Yet another compelling reason for concealed carry in public parks

By Chad D. Baus

"Guns don't belong in public parks." Anti-gun extremists and their media accomplices have repeated the "fact" many times over in effort to get the general public to believe it.

As recently as last week, Toby Hoover, who often appears to be a one-woman show at the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, told The BG News that she disputes the notion that anyone might need to defend themselves in a public park. "Parks are made for kids going to swing and play ball," she said.

As the article continues, Hoover further mocks gun owners (many of whom are past victims of violent crime, attempting to hide from an abusive former spouse, etc.), saying she notices that gun owners have "an extra measure of fear than a lot of people."

Buckeye Firearms Association has already documented any number of proofs that would cause a prudent person to make plans to defend themselves in a public park (see the many news stories linked at the end of this article). The Columbus Dispatch has just documented one more.

From the Dispatch story, entitled Deer, people on collision course - Attack on dog a sign of deer populating parks:

The ungodly yelp sent a shiver down Georgina Dodge's back.

Then she stared, stunned, as her Doberman rushed out of the woods, slashed and bleeding, his intestines bulging out.

Dodge wondered fleetingly how he could have been hurt so dramatically in an instant (punctured by a stick?), then pocketed her feelings, led Barnum to her car and rushed him to the Ohio State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Vets concluded that Barnum had been gored by a deer, punctured in at least five spots on his side, chest and face. He spent a week in the clinic, hooked to a feeding tube and recovering from surgery to repair his ruptured diaphragm and abdomen as well as skin wounds.

Now, nearly a month later, Dodge is amazed that her dog survived the early-morning attack Nov. 1 at Whetstone Park in Clintonville. The 90-pound Doberman is taking walks again with Dodge, an OSU assistant vice provost, and appears to have no lasting injuries except his scars.

State wildlife officials told the Dispatch the attack is unusual but not surprising, considering the ever-growing deer population in the state.

"What probably happened is that the dog ran over to the deer and the deer felt threatened and as a defensive measure fought off what it perceived as a predator," said Dan Huss, district manager for the Ohio Division of Wildlife. "To a deer, that dog is nothing more than a coyote."

The deer breeding season is in October and November, when male hormones are high and bucks are more aggressive, said Brad Kiger, Franklin County's state wildlife officer.

Huss said deer probably live in Whetstone all the time, and he isn't worried that they'll start attacking pets or humans on a regular basis. But there will be more and more conflict between deer and people, he said, because deer have essentially no predators in city parks or residential areas.

Terri Leist, assistant director of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, said naturalists don't know how many deer are in city parks but estimate their population doubles every two years. Statewide, the number has risen from 400,000 in 1998 to 675,000 this past September, a 69 percent jump.

"The deer know where they can go where it's safe," she said. "It's an issue we need to look at and deal with, but we don't have the staffing or the funding."

Columbus Metro Parks have been overpopulated with deer for years. Park personnel keep the numbers down in some of the parks with controlled hunting.

Related Stories:
Girl raped at gunpoint in ''no-guns'' Toledo park

ACLU opposes sex offender ban in city parks; ignores illegal CHL ban

Wild Boar Blamed for Golf Course Damage

Coyote attack in public park

35 Charged In Large Fight At Marion Park

Teenager pulls gun during fight in Newark (OH) park

Wanted teen breaks park rules/CCW law; shoots self in Columbus park

11 yr.-old raped in ''hell''; otherwise known as a ''gun-free'' Toledo city park

More evidence of the need for self-defense in parks

Park flasher problem highlights needs for armed self-protection in parks

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