Guns On Sacred Pipestone National Monument Grounds
will soon (January 2009) be able to carry concealed, loaded guns in most national
parks and wildlife refuges.
Bush administration said Friday it is overturning a 25-year-old
federal rule that severely restricts loaded guns in national parks.
a rule to take effect in January, visitors will be able to carry
a loaded gun into a park or wildlife refuge but only if
the person has a permit for a concealed weapon and if the state
where the park or refuge is located also allows concealed firearms.
new rule goes further than a draft proposal issued last spring
and would allow concealed weapons even in parks located in states
that explicitly ban the carrying of guns in state parks. Some
states allow concealed weapons but also ban guns from parks. "
(From MSNBC December 5th 2008)
does this mean?
means that in places such as Pipestone National Monument, which
is a National Park, people will be able to carry a concealed weapon.
Not only that but it can be loaded and ready to fire as well!
are a number of issues pertaining to this new ruling and I will
go into them later, but for now I will explain why the Pipestone
National Monument should be exempt.
time immemorial Pipestone was traditionally thought of as a place
of peace, and it was an unwritten law that everyone lay down their
weapons when nearing the Sacred quarries. On the journey to the
quarries the visitors would stop and pray four times, the last
probably being near the Three Maidens; boulders left by the melting
glaciers, which sit southeast of the quarry line.
a few people from the group would actually go to the quarry for
the stone, the rest would wait in the camp area. There was a respectful
fear where Pipestone was concerned, the people realized that it
was a special place, and they behaved in a very reverent way when
near to it. Traditional enemies could quarry side by side without
fear of being attacked, their weapons were all buried and so they
knew they would be safe to do the work for their Tribe or family,
the spiritual work of quarrying for the sacred red stone that
would one day be made into a Pipe to use for their prayers to
be made to the Creator.
see the Pipestone Quarries have ALWAYS been looked at by the People
as being a tremendously powerful and Wakan area. Archeological
evidence indicates that the quarrying of pipestone has been happening
for the past 3000 years here and the People walked gently while
on the Land. This land had been chosen by the Great Spirit to
be Sacred, and that has always been recognised by those who have
an earth based spirituality.
the quarries are still special, and Native Americans continue
to visit the area to dig for the soft red stone for their Pipes
and weapons were still not allowed on the sacred grounds until
this ruling by a group of people who know nothing about the history,
the traditions or the spirituality of the Monument. The Superintendant
of the Monument, Glen Livermont, did try to explain about this
but it fell on deaf ears.
shows Chuck Derby quarrying peacefully in 1996. He is finding
cracks in the quartzite, a time consuming job, once he finds
the crack he is looking for he taps a wedge into it, gradually
the crack opens up and eventually a quartzite slab will
break away, This then has to be discarded, as it is the
second hardest rock in the world and cannot be used. You
can see the pile of rock to his right and behind him that
was discarded by him and his family members reaching back
probably a thousand years.
quarriers like Chuck expect to be safe in their workplace,
the job is dangerous enough and many have been injured doing
it. They do not need any more hazards.
to quarrying every day Chuck prays and gives offerings to
the Creator in the form of tobacco, (food for the Spirits)
and he asks that his work will be safe and that if he is
doing right the Pipestone will be easy to reach. This quest
sometimes takes 3 months.
often sit above him watching him work in the quarry and
I feel the peacefullness, of the area. I watch the deer
as they walk by me and I see the eagles as they fly above
us. It is the most beautiful experience. I will not want
to be there if I know that the visitors who pass us or stop
to talk are carrying weapons.
Sundance that is held on the Monument grounds every year, only
knives with a blade less than 4 inches are allowed, and those
are only there for work purposes. Now I wonder what will happen,
which takes precedence, Sundance rules or federal rules? If as
I suspect federal rules over-rule then this means that Sundancers
will not feel safe making their prayers because one of the visitors
could be concealing a weapon and may just shoot them. It is ludicrous.
I remember a number of years ago at the end of Sundance, the Park
Superintendant at the time came down to the grounds for the feast,
with her were a couple of security rangers who were wearing their
guns. Word went around the many People who were there, and these
park people were snubbed by the Sundancers and their supporters.
Everyone was aghast that anyone should go against Sundance rules
and come onto the sacred space with weapons. It was very distasteful,
Pipestone National Monument is a small Park, it only contains
283 acres. Much of the area surrounding the quarries is grass
prairie where people do not walk. The only area that people are
on is the 3/4 mile Circle trail, or actually quarrying. The rest
of the area is stepped on only by the animals that reside here.
A small enough area to secure for the visitors safety without
them carrying their own weapons. It is a quiet, peaceful place,
with few visitors in the winter, more in the summer but never
enough to be out of control of the park Rangers.
lichen that is growing on the ancient stones either on the rock
face or the old pile of stones at Chuck's quarry, takes 100 years
to grow (travel) an inch. Just by that statistic it shows how
long these quarries have been in use. In
Pipestone grasses and prairie flowers grow in abundance around
the quarries, sage is there for the picking to smudge, or use
as a medicine when the quarrier needs to use it, and the peace
and quiet is so great that if it wasn't for the birds singing
and the bees gently humming you would think you had gone deaf.
it be nice to enjoy the scenery without having to worry in case
the person next to you has a gun that he, or she, could use at
the drop of a hat.
belong to Warrior's, but the Pipestone National Monument is not
a battle-field, it is a Church, the Church of the Native American
People, and weapons do NOT belong there. Would you take
a loaded gun into your Church?