Re: Scouts and Guns
Blaine S Nay (b.nay@JUNO.COM)
Sun, 25 May 1997 02:03:48 EDT
>"Except for law enforcement officers required to carry firearms
>within their jurisdiction, firearms shall not be brought on camping,
>hiking, backpacking, or other Scouting activities except those
>specifically planned for target shooting under the supervision of a
>certified BSA or National Rifle Association firearms instructor."
>Even if the Scoutmaster is a certified BSA or NRA firearms instructor,
>weapon should not have been on that outing, which was described as
>Scoutmasters with guns, more fodder for those folks who
>think the BSA is a para-military outfit. Let's stick to the rules
>folks. They were created for a reason.
>Am I way off base on this?
>Dewitte A. Baisch
>Scoutmaster, Troop 411, Circle 7 District, Alapaha Area Council, Georgia
No, I don't think you're off base. Here in Alaska, bears can be a
problem. We do have occasional maulings, sometimes fatal. However, if
you have a troop of screaming Scouts around you, ya ain't gonna see any
bears unless you stumble on a dead animal that Mr. Bear has cached.
I'm an NRA rifle and pistol instructor and I've never found the need to
carry a firearm on a Scout outing (except for planned target shooting).
I did carry a shotgun with slugs and buckshot once because it was the
only way I could get a dad to go along for "two-deep leadership" that
weekend. But my need was for adult help -- not protection.
A pistol is virtually worthless against a bear unless you're very lucky
-- regardless of caliber. 30-06 or 12-guage is minimum. Anything less
is macho foolishness. Good judgment and noise are far better approaches
You absolutely need to keep food and anything (ie bacon-spattered
t-shirts) that smells like food away from tents. I once returned to a
campsite with by Scouts following a campfire. A Scout opened the door of
his tent to be met by a medium-sized black bear who'd been snacking on
the boy's beef jerky. The bear scooted harmlessly into the woods, but I
assembled the troop and reminded them of the no-food-in-tents rule. You
shoulda seen the food that came out of those tents! But remember even a
squirrel can do serious damage to a tent or backpack when he smells a
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City