On Sunday, January 1 2012, an Iraq war veteran named Benjamin Colton Barnes fatally shot a park ranger (Margaret Anderson) in the national park surrounding Mount Rainier in Washington. This shooting took place near the Narada Falls area of the park.
Colton was known to suffer from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). This incident actually followed other shootings that happened in Skyway earlier in the day (where Colton was accused of shooting 4 people, one critically injured). The murder of Margaret Anderson is a horrible tragedy for sure. What’s puzzling and unfortunate about this event is the inevitable assumption/spin by anti-gun people that would imply that the recent reversal of the national park gun ban may have caused this incident. You have to ask yourself – would a mentally unstable violent individual who just shot four people in Seattle hesitate to bring guns into a national park area? It’s ridiculous.The only thing I can think of that would have helped to prevent this incident would be for this deranged guy to have gotten help some how.
What this incident does underscore is the need to be prepared for anything anywhere. It may not be bears or cougars that you need your carry weapon for in the parks – it could be a deranged or drugged-up person. Unfortunate but true.