scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: Law Enforcement Firearms (LONG)
Kip Keil (kip@VSNET.COM
Wed Feb 02 2000 - 18:39:28 CST
The question is about how to respond to (primarily) parents who object to
law enforcement personnel who are registered with the unit wearing a firearm
at meetings/activities. One correspondent responded with the suggestion to
tell those who object to "GET A LIFE!!!!" A few others have responded
similarly, albeit, more, uh, conservatively.
The matter isn't trivial, to some.
Imagine your son in a unit, at a park doing a service project. A police
officer/SA is there, who happens to be on duty (for whatever classifiable
reason). For my purpose in this scenario, I stipulate the SA is a uniformed
police officer (not so, in the original question). Across the street from
the park is a [insert name of ubiquitous corner market here]. Armed robbery
occurs and the assailant comes out the front door. Across the street he
sees the Scouts and ignores them. Then he sees a cop. He doesn't see the
SA. He sees the cop. bang bang bang.
Is that a wild, crazy supposition and flight of imagination? Maybe. In
Moscow, Idaho or Yuma, Arizona -- yeah, that's too wild to consider. But in
Chicago, New York, Miami? Maybe not.
There is the possibility that an armed officer may take risks that he
wouldn't take, were he unarmed.
Keep in mind, the parents have a vested interest in their kids, and it's
human nature to consider all possibilities. Some of us look at the worst
possible scenario as though it as likely to happen as the sun rising
tomorrow. The flip side is, the officer ought to be grateful that the
parents are concerned enough to at least know that there's a cop working
with the kids! ;-)
Some parents are clueless about the training an officer receives and have no
idea to what degrees s/he will go to properly handle the service weapon.
They should be concerned. There kids are involved in some way.
Years ago, I was SA in a unit with uniformed officer for the SM. When he
had to arrive at a function with in uniform and armed, he would _always_
change and lock his weapon in the trunk of his patrol car. If the activity
were already in progress, he would stick his head in to let us know he'd
arrived, but then go change and lock up his weapon. And, yes, he was
technically still on duty, although outside of his regular duty hours.
Did he choose this course on his own? Or did he talk with his superior
about it? Or was there a policy in place that governed this? I don't know.
I only know that he only wore his uniform into a Scout meeting once. And
that was a SMF trainig session where he was an instructor. (He wore three
layers as an object lesson: police uniform, kilt/kit -- He's a MacDonald,
and his Scout uniform.)
The parents who object (in the original question) probably need some help to
understand the situation. The officer involved should, if he hasn't
already, determine if it would be permitted for him to lock his weapon in
the trunk before entering the meeting/activity. Both of these involve a
matter of education.
Sorry this is so lengthy, but I was put off by the response which, imho,
disrespected without due cause the parents who could, quite simply, be very
concerned, intelligent, reasoning individuals who need some help, not
Kip Keil - Web<>Data Manager, Utah Outdoors.com
http://kip.vsnet.com || http://www.utahoutdoors.com
MC T175, MC P3055, AA Tsah Dibe Ch. El-Ku-Ta 520
- "I used to be a bear" -
--We all learn from history . . .
. . . either by study, or by repetition.
-- Kip Keil, 1998