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acco40

Guide to Safe Scouting Question

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"They could have said, "paintball, lasertag and similar activities involving gun-like implements are inappropriate for Scouting."

 

But that is not true. Activities using guns and gun like implememnets are not prohibited, pointing them at people is the inappropriate activity.

Don't read between the lines just read the rule.

"Pointing any type of firearm (including paintball, dye, or lasers) at any individual is unacceptable.

 

Bob White

 

 

 

 

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Packsaddle, to to bore you with physics but physicists argue amongst themselves about the wave or particle theory with respect to light. Some experiments show that light behaves as a wave, others that it acts as a particle. Therefore, to say that "no actual projectile" exists is debatable.

 

However, you did expand on the crux, are the tools used in laser tag construed to be firearms in the eyes of the BSA. It sounds like they are!

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Ed, In this context I guess I view 'unacceptable' as synonymous with 'prohibited', at least in effect on troop activities. Do you see this differently? Perhaps I am missing something in the interpretation.

 

Bob White, I can read the wording as many times as you like but 'reading between the lines' still seems necessary for its application to activities that are not specifically mentioned. I agree with NJ that the wording could be clarified. I think he was just making a point with the flashlight analogy.

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>>Bob White, I can read the wording as many times as you like but 'reading between the lines' still seems necessary for its application to activities that are not specifically mentioned. I agree with NJ that the wording could be clarified. I think he was just making a point with the flashlight analogy.

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As usual, Bob White dances around the point and quotes BSA literature.

 

To repeat myself, BSA's wording prohibits using a firearm for self defense. This does fit with BSA's ban on other self defense activities such as boxing and martial arts. I suppose that the brave part of being a Scout includes letting someone pound the snot out of you.

 

(This message has been edited by Fat Old Guy)

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Don't worry, Fat Old Guy, I doubt anyone will ever threaten you outside the verbal arena. As for me, I mostly worry about hidden wasp nests, not much worry about self-defense from people. But flying stinging insects, man, those are tough!

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'reading between the lines' still seems necessary for its application to activities that are not specifically mentioned.

 

When were we discussing activities not specifically mentioned? The rule specifically restricts activities where guns are pointed at people regardles of what comes out the barrel, bullets, paint, or laser. The activity of pointing the gun at people is the subject of the rule. If you look in the rules for fire arms use you will see that the scouts are restricted from shooting at human images.

 

The BSA does not want to be associated with pointing guns at people. It's just that simple.

 

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Bob White, read it again. It says 'firearm' not 'gun' and then it parenthetically includes things that are not firearms. It is your interpretation (result of reading between the lines) that BSA's intent is "not want to be associated with pointing guns at people". While I agree with this sentiment I also note there's nothing like that in the wording.

 

Do you really think BSA is mostly worried about being associated with gun pointing, as opposed to the risk of an injury from a projectile (particle beams aside)? Which of these options do you think would carry the greatest liability risk?

 

Acco40, I'd prefer a photon or two any day instead of a hunk of lead.

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The guide to safe scouting says "Pointing any type of firearm (including paintball, dye, or lasers) at any individual is unacceptable.

 

Packsaddle writes;

It is your interpretation (result of reading between the lines) that BSA's intent is "not want to be associated with pointing guns at people". While I agree with this sentiment I also note there's nothing like that in the wording.

 

 

What do you mean there is nothing like that in the wording. Thats exactly the wording.

"Pointing any type of firearm at any individual is unacceptable. They then go on in the parentheses to elaborate that they mean ANY firearm, no matter what it shoots.

 

"Do you really think BSA is mostly worried about being associated with gun pointing, as opposed to the risk of an injury from a projectile"

 

I think they are worried about both, so they have rules for both. Just because one worries them more does not mean they cannot control the other as well.

 

Bob White

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Bob, I do think you misunderstood my post. I understand what the intent behind the (apparently) new policy language is. I think it is a good thing. I am pleased that the BSA is attempting to prohibit, in your words, "activities where guns are pointed at people regardles of what comes out the barrel, bullets, paint, or laser."

 

The problem I have is with the language used. I'm going to make a statement that is derived from the "the law" but it also is applicable to all rules, regulations, policies etc. of any group or entity. That statement is this: A rule should be phrased in a way that a reasonable person will be able to understand what conduct is prohibited and under what circumstances. I have noticed that the rules and policies of the BSA do not always measure up to this standard, but that is not really a criticism of the BSA, as the laws passed by Congress and state legislatures, and all other levels of government, and the policies and rules of all manner of organizations (both public and private) do not always measure up, either. The answer is that when one discovers ambiguous language in an adopted law, rule, policy, etc., one tries to change it. But -- and this is all I meant about the flashlights -- you of course want to make sure that the new wording is clear.

 

Having said all that, does the thing that one points at another human being in a game of "laser tag" fall under the common understanding of what a "firearm" is? I don't know for sure. I have a never seen a laser "weapon" up close. I do think (and others here have confirmed this) that it is probably a "stretch" to call it a "firearm." The laws of physics aside, it does not emit what most people would understand to be a projectile, nor does it use any sort of explosive charge (which is probably where the word "fire"arm comes from.)

 

So all I am saying is, the BSA should fix the wording. They could refer to "simulated firearms" or objects that look like firearms. I don't know, exactly. But I know they can come up with better language than they have now.

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Bob, It was your interpretation "not want to be associated with pointing guns at people" that I couldn't find in the wording, but thanks for repeating the wording for the umpteenth time.

I think that you need to take some time and consider NJ's good suggestions.

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If BSA had to list every stupid activity from pitching a tent on train tracks to jumping out of an airplane with no parachute, the G2SS would be a million pages long. I guess they hoped that Scout leaders would have enough sense to know that pointing guns, real or otherwise, at individuals (or groups), is a dumb thing to do. Even still, BSA listed that dumb activity as something not to do. It is so incredulous that there are still those that arent sure about this !

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Fuel for the fire: we were taught at day camp school that targets shouldn't have images of people or animals, only bulleyes or similar designs. I say "taught" because I don't recall reading that in any literature, but the BSA Shooting Sports manual would be the place to look.

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