scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: A pocket knife is a weapon...
John Wm. Unger (junger@ALPHA1.NET
Wed Mar 15 2000 - 09:33:43 CST
Let's use this story (as unfortunate as it is) as leaders to get the point
across to the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts NOT to carry their pocket knives at
Sorry, but I must disagree with this. I know that in school, now, the
rules are to not have a knife, and I agree that we must follow the rules. I
would like to have the rules modified, but there are procedures for this,
and so I would want to follow those procedures.
That said, my children, my wife, and I all carry pocket knives, fairly
constantly. A tool is useless when it isn't to hand. Here in the South,
anyway, boys and men were taught the proper use of knives from a very early
age. I disagree with the Pack policy, and am glad that nobody at National
has caught that type of unthinking to outlaw knives in the possession of
Scouts. We here have used and carried knives constantly. When we taught
proper knife safety, there were few infractions. Boys didn't threaten each
other with knives, because they knew the consequences, which usually
involved a session with Dad and a belt or paddle. Boys haven't changed
since then. The way we train and treat boys has. Properly trained and
disciplined, boys and girls can still carry and use pocketknives safely.
Even Bears and Webelos.
FWIW, my 13-year-old just had an interesting experience. He is an avid
reader. His school has a program where one may read certain books from the
school library, take a computerized test, and earn points toward prizes. He
had over 500 points (closer to 600) but none of the prizes interested him.
He spoke with the administrators of the program, and they offered to get him
anything he wanted from Wal Mart within a certain price range, assigning a
dollar value to a specified number of points. He has been wanting a quality
pocketknife. The specific knife he wanted was a Schrade Old Timer with two
blades. The administration was a little taken aback at this, because of the
"no weapons in school" thing. They talked it over with the principle. The
principle knows my son, is aware that he is a Scout, a good student and
regular volunteer for raising the flags every school day (he organized and
recruited his fellow Scouts for this task.) The principle approved the
purchase. To keep within "the rules", I picked up the knife for him and
gave to him off campus. I believe it was because the school administration
knew that my son is a Scout, trained in the proper use of a pocketknife,
that they approved his request. They know that he knows not to carry it to
school. But I do not worry about him carrying it anywhere else. And you
can bet he is proud of that knife! Yes, he will show it off. But he will
be safe with it.
Let the boys carry the knives. It is part of being prepared.