Long a target of the radical left because of their principled stands on faith, patriotism and traditional values, politically correct cracks are beginning to show in the leadership ranks of the Boy Scouts of America.
That’s because, in addition to allowing openly gay members and considering a lift on the ban of openly gay scout leaders, the Boy Scouts have decided to ban water gun fights as an accepted activity at organization meetings, campouts, jamborees and other venues that have come to define the group for generations.
Why are the Boy Scouts making this concession to the politically correct anti-gun crowd when there is little effort to impose the limitation from outside influences? In a May 6 announcement on the issue through social media, scout leaders said that “pointing simulated firearms” at people is a problem.
According to Brian Wendell writing on the scouting website, it comes down to being “kind” – one of the pillars in the Boy Scout oath. Wendell asks:
“Why the rule? A Scouter once told me this explanation I liked quite a bit: A Scout is kind. What part of pointing a firearm [simulated or otherwise] at someone is kind?”
The rule is clarified in the Boy Scouts National Shooting Manual that reads:
“For water balloons, use small, biodegradable balloons, and fill them no larger than a ping pong ball. […] Water guns and rubber band guns must only be used to shoot at targets, and eye protection must be worn.”
That’s not all. The manual includes a section on banned items that reads:
“The BSA National Shooting Sports Task Force has reviewed the following shooting sports activities and feels that they have no value to the mission and values of the BSA shooting sports program…” “Unauthorized activities, weaponry, and ammunition include but are not limited to:
• Flintlock rifles and flintlock shotguns
• Reloading ammunition and using reloaded ammunition
• Bottle rockets
• Exploding targets of any kind
• Short-barreled rifles or short-barreled shotguns
• Destructive devices or other regulated items such as grenades
• Firearms included in the National Firearms Act
• Cannons (Their use is limited to council camp ceremonies only and must follow the BSA’s guidelines for cannon use.)
• Blow guns
• Anvil shooting
• Ninja weapons such as stars, spikes, and torpedoes, and activities such as shovel throwing
• Spear guns
• Potato guns”
And just in case they have missed anything, the section concludes with this missive:
“There may be other activities that are not authorized even though they are not listed below.
The manual even warns against “marshmallow shooters that require placing a straw or similar device in the mouth.”
It wasn’t always this way.
Before the “politically correct” crowd began its assault on Scouting, the scouting manual listed skills what Boys Scouts founder and British military leader Lt. Gen. Robert Baden-Powell said were essential military and outdoor survival skills that boys and young teens needed to act effectively as couriers and intelligence gatherers to free up older soldiers for fighting duties.
The response to the policy change on the Boy Scout website blog was swift and certain.
Many expressed the view that many of the banned activities were common place when they were boys including activities that involved bottle rockets, wooden sword fights and Midnight Football – an activity that one writer described as “a sort of combat rugby played in blackout conditions on a hard tile floor.”
Negative feedback on the blog included those who complained of political correctness and that the ever tightening rules were “turning boys into a bunch of wusses,” and of an out-of-touch national leadership.
“This makes BSA look ridiculous and has little if any impact on safety,” said Gary Holeiwnski.
“Sometimes I just have to laugh out loud at how idiotic some things in our society have become. We can’t squirt each other with water guns because it is a ‘simulated’ gun. I can’t believe BSA is so worried about the PC police that it has a policy like this,” added commenter Gary USMC.
“Yes, let’s carry every policy to the absurd extreme. That will certainly help scouts shed that geeky image,” added another commenter.