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Re: Safety at National Parks

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Safety at National Parks
July 21, 2012 12:15AM
What are the odds that one of these crazy people chooses a National Park as the place for a shooting rampage? What kind of preventative measures do the parks have? It's obviously impractical to check every person, every vehicle that enter. I'm unaware of a Columbine or Toronto type incident at a NP; I suppose if one does happen, the rules that are in place might be enforced differently.

Frankly, I feel safe each time I visit Yosemite. I know I'm being naive when I say this. Stayner committed acts that were undoubtedly heinous, and I'm not claiming to be an expert, but IMO he's different from the type that would just purchase tons of ammunition & open fire at random people (regardless of gender, age, race, etc). And I don't believe Yosemite would be high on the list of locations that this type of person would choose. Schools, movie theaters, shopping malls...somehow Glacier Point doesn't fit into that group. Plus it never crosses my mind I would get mugged, shot at, etc, when I visit Yosemite. Part of my (likely flawed) thinking is that people who usually commit these acts don't visit. I just don't believe I'll cross paths with someone like that while in Yosemite. Suicidal people? Yes. Homicidal - not so much. Then again, you never know. I'm male, and rarely go hiking/backpacking alone for safety reasons.

Any thoughts? I know this isn't the most pleasant topic.
Re: Safety at National Parks
July 21, 2012 08:58AM
I feel much safer in the national parks and wilderness than I do in the city. I feel even safer in the backcountry because the gun nuts tend not to want to put out the effort and don't want to carry a heavy weapon. Hiking solo is the ultimate freedom for me. Probably the most dangerous place in Yosemite are the valley campgrounds after the booze starts flowing. Even then it is safer than the city and I wouldn't let paranoid thoughts that the guy camped next to me could be a mass murderer ruin my experience. With that many people in the valley of course there is some crime. I had a fully loaded backpack stolen out of my car once there. It was a bummer, %^&* happens. I sometimes even lock my car now. I worry much more about a glacier point boulder falling on my head than being murdered in Yosemite.

I know it's a cliche but if you let these crazies impact your daily life then they have won. The odds are so remote it is just not worth worrying about.
Re: Safety at National Parks
July 21, 2012 10:16AM
Quote
apeman45
I feel much safer in the national parks and wilderness than I do in the city. I feel even safer in the backcountry because the gun nuts tend not to want to put out the effort and don't want to carry a heavy weapon. Hiking solo is the ultimate freedom for me. Probably the most dangerous place in Yosemite are the valley campgrounds after the booze starts flowing. Even then it is safer than the city and I wouldn't let paranoid thoughts that the guy camped next to me could be a mass murderer ruin my experience. With that many people in the valley of course there is some crime. I had a fully loaded backpack stolen out of my car once there. It was a bummer, %^&* happens. I sometimes even lock my car now. I worry much more about a glacier point boulder falling on my head than being murdered in Yosemite.

I know it's a cliche but if you let these crazies impact your daily life then they have won. The odds are so remote it is just not worth worrying about.

Yes. I love being away from the "normal life." When in the wilderness (Yosemite), I have this sense of freedom, happiness - I love it out there. It just never crosses my mind that I'm going to be gunned down by some lunatic. The crimes in the Valley do seem tame. I'm sure a few people have had their rooms robbed (some petty theft) by the maids/janitors. The reason I don't hike alone is due to off-trail adventures. It's nice to have a second set of eyes. If you get hurt, your partner can (go for) help. Things of that nature. I worry about the rockfalls in certain areas, yes. "That is definitely coming down one day - please not now."

OTOH, when I go to the local grocery store, gas station, restaurant; the office..."perhaps I'll be one of the unlucky ones" is in the back of my mind, unfort. It doesn't mean I live in fear or lock myself in the house. However when I'm behind the wheel, I become doubly-triply paranoid. I don't assume a person won't turn left just because s/he didn't signal; and I'm paranoid at intersections. I assume nothing. But it's good to know that others share my thinking in regard to Yosemite & similar parks.
avatar Re: Safety at National Parks
July 22, 2012 11:04AM
Quote
apeman45
Probably the most dangerous place in Yosemite are the valley campgrounds after the booze starts flowing.

Especially when somebody decided to "defend" himself by shooting at a bear.
avatar Re: Safety at National Parks
July 22, 2012 06:45PM
I really don't worry about such things. You need to live your life.

I remember there was recently a gang related shooting outside a movie theater I used to frequent. It was actually in a pretty nice area with lots of shops and businesses who would rather there not be that element visiting their businesses. I'd actually seen someone showing off a handgun in the area, and it sort of took me back because I'd never really seen that kind of thing before, and because it was so brazen and public. I worried that maybe this guy saw me and thought I might report it. The area around the theater is getting round the clock patrols by the local police as a response.

I also visit another movie theater more frequently now. It's in an upscale shopping district. They actually hired an armed security guard with a pretty massive looking sidearm. He looked serious, like he was an off-duty copy moonlighting or perhaps former military. I sort of did a double-take, but then again I understand that some of the patrons of this theater may be illegally carrying weapons. I'm a little freaked out about what might happen in case of a shootout, but I'm thinking this theater knows who they're hiring and his competence to carry a weapon.
Re: Safety at National Parks
July 31, 2012 09:49AM
long time lurker from the east coast - registered to ask this:

What about the weed growing gangs in Sequoia? I was out there for my first time 4 years ago, wanted to see the stumps in Converse basin. Drove down in there, wife kids etc. Came home and read about all the tended patches and made me wonder about some of the trucks I saw tucked away. I would like to hike more in Sequoia but the reports are a concern.

Hiking in out of the way places with my wife I'm on my guard whenever I meet someone. Paranoid / aware...either one. I'm more concerned about a surprise away from everyone than getting in the middle of an "aurora".

On the App trail, there are couples, individuals etc that are killed every few years.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/31/2012 10:11AM by Biermark.
avatar Re: Safety at National Parks
July 31, 2012 12:54PM
Quote
Biermark
long time lurker from the east coast - registered to ask this:

What about the weed growing gangs in Sequoia? I was out there for my first time 4 years ago, wanted to see the stumps in Converse basin. Drove down in there, wife kids etc. Came home and read about all the tended patches and made me wonder about some of the trucks I saw tucked away. I would like to hike more in Sequoia but the reports are a concern.

Hiking in out of the way places with my wife I'm on my guard whenever I meet someone. Paranoid / aware...either one. I'm more concerned about a surprise away from everyone than getting in the middle of an "aurora".

On the App trail, there are couples, individuals etc that are killed every few years.

Almost all public land agencies are having issues. The National Park Service is just one agency. I remember at Point Reyes National Seashore, the NPS and Marin County Sheriff's cleared a site. Within a few years, someone had come back to the same area and started over again. The Forest Service and BLM have experts dealing with the issue from coast to coast. Even some places really close to large populations are having issues. There was a large growing operation near Crystal Springs Reservoir south of San Francisco.

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Record-Drug-Bust-Near-San-Mateo-County-Reservoir-3238328.php
Re: Safety at National Parks
July 31, 2012 02:54PM
I feel very safe in Yosemite. The tent cabins at Tuolumne have no locks, but I've never had anything taken. Last week I had lots of groceries and wine in a bear box for a week, and nothing was lifted.

But I wouldn't hike in some national parks. I used to like going to Big Bend. Now with all the drug running, I wouldn't feel safe. Same for Organ Pipe. And like the previous poster, I wouldn't hike in the lower elevation regions of Sequoia where the pot farms are.
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