nelsin
    Reply

    I still will bring mine. Yet not shoot up random trees and boulders.

  • J Zielesch
    Reply

    With all the BS being thrown around by the left, I don’t believe anything of the story. A Gulf War Vet. That is a very sorry thing to have to say.

    • Eric
      Reply

      Why wouldn’t you believe this? It’s all a conspiracy to take away your guns? So now a person can’t advocate for responsible gun use without being accused of being some sort of left wing lie? I’m guessing you would be okay camping next to a drunk who doesn’t know or doesn’t care to use a safely. Would you also be okay with your three year old or your grandfather being killed by a stray shot as long that shot fired by a Republican? Asking for a friend.

      • Meg
        Reply

        Wheres the recording?

    • aaa
      Reply

      Then by all means. please write of your last experience in the woods with your firearms.. and how you and your party were admiring each other’s firearms, instead of safely (and illegally) discharging firearms in a national forest.

      You can berate the leftist BS, and the Vet all you like, but it doesn’t make you more of a man.

    • Robert Edwards
      Reply

      If you find yourself writing something like this:
      “With all the BS being thrown around by the left, I don’t believe anything of the story.”

      Then YOU are definitely part of the problem.
      No excuse for WILLFUL ignorance.

  • gd77punk
    Reply

    It’s not just out west. I was talking to a buddy here in TN about hiking into one of my favorite wilderness areas, his first question is “can I shoot there?”

    Ummm, never mind, I quit hiking yesterday.

  • Corrine
    Reply

    I carry mine at all times. Several years ago a friend. Was shooting targets at a lake in CO at mid morning. A few campers that were hung over yelled at him to stop. Ray having his kids and not wanting trouble put the guns away. The neighbors came across the lake and while one guy held Ray down the other bashed his head with the rock. Another held his then 9 year old son down so hard it broke his arm. He barely made it off the mountain alive. I refuse to take a chance. I don’t play with my gun. It’s purely for protection.

    • Robert Edwards
      Reply

      So, in other words, his guns didn’t protect him or his family at all.

  • James
    Reply

    You have misunderstood the problem
    The problem is not the firearm, it is the individual using it in an inappropriate manner.

    Self defense in an isolated area is a real issue. A police officer will only make it to you in time to draw the chalk line around your corpse.

    There are evil people in the world that want to do bad things to the rest of us. No amount of flowers or soy lattes or hippie drum circles or participation trophies will change that

    If it can happen in Malibu Creek outside LA, it can happen anywhere

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/30/us/father-killed-camping-california/index.html

  • Brian
    Reply

    It’s amazing how a few idiots ALWAYS show up to give anything a bad reputation.
    Idiot motorcyclists who think it’s ok to put loud exhausts on their bikes so people will look at their shiny chrome, idiot car owners with the same affliction. Truck owners not only putting loud exhausts on, but bypassing emissions settings and blowing black diesel smoke, raising them so far that they become a menace in the event of an accident, bicyclists who think they have just as much of a right to ride down the left side of a street as a car, even though they are traveling 30 mph less than cars and unwilling to simply move over a few feet to allow traffic to flow smoothly.
    You name it and there are butt wads who are there to give a bad impression to the rest of the public.
    Unfortunately, there are laws against almost all of these things, but they are rarely enforced. In the case of loud motorcycle exhausts there are too many cops themselves who have them to actually enforce noise ordinances.
    You can hear that loud obnoxious blatting for miles and miles out in the wilderness. (I, BTW am a motorcycle rider/enthusiast, nothing against motorcycles or motorcycles, just the loud pirates costumed obnoxious minority.)

  • Brian
    Reply

    You can’t fix stupid, let’s not confuse that with tools of any kind, be it chainsaws, hammers, guns or microwaves. Idiots are everywhere and will always do idiotic things. Is that a reason for me not to have a tool to protect my 2 year old son? So you’re saying that because there’s drunk dangerous folks around, I should disarm myself? You go for it, I choose to not be defenseless around dangerous imbeciles.

    • Mary D Cornell
      Reply

      My loud pipes are so idiot self absorbed people hear me and look for me to keep from running me down.

  • Mary D Cornell
    Reply

    While I understand the problem with guns and would not like to be in that situation, I do question the authors own judgement of proceeding with a 13,000 desert of a mountain the following day. She said her head.was pounding from lack of sleep and felt as if she had a hang over. So these women “old enough to be their. grandmothers” may of possibility put rescuers at risk because they were impaired from lack of sleep. Also 911 does work with or without cell services. Me, I would of left like the Vet did. Having my own firearm would of been useless in the dark.

  • K
    Reply

    I.’ve carried a weapon and camped for 35 years… Never fired it once. Only practiced at ranges. Not everyone should be allowed to possess a firearm.

  • rob
    Reply

    not surprised that moron’s with guns fire them off at night. for one thing you can’t possibly be aiming at anything so what’s the point? I grew up on a cattle ranch and guns were part of the deal. once they were sighted in that was it, you didn’t waste ammo shooting for fun. I can’t imagine what my dad would have said if he found out we fired off hundreds of rounds for no reason but to hear the noise.

    to stay safe, the solution is stated above by someone on this thread, hike an hour or two into the wilderness and you cut down on the rif raf that stay close to the road. carry a gun backpacking? lol. to each their own.

  • Joe
    Reply

    This has little to do with camping with guns and more to do with inconsiderate neighbors.

  • Bill
    Reply

    The moment the article tried to tie in the NRA with the idiot behavior it lost me. People who are NRA members don’t shoot guns at night just to hear the sound it makes. They don’t shoot while drinking and partying. There might be something to the story but you lost with the liberal crap. Try again.

    • Rodney Bennett
      Reply

      I agree

    • aaa
      Reply

      So you’re a responsible gun owner. (yay!) So am I. I am happy to have made your acquaintance.

      As it stands, there are many things that “we” can’t do because some idiots before us mucked it up for the rest of us.

      So, what do you propose we do about these idiots who muck it up for the rest of us? The NRA hasn’t contributed to the conversation in a useful manner. crossing their arms, and screaming about 2A rights doesn’t exactly endear us to the “other” side.

    • Bob
      Reply

      “People who are NRA members don’t shoot guns at night just to hear the sound it makes. They don’t shoot while drinking and partying.”

      No, they just secretively take money and collaborate with Russians trying to destroy our country.

      Oh wait, those are positives to today’s pretend conservatives.

  • Phil
    Reply

    That’s crazy. Here in Texas I camp all the time. I bring guns when I camp on private land owned by my family or my friends I am camping with. We shoot in the mornings, then they get put away when we start drinking. If I am camping on public lands then I wouldn’t even think about bringing them. Hell in our state parks you can’t carry a handgun unless you have a CHL and alcohol isn’t allowed either. Only idiots who were not raised or trained right get drunk and shoot guns in the middle of the night. They aren’t toys.

    • Justin B.
      Reply

      A responsible ammosexual who acknowledges that the responsible ammosexuals have to advocate for actions that do something about the irresponsible ammosexuals? Hold on a sec while I pinch myself.

  • Kevin
    Reply

    I’ve camped hundreds of nights in Utah and Colorado and a little in Alberta and Wyoming and Idaho (mostly wilderness camping but some road camping). Never had this experience. Have certainly camped in places with other inconsiderate drunken jerks making lots of noise though.

    If I were in their shoes I would have called the police, gunfire at night is incredibly dangerous.

    I’m not a “gun guy” but have camped with many people who are, and have done some hunting, this isn’t a gun problem, it’s a jerk problem, as others have mentioned. Pull up camp and call the police when things like this happen.

    And as someone else stated, hiking 5 miles from a road pretty much eliminates this kind of thing.

    But I feel very badly for anyone camping in that kind of situation. People are killed at campsites as others have noted, most recently in Malibu Creek.

  • Matthew
    Reply

    Liberal logic…I carry. Deal with it. Or don’t. Good luck keeping on with trying to change my mind.

  • The Woodsman
    Reply

    I carry concealed on my hikes and runs. I rarely shoot outside of shooting ranges, and only when I’m sure I’m not disturbing anyone. Courtesy and respect applies to everything you do in the backcountry, especially the use of firearms. And yes, there are far too many who think just because they have rights, they don’t have responsibilities. They ruin it for the rest of us. But I won’t be leaving my guns at home when I go camping as this article suggests. It’s my right to self defense.

  • Agitated
    Reply

    I have always kept guns with me camping and they have saved us from being robbed. There are many places that allow legal shooting but all thru the night and where posted otherwise I agree needs to stop but to tell us that do shoot legally and respectfully that we are in the same category as those who don’t is as disrespectful as those that ruined your trip.

  • Barb Tyson
    Reply

    I just returned from a camping trip in Colorado’s Pike National Forest on Rampart Range Rd. My boys were dirt biking. In a space of 30 minutes we saw 24 emergency vehicles racing down this gravel road. We stayed out of the way, but found out this is what happened.
    http://www.koaa.com/story/38559105/deputies-say-armed-carjacking-suspect-no-longer-threat-to-community
    Another case of people behaving badly with guns. Yup…hike in a little ways to get rid of the problem.

  • Mike
    Reply

    Turn in your man card

  • Chet Cross
    Reply

    I hear gun shots around my camp site at night and bullets start zinging I shoot back. It seems to stop soon after that
    Sarge.

  • Curtis McCollum
    Reply

    I am a hunter and camper, and yes have been attacked be a bear on the trail. I have never shot for no reason and target practice in a camp ground in just stooped. I like to camp where I am alone. Oh I did have to kill the bear.

  • Larry
    Reply

    How about just say no to being a jerk with any type of loud noises? Generators, loud music, barking dogs, loud kids…come to mind. Sorry to break the news…but there are bad people most everywhere. Bringing your fists and fingernails to a knife fight or a gun fight doesn’t work well. I have run into some weirdos in the woods. Being armed is something I started doing after several encounters with strange dudes. Especially if you’re a woman, protect yourself.

  • Gwb
    Reply

    I don’t think they shooting round after round cutting down trees with
    chainsaws late in the day in a national park and not one ranger showed up.

  • Terry
    Reply

    I’m camping right now and my gun is with me

  • Oskar
    Reply

    We’ve got two young boys, and are wanting to get them into camping. It’s tough. You don’t want to camp somewhere where it’s just you and one other group who turn out to be like the ones depicted in this article, but then you also don’t want to camp in with 100 RV’s and not really be camping. Looks like it’ll be back country camping for them first.

    Just stupid that where drinking, shooting and chopping down trees are not allowed, they did them all.

  • Pete
    Reply

    I had the same camping experience described in this article while camped off a dirt road in national forest in northern Colorado as a crew leader responsible for a crew of 8, 14 to 16 year olds while we were working a 5 day youth corps trail project. After an hour of repetitive gun shots, extremely profane language, and freaked out kids, my co leader and I drove our crew down the road a couple miles at 2am to find cell service, called the sheriff, he came out to the the scene, talked to the group of neighbors, then came back to our camp telling us that they were “just a group of off duty fire fighters practicing their rights of being outdoorsman”. I thanked the sheriff for responding to our call, he left the scene, the shooting and yelling continued, so we threw our gear in the van and made a sunrise drive a few miles down the road for a quiet nap before our we started our next project. It’s pretty lame people have to act like that to have a good time.

  • Den
    Reply

    The most commented post on Adventure Journal. I guess americans will never ceased being obsessed with guns,grow up guys your not 15 anymore real life is not an action movie.In Europe we would never ever think about taking a gun for camping except if you are a gangster on the run or totally deranged.

  • Stephanie
    Reply

    I guess this means that with all the idiots on the road driving cars, you will apply the same logic and never drive again.

    You are trying to make a leap between irresponsible gun usage and your desire to not have a firearm. Problem is others irresponsible actions with a legitimate firearm do not justify your response.

    But have fun walking to work and let us know when you sell your car.

    • Bob
      Reply

      Cept a car’s only purpose is not to kill people. Other than that, you make a great point XD

  • Jen
    Reply

    If you are camping in an area where shooting is not allowed, why on earth would you not notify the authorities when it starts??if laws are being violated and you feel you are in danger, why would you not call the authorities? If people are leaving in the middle of the night,and you are scared to leave your tent, once again, why did you not notify the authorities. If you are going to use our open land you a responsibility to report illegal activity. Thanks for leaving the asshats to be asshats another day for someone else to deal with. NEXT TIME MAKE A PHONE CALL.

  • Kenneth
    Reply

    Go to Canada,no guns allowed period.(you’ll get arrested for having one)

    • PJC
      Reply

      This isn’t even remotely true. You can buy an AR-15 in Canada—if you have a history of responsible behavior. Guns are controlled, not illegal or unallowed unless you have a criminal record of violence, DUIs, or poaching or the like. Learn the facts, dude.

  • morbore
    Reply

    i came here expecting to see a bunch of butt-hurt comments from people who feel the need to constantly flex their second amendment right, and you all came through.

  • Brian
    Reply

    This isn’t a problem of guns but of trashy people, as someone above referred to as assholes. Really, trashy people. The ones that cut down trees with chainsaws in blatant violation of a sign. Go after the trashy people, call them out in a public forum. Our society is getting trashier and trashier thanks to shitty parenting and an ever growing government welfare system, but mostly shitty parenting and upbringing. I carry a gun in the Alaska wilderness and conceal carry as well. The widerness doesn’t have a gun problem. Chicago doesn’t have a gun problem, it has a trashy person problem. Please focus on the problem, shitty people who procreate and have kids that they in turn can’t raise well thus creating more shitty adults. I speak as the married father of 4.

  • Kevin
    Reply

    Dogs in the backcountry, females alone in the backcountry and now camping with guns. Interesting to see that the issues surrounding the wilderness have been the most commented on here in Adventure Journal and have provoked so many emotions and feelings both positive and negative. Maybe something to do with freedom? Ironic that this article comes out near Independence Day and for all that it stands for.

  • Iniminimoe
    Reply

    Cool story bro.

    Now leave the guns out of it and replace that with people singing all night long and drunk crying about thier lives.

    See! They are the same person. Just blaming it on firearms is not the solution.

    Or better yet, deal with it and go into secluded forest campsites. Maybe that will bring more nature to your life.

    • AJ
      Reply

      Yeaaaaaa, but one might kill you. The other one’s just annoying.

  • Christopher Darnell
    Reply

    I too will have my gun while I camp or hike. The only difference is, no one will ever know. I’m proud to say that I’ve been camping with a firearm for 20 years and have never fired it while camping or hiking. I also don’t litter, tread lightly, leave no Trace, respect nature and my neighbors, and I certainly do not cut down trees. This article is very sad. I think the title should “just say no to camping with assholes.”

  • 1212 it's just a test
    Reply

    Why didn’t you call law enforcement????? If your answer is “because they wouldn’t do anything” then that sounds like a pretty good reason to have a gun…. but dont shoot at a camping area. I’ve never heard of anyone shooting at a campING area. My experience has been that in national forests there are not official ranges, but unofficial ones with a good backstop etc. where everyone goes to shoot. That’s guys fire must have been pretty weak burning a green tree and all…….

  • Jon
    Reply

    The gun thingee is an American issue.
    Yes, loud motorcycle idiots exist in other countries too.

  • DanO
    Reply

    1) Den – Are you calling all American gun owners (who all seem to be male in your mind) juveniles? While touting the superiority of European thinking? On the day before our Independence Day?!! Ironic.

    Yes, “Europe”….. I noticed you did not pick a particular country, as if all of Europe is some homogenous land of good will, right action and thinking. Some people tried to make it that way twice in the last century and We “immature Americans” (some 17 years old) had to come over to Europe and help you sort it out in 1917 and 1942. Oh, yes, you are welcome. You might just want to ratchet down that “European” superiority complex a bit on the 4th of July, LOL. Or pack your Lederhosen and head back home to paradise. Forgive me if this sounds aggressive to you, but I am barbecuing red meat I killed and butchered myself on my deck while drinking American whiskey and thinking about buying a new pistol. You probably got my American blood up. And you know where that leads……FREEDOM!!!

    2) As for the OP, while I’m sorry the author had to endure bad behavior, I found the article missed the point and overly emotional. As others have pointed out, it is a problem of bad behavior. We are a nation of laws, if the law is being broken call the authorities and help get things squared away. If people are being idiots and not breaking the law, you may have to find a more secluded spot or a place where guns and gunfire are not permitted. This is why I love back country travel. I carry concealed all the time. I too have run into cretins with guns, marijuana grows, etc. in National Parks, etc. Never had to present my weapon except to a Grizzly in Grand Teton who got within 100 yards, then realized what we were and ambled off. But like fire insurance, I keep it current.

  • jon
    Reply

    The rest of the world doesn’t have a Second Amendment allowing for an infinite array of weapons. For MANY countries, that solves a lot of problems, especially relating to citizens owning weapon arsenals. Many of those weapons are used in nuisance ways or just simply deadly ways. Good that schools are out for the summer huh.
    Yep, I was raised a hunter and once, on a family hunting trip, camped with a shotgun in the car. Evening fun for adults was eating, drinking, and story-telling around a fire.

  • Tristan Campbell
    Reply

    Classic conservative behavior from almost every post, blaming the person who was the victim of assholes, while barely acknowledging the issues!

    I own guns but have encountered this terrifying behavior several times in the back country. In our current overtly aggressive political and social climate people equate their freedom and rights with their possession of essentially a wicked dangerous toy.

    Everyone who said a comment about how you wouldn’t drive seemed to miss that to drive I have to register my car, get a license and carry insurance. The NRA seems to be a massive lobbying group that is standing up for corporate values and conning the middle class gun owner into playing a part in the “big government” they claim to despise, putting people’s lives behind economic gain.

    I doubt many in this post have been out of this country, much less camped or even driven a car outside of this country. The attitudes aren’t of arrogance, and you don’t ever have to consider an encounter with a gun (thinking first world countries; America likes to believe it is).

    Maybe you gun entitled folks want it to be the Wild West, and want to see more killings and murders in the wild places? Otherwise stop blaming and accosting people who don’t want to have guns, or encounter loud aggressive gun wielding individuals (its their right). Look at each other and say, what can we as responsible gun owning Americans do to better our country, instead of telling victims of gun violence to go piss off.

    If you want to live in he Wild West, join the military and go defend our country but don’t bring it home. My uncle and grandfather who are veterans never bring guns into the back country when we camp, much less pull guns out for shits and giggles and they certainly taught me as much.

    To those who carry their weapons in a concealed unobtrusive manner for protection(l, thank you for your discretion!

    Adventure Journal is the best outside publication because of articles like these, keep it rocking in th free world Casimiro!

  • Chris
    Reply

    Telling me to not go camping while armed? Just as bad as me telling you to just stay home.

  • DanO
    Reply

    Tristan,
    Read over your post and really be honest with yourself if you are painting the people whose posts you disagree with a broad brush. They probably aren’t all conservatives on every issue in our culture; you could not possibly know how much they have travelled; and then you seem to blame this unsafe gun behavior on the aggressive political climate (read: Republicans, conservatives, the boogeyman).

    I agree the OP had to endure a bad situation that is not acceptable. I agree they should not be castigated for their actions or for writing about it. But it’s ok to disagree with their OPINIONS of why it happens, solutions, etc.

    Just take the political rhetoric out of your post, list the common sense facts and opinions (you had a bunch!) and you have a really strong argument that most everyone here would agree with. Let’s try to to move away from the “ aggressive political climate” that both sides are responsible for and bring the outdoors community together with common sense.

    And Steve, thanks for letting this discussion blossom here. Really good stuff.

    • Steve Casimiro
      Reply

      You’re welcome. Thank you to everyone who has not criticized Adventure Journal for running opinions that differ from their own. I make the decision on what runs and what doesn’t, and I often don’t agree, or don’t agree completely, with the opinions and essays we publish here. AJ would be a much less interesting place if all our stories were lockstep with what you and I believe.

      I also appreciate that (almost) everyone has stuck to the issue at hand, without personal attacks or name calling. I strongly encourage debate, but when it veers off topic or into ad hominem attacks, we’ll delete quickly. We want AJ to be a place where we can have reasoned, reasonable, and dynamic discussions without the toxicity that so pervades the internet.

    • Tristan Campbell
      Reply

      Thanks DanO!
      I did regret my first sentence almost as soon as I had posted my response. I struggle with an American-centric point of view that assumes that our systems are best just because they’re American. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a healthy amount of time in several countries overseas so try to always integrate my perspective of those systems into my discussions.

      I do believe that our political climate is causing some portion of gun issues, people tend to make a grab if they think they might lose something. I just would really love to see people move their identities away from just guns. Originally from Virginia I see “don’t tread on me” plates everywhere which seem to make a persons identity explicit to gun culture which taken to the extreme just doesn’t seem to healthy?

      I love going to the range to shoot with friends but I wouldn’t make any claim to being a “gun culture” person and much like anything you can purchase in a store wouldn’t be devastated if I didn’t have the guns anymore. Prefer access to wild places with friends of hanging with family, values that I feel we all can appreciate?

      Thanks for the well thought feedback and refraining from pointing out what a caustic dummy I was being!

      • Bob
        Reply

        I don’t think you were being a ‘caustic dummy’ at all. Personally, I think it is wrongheaded to lecture you on not bringing up politics on an issue where virtually every pro-gun argument ends with the pro-gun advocate throwing the misinterpreted 2nd Amendment in your face.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eya_k4P-iEo

  • tom
    Reply

    I’ve had the perfect camping solution to firearms, loud boom box music, or whatever agitates. camp in a remote area. that requires willingness to hike away from the maddening crowds, or have a good dependable 4×4. and a firearm is always part of my travels………

  • Chris Cass
    Reply

    Completely sympathize with the writers sentiments; noise pollution is a bitch.

    But the headline was likely contrived by the editors, not the author, and is inaccurate to the problem at hand here.

  • Jamie
    Reply

    The author mentions she saw these people having colorado plates, making the assumption they are from Colorado, when in fact nobody is hardly ever from Colorado. They are transplants from the east, Texas, and California. Coloradoans are an endangered species. So put the blame where it belongs.

  • jamie
    Reply

    My point is valid Steve, your from the east.

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