Meet the ‘new’ Boy Scouts of America, where water gun fighting is verboten

Meet the ‘new’ Boy Scouts of America, where water gun fighting is verboten
Power projection.

This is not your father’s Boy Scouts. In fact, it sounds a lot like your grandmother’s Boy Scouts. The century-old organization, which has its roots in the military — it was founded by Lt. Gen Robert Baden-Powell, a career soldier in the British Army — has always been bullish on safety and prevention, and that’s all to the good.

But its most recent Guide to Safe Scouting takes safety to a whole new level, admonishing scouts that “pointing any type of firearm or simulated firearm at any individual is unauthorized.” [Emphasis added] The highlighted category includes (I kid you not) water pistols and marshmallow shooters.

The prohibition is spelled out clearly in the 2015 Boy Scouts of America National Shooting Sports Manual, which contains these two … er — “bullet” points:

  • Water guns and rubber band guns must only be used to shoot at targets, and eye protection must be worn.
  • Marshmallow shooters that require placing a straw or similar device in the mouth are not approved.

Even water balloons are neutered:

  • For water balloons, use small, biodegradable balloons, and fill them no larger than a ping pong ball.

The new rules and regs came to light with the May 6 publication of an article at the Boy Scouts of America blog by Bryan Wendell, who defends the rule anecdotally:

A Scouter once told me this explanation [for the prohibition that] I liked quite a bit: “A Scout is kind. What part of pointing a firearm [simulated or otherwise] at someone is kind?”

Other efforts to sissify the scouts have made headlines in recent years. In 2013, a fat advocacy group protested a Boy Scout Jamboree that excluded obese scouts, and last week the Girl Scouts announced that cross-dressing boys were welcome to join.

The latest measure seems like an extension of zero tolerance policy, which has led to so many ridiculous prohibitions in schools.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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