Sarah Jean Seman

What happens when you find yourself inside Yellowstone National Park during a federal government shutdown? Try removal by armed rangers.

Tourists this week were locked inside their hotel rooms before being removed by armed park employees from the grounds. Park tour guide Gordon Hodgson, described the actions as “Gestapo tactics” to local Montana paper The Livingston Enterprise.

Several foreigners thought they were under arrest because the rangers treated them so harshly, evacuated visitor Pat Vaillancourt said.

According to the Eagle Tribune:

When finally allowed to leave, the bus was not allowed to halt at all along the 2.5-hour trip out of the park, not even to stop at private bathrooms that were open along the route.

"We’ve become a country of fear, guns and control," said Vaillancourt, who grew up in Lawrence. ‘It was like they brought out the armed forces.’

Park visitors were told they could stay two days past the shutdown because of their hotel reservations. Yet, even before being locked in their rooms, the grace period was anything but enjoyable.

While touring the park via bus the group was chastised for stopping along the road to "recreate" (a.k.a. look at Bison):

The seniors quickly filed back on board and the bus went to the Old Faithful Inn, the park’s premier lodge located adjacent to the park’s most famous site, Old Faithful geyser. That was as close as they could get to the famous site — barricades were erected around Old Faithful, and the seniors were locked inside the hotel, where armed rangers stayed at the door.

“They looked like Hulk Hogans, armed. They told us you can’t go outside,” she said. “Some of the Asians who were on the tour said, ‘Oh my God, are we under arrest?’ They felt like they were criminals.

Between barricading WWII memorials, evacuating people from their private homes, and shutting privately owned parks and inns — the government really has gone to extremes during the shutdown.

This gestapo-like encounter makes President Obama’s push for tighter gun control just a little bit more terrifying.


Sarah Jean Seman

Sarah Jean Seman is a Townhall Web Editor. Follow Sarah Jean Seman on Twitter @sarah_jean_

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography