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Kids today

The scouts are decked out in tactical gear with airsoft MP5s and doing tactical drills like border agents. This is scary.

15 Responses to “Kids today”

  1. _Jon Says:

    subscription only.



  2. workinwifdakids Says:

    This type of activity isn’t what the Explorer program was meant for.

  3. Vote For David Says:

    This type of activity is a high value life preserving exercise for those who will be moving from it, straight to LE jobs.

    This type of activity is a huge threat if it starts to get officially associated with politics at all, which could happen with one change in high-level leadership.

    AS LONG AS it is not associated with the community organizer’s OFA, is not preaching hate-whitey, and the emphasis remains on practical solutions to real-life LE problems, I’m fine with it. My 5 and 6 year-olds are already receiving shoot/no-shoot decision training at home, this is just 3 steps up from that.

    To put that another way: BSA giving this training = Good. OFA giving this training = bad.

  4. clamp Says:

    Nice how the Explorer program is taking cues from the DHS and labeling the shooter “a disgruntled Iraq war veteran.”

    As a veteran myself, I think it is prudent to instill a sense of fear and untrust in our youth toward our returning veterans.

    This is ridiculous.

  5. TheGunGeek Says:

    It was just a few years ago (so things could have changed since then) that it was blatantly against BSA rules to use airsoft or paintball guns in Scouting activities of any kind.

    The only gun things they could were highly regulated target shooting from still positions. None of the building clearing kind of thing they’re doing in that article.

  6. Stormy Dragon Says:

    If you really want to be scared, go read some of the comment threads on this story in right of center blogs and realize that a big portion of the Republican base thinks this is a great idea and that anyone who has problems with it is a liberal sissy.

  7. SoupOrMan Says:

    if the Scouts are going to take up tacticool things like this, I think it’d be less worrisome to go with Rimfire division of the Steel Challenge or such. But then the Scouts couldn’t wear the Border Patrol-esque stuff, could they?

    Either that or get these kids back on the 25-yard line and the trap range like we did 20 years ago.

  8. comatus Says:

    Point of order, please, on the history of Scout programs. Cub Scouts may only shoot BB guns, only in a camp program, and they do not mean air rifles. Boy Scouts may shoot shotguns and single-shot muzzle-loader or bolt action rifles (where does that “25-yard line” come from?). No pistols. There is a newer program called Venturing, co-ed, 14-20, in which a crew may choose to specialize in shooting sports, without limitation.

    Exploring is (was) a vocational-exposure activity. Posts chose an occupational field (usually a new one each year) and learned what they could about it, with the involvement of people in that field. It faded with the early-onset job choice mandated by universal higher education. Most surviving Explorer programs are affiliated with law enforcement. The people in the picture may also be Boy Scouts, but this is not a scout troop on a field trip, and this training is not part of the Boy Scout program.

    For the record, there are no more Air Scouts. A few Sea Scout “ships” survive–some are skin divers, not sailors.

    You could google this in about a minute. “Commentariats” ought to be ashamed of themselves. Why should the world trust us on gun science or legal affairs when we don’t know the branches of the Boy Scouts?

  9. DirtCrashr Says:

    Given that it’s in the NYT I believe they are using it to paint broadly: Boy Scouts = Explorers = Cops = Fascist/Racist neo-nazi para-milatrists – and as noted, Explorers are really post-BoyScouting.
    As I remember it from Scouts, Explorers were the older youths looking forward past Graduation at future jobs, apparently many in LE. They were the HS Seniors who’d already made Eagle and were moving on, and even in 1975 most either went along on ride-along programs with local Cops or practiced with Firefighters.

  10. Eagle 1 Says:

    Comatus has it right……Explorers were spun off from the mainstream BSA in ’98 as a pre-professional branch geared towards law enforcement, fire-fighting, and medicine among a few others. The rules which apply to Explorers differ significantly from the other branches of the BSA. The “reporter” is guilty of minimizing the distinctions between programs perhaps in their desire to paint BSA as a whole with a paramilitary brush. It wouldn’t be the first time.

    Eagle 1

  11. Knob Creeker Says:

    When I was in the Boy Scouts, up to the mid nineties, we would occasionally go to the local NG armory to shoot M16s. They started us off on semi-auto and eventually let us turn on the happy switch for some full-auto fun (all under strict military supervision)! Granted this happened in southeastern KY and was probably not with national BSA compliance, but I am sure there are other troops doing similar things. If I ever get enough free time, I hope to help out with scouts and shooting instruction and gun safety will be the first things I will cover.

  12. Robohobo Says:

    “…the gunman, a disgruntled Iraq war veteran…”

    They can FOAD as far as I am concerned.

    From a right-wing, disgruntled, anti-statist possible terrorist.

  13. Adam Says:


    I was formerly the C/Capt of a LE explorer post in my local city.
    We did various drills, including building-clearing.
    It was my understanding the the Explorer program was intended to allow teens to “explore” a potential career field, with close-up and hands-on experience.

    It sounds like this is what the cadets in the article were doing.
    They aren’t giving them this training with the intent of using them in immediate combat, they are providing it so that the cadets learn what stresses can come along with a career in that field.

  14. Alcibiades Says:

    “It was just a few years ago (so things could have changed since then) that it was blatantly against BSA rules to use airsoft or paintball guns in Scouting activities of any kind.”

    That’s not exactly true. There were BB gun and other shooting events at Scout camps. However, Den leaders could get in trouble for not supervising any such activities (and that’s how I lost one Den leader who let us shoot a BB gun in his backyard).

  15. comatus Says:

    Knob Creeker, I can’t endorse that program, but, with a big sheep-eating grin…I understand. It’s always legal for Scouters and parents to pursue, erm, other opportunities outside troop activities. That’s my version. Let’s you & me both stick to it.

    It’s not simple to break into Scouting’s shooter ranks. You’ll need full NRA instructor credentials, even to do day-camp BB guns with the cubs, plus the ever-present special Scouter training seminar. The big deal is director of shooting sports at a summer camp program. For obvious reasons (not the pay) old Scouters dig their heels into that job, not only leaving it feet first but usually handing it down to a chosen heir.

    The Boy Scout rifle requirement is harsh and clear: single-shot bolt-action only. No magazines, and if a magazine is permanently attached, a blanking block must be installed. Loading singles into an open-bottom action is something you should try, once. Every Scout’s dad has a .22. How many do ya s’pose have a true single-shot .22? How many bought a plug with their CZ 452? That policy causes a lot of hurt feelings.

    From an old guy perspective, it’s a wise policy. The Scouts learn and see how the action functions, something you hope never to see inside a 10/22. There’s no chance of unwitting loading. They learn the basics of precision target shooting. The downside is that nobody but nobody buys a rifle like that anymore, and–I hate that this is so–even among shooters and blog commentators, nobody even follows smallbore precision as a sport. As a cold-heartedly pragmatic matter, NRA should be supporting (read “pressuring”) Scout national HQ to set up merit badges in silhouette and pin-shooting. With semi’s.

    So I’ll be starting a merit-badge course [with “optional extra range time”] for a local troop next week. They expect 14 shooters. I have my own Kimber, my son’s first Anschutz, a grizzled 513T Rem generously passed on to the program by a CMP employee, and a $10 Mossberg retired by the Scout camp, that I worked over. Three relays uses up a troop meeting pretty fast. Somewhere in this county are dozens of Win 52’s from the half-dozen junior club teams that thrived 40 years ago. They’re in closets, up on shelves, and will never come out again. This what “the other side winning” looks like, in the flesh.

    For what it’s worth: the one Scout I did coach into NCAA smallbore won a full-ride scholarship to a rather exclusive academy, costed out at over $400K. His new coach is an Olympic gold medalist.

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