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Thesnakeman

ban of fixed blade knives?

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While the BSA does not have a ban on sheath knives, I do know some councils do have bans on their premises, mine does, and some units will ban them, usually the result of a previous incident or accident and people overreacting.

 

I also know that some cities and counties do have bans not only sheath knives, but also on knives over a certain size, even if they fold. Believe it or not, some of your BSA lockback knives like these:

 

http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsa/campin...-inerlock.html

 

http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsa/campin...nto-blade.html

 

http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsa/campin...rta-lkbck.html

 

and definately this one

 

http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsa/campin...ack-knife.html

 

are illegal to own in certain areas of NC because they are over 3 inches,

 

On a funny side note, IMHO most accidents are preventable if people follow commons sense, and for Scouts, the Whittling or Totin Chip rules.

 

My expereince with a "ban" on knives was actually with my JROTC unit in high school. We were doing a field exercise the same weekend drill team and color guard had to do a ceremony, so I showed up late to the FX. While preparing for the FX, we received a list of things we could bring if we had them, and that included a knife. So when I changed from my blues to utilities, I attached my bayonet to my pistol belt, along with other stuff I had.

 

When I showed up to the FX, I got a lot of stares, and eventually someone told me the Senior Marine Instructor confiscated all the knives after the battallion CO cut himself on his knife when he was goofing off. So I had better but my knife out of site. While I saw the bandaged hand on the battalion CO, I also saw his knife still on him and thought my friend was joking. So I ignored him.

 

Eventually my cadet captain comes up to me and says I need to put the knife away or the SMI will confiscate because the CO cut himself. When I asked why the CO still had his knife on him, my cadet captain shrugged and said, only cadet officers and SNCOs would be allowed to have knives, and since the CO was a cadet lt. colonel, he got to keep it, despite being the cause of the ban.

 

My knife then moved from my pistol belt to my pants belt, and was discretely covered by my utility coat. I know one Marine Instructor knew i had it on me, and I think the SMI may have noticed the knife, but nothing it wasn;t confiscated.

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I'm trying to imagine what a boy would do with any of the knives pictured here, on a camp out.

.... except for maybe a special survival training outing. In all my years of camping I've never needed more than a small pocket knife to cut some small twine or rope..... or whittle a point on a stick for roasting hot dogs.....

 

exceptions I can think of would be a filet knife if fishing.

a hunting knife if hunting dear..... oh wait, scouts don't hunt.... but if they did they wouldn't need anything over 3-4 inches.

ah, maybe a kitchen knife if car camping and cutting veggies or something.....

 

I'm not at all opposed to having big knives available for training.... but I just can't imagine a need otherwise.

 

Not trying to argue, but trying to help you see the some of the logic that you are likely up against in trying to sell others on a rules change.

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I'm trying to imagine what a boy would do with any of the knives pictured here, on a camp out.

.... except for maybe a special survival training outing. In all my years of camping I've never needed more than a small pocket knife to cut some small twine or rope..... or whittle a point on a stick for roasting hot dogs.....

 

exceptions I can think of would be a filet knife if fishing.

a hunting knife if hunting dear..... oh wait, scouts don't hunt.... but if they did they wouldn't need anything over 3-4 inches.

ah, maybe a kitchen knife if car camping and cutting veggies or something.....

 

I'm not at all opposed to having big knives available for training.... but I just can't imagine a need otherwise.

 

Not trying to argue, but trying to help you see the some of the logic that you are likely up against in trying to sell others on a rules change.

it makes your kit alot lighter

this is really helpful hiking when every lb. matters

 

and thanks for that i will keep it in mind

 

 

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I'm trying to imagine what a boy would do with any of the knives pictured here, on a camp out.

.... except for maybe a special survival training outing. In all my years of camping I've never needed more than a small pocket knife to cut some small twine or rope..... or whittle a point on a stick for roasting hot dogs.....

 

exceptions I can think of would be a filet knife if fishing.

a hunting knife if hunting dear..... oh wait, scouts don't hunt.... but if they did they wouldn't need anything over 3-4 inches.

ah, maybe a kitchen knife if car camping and cutting veggies or something.....

 

I'm not at all opposed to having big knives available for training.... but I just can't imagine a need otherwise.

 

Not trying to argue, but trying to help you see the some of the logic that you are likely up against in trying to sell others on a rules change.

We tell boys to carry a whistle for emergencies. I know in my time outdoors I've never used one. We tell them to carry compasses for emergencies. I've never used one excetp for training. There is no good argument against using reasonable sheath knives, that also doesn't preclude us from carrying emergency equipment.

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I'm trying to imagine what a boy would do with any of the knives pictured here, on a camp out.

.... except for maybe a special survival training outing. In all my years of camping I've never needed more than a small pocket knife to cut some small twine or rope..... or whittle a point on a stick for roasting hot dogs.....

 

exceptions I can think of would be a filet knife if fishing.

a hunting knife if hunting dear..... oh wait, scouts don't hunt.... but if they did they wouldn't need anything over 3-4 inches.

ah, maybe a kitchen knife if car camping and cutting veggies or something.....

 

I'm not at all opposed to having big knives available for training.... but I just can't imagine a need otherwise.

 

Not trying to argue, but trying to help you see the some of the logic that you are likely up against in trying to sell others on a rules change.

I've used a compass outside of training scenarios while a Scout. I certainly think one can argue about the necessity of a sheath knife in a survival situation, especially while back packing. I carry a sheath knife only while backpacking, mainly for shelter construction where a folding knife is too small, but a hachet or ax is too heavy for backpacking.

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When camping in the back country, I carry the BSA camp knife, a sheath knife/belt axe combo. I can create, quicker, more firewood/kindling/tinder with the belt axe than with either the pocket knife or sheath knife. This is because the belt axe is honed to a knife-blade edge instead of the regular axe edge. The belt axe is far more effective for heavy cutting than chopping with a Bowie knife which is too lightweight. For food preparation, it's the sheath knife. Cleans up far better than crud stuck inside the workings of the pocket knife. I have carbon steel blade knives and require oils to prevent rust. Soap/water cleanup removes those oils and rust can begin in as little as 6-8 hours. Those oils don't mix well with food either. I use the camp knife for rope work, whittling for entertainment and other small jobs around the camp. I have both the BSA knife/axe combo which works the best, and a modern light-weight knife/axe combo for backpacking. For backpacking I switch to the BSA whittler for a pocket knife. Don't have use for the weight nor the can opener.

 

Like any utensil, it can be used as a tool, weapon or toy. If people are worried about which is being applied, they had better ban walking sticks as well. I have seen boys abuse that distinction with walking sticks more than I have with sheath knives... which are allowed, and after proper training, encouraged in my troop.

 

Stosh

Well said.

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I'm trying to imagine what a boy would do with any of the knives pictured here, on a camp out.

.... except for maybe a special survival training outing. In all my years of camping I've never needed more than a small pocket knife to cut some small twine or rope..... or whittle a point on a stick for roasting hot dogs.....

 

exceptions I can think of would be a filet knife if fishing.

a hunting knife if hunting dear..... oh wait, scouts don't hunt.... but if they did they wouldn't need anything over 3-4 inches.

ah, maybe a kitchen knife if car camping and cutting veggies or something.....

 

I'm not at all opposed to having big knives available for training.... but I just can't imagine a need otherwise.

 

Not trying to argue, but trying to help you see the some of the logic that you are likely up against in trying to sell others on a rules change.

My sheath knife has a compass in the hilt! (And, I recently discovered, it screws off to expose a chamber with matches.) It's part of one of my smaller tackle boxes. A younger relative gave it to me.

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Quemadmodum gladius nemunem occidit: occidentis telum est. A sword never killed anybody: it is a tool in the killers hand.

Seneca the Younger

 

I echo what jblake said, I've been using a Western make Boyscout sheath knife, alongside a swiss army tinker for over 40 years now and I find it very useful for splitting out fire boards, flipping small pancakes, once had to cut a splint with it.

BUT there are some scouts who have ( how do I say this?) anger issues?, emo problems? fear of being disrespected? who I would not trust with a dull stick.

A SM's first worry is the safety of the boys in his charge, it is much simpler to place a blanket ban on things that can be used as weapons, than to decide, on a case by case basis, who is safe and who is not. How would you instantly evaluate the new crop of cubs that bridge every spring? Perhaps you might propose allowing the older scouts to carry fixed blades say 14 years old and up? Just patrol leaders? OA members? (with a beaded sheath) with SM approval of course. All it takes is one scout doing one stupid thing and the call goes up to do something, do anything to prevent it from happening again. One troop in my area refuses to allow scouts to chop wood anymore, because someone had an accident years ago. In fact I attended one IOLS where they would not teach the adults anything that had to do with axes, too dangerous they said. Sad but true.

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Our CO has prohibited fixed blade/sheath knives since 1970. The first troop committee was made up of WW1 and WW2 veterans, too--I'm sure they had their reasons. We've lived just fine under that restriction, and no one seems to want to revisit it.

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Interesting discussion. Does one NEED a blade of a certain size? When I teach IOLS (and I have been told "gee, I wish you had taught the IOLS course I went to."). I show lots of sharp stuff and talk about the "fable" of the sheath knife ban. Then I show folding knives, lock backs of various types, the new Opinel twist lock knife, big kitchen knife, a K-bar, and I invite a discussion of what kind of a knive a Scout NEEDS. I talk about safety, passing knives, sharpening and care, use ( yes, a folder can collapse on you), closing a folder not with a fist but with open palm. all that stuff.

For some adults, it keeps coming back to why not a small sheath knife? How small? In my small experience, the boy can learn to respect the blade with a 4" folder, make fuzz sticks, whittle , and even cook. The sheath knife often is more a matter of machismo and bragodaccio to the boy. (Crocadile Dundee not withstanding).

Each Troop culture is unique. I knew a Troop that limited younger boys to knives under 4" blade (?5"? I forget). Boys older than 14 AND First Class could carry a 6" blade sheathed knife, after a VERY strict Totin Chip class. And that was taught by the older boys. The Troop culture insured that the rule was respected, and the reasons were explained. Younger boys make mistakes without the experience and example and tutilege of the "elder" boys. When we KNOW you've had the benefit of all that, we'll be glad to let you "carry".

What type of knife does a Scout need? And for what? I speak about how a Patrol on the AT MIGHT need one hatchet among them, (a felling axe on a weeklong trek?) and maybe a couple or three pocket knives. But the boys need to be a team and share. This way, extra weight is avoided. Does every Scout need his own tent or cooking set or stove? We learn teamwork and responsibility to the group by such decisions .

 

Long, big knives have a use and purpose. Do your Scouts have such need? Or would they lead to more problems further on?

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The key word here to me has always been "carry". There are a lot of things kids can't/shouldn't carry, and yet we still let them use them. Axes and hatchets for example. Should the BSA ban axes and hatchets because kids could hurt themselves with them? I personally think a hatchet is more dangerous than a fixed blade knife, but even still I wouldn't advocate banning hatchets. I'm all for learning how to use tools safely, including fixed blade knives, hatchets, etc.

 

Here's how I'd approach it. Start with introducing fixed blades as a camp tool, not as a carry item. If you jump in hoping to put a sheath on every kid's belt, you'll get a lot more resistance. Suggest putting a couple of fixed blade knives in the troop tool kit with axes and hatchets, and teach kids how to baton kindling with a knife. Which, you can explain to the kids and other adults, is FAR safer than chopping up kindling with a hatchet. You can't cut wood down to kindling with a hatchet without putting your hands at risk. Well, you can, but it's a little tricky. Far more tricky than batoning.

 

But no one can argue with batoning being safer than hatchet chopping kindling. It's safer, much safer I think, than having to hold the wood with your hand and tapping a hatchet into it. Even worse when you have a kid try taking a swing at a piece of wood while they're holding it up with their hand.

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pocket knives are broken before it comes out of its brand new package. folders that is. SAK does serve its purpose, but you can't really baton with it.

 

why is BSA scared of fixed blade? it just looks homicidal?

 

we teach our boys how to build fires using woods. most of us do not carry saw or ax. but if someone had becker BK-2 or BK-9... who would ever need an axe or a saw?

 

they are tools. we teach our boys to use them as tools, not as an weapon. less chance of cutting their fingers and getting their job done. face the reality. stop feeling intimidated. let liberals go camp at LA and go to 5 start restaurant for their evening snack.

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The key word here to me has always been "carry". There are a lot of things kids can't/shouldn't carry, and yet we still let them use them. Axes and hatchets for example. Should the BSA ban axes and hatchets because kids could hurt themselves with them? I personally think a hatchet is more dangerous than a fixed blade knife, but even still I wouldn't advocate banning hatchets. I'm all for learning how to use tools safely, including fixed blade knives, hatchets, etc.

 

Here's how I'd approach it. Start with introducing fixed blades as a camp tool, not as a carry item. If you jump in hoping to put a sheath on every kid's belt, you'll get a lot more resistance. Suggest putting a couple of fixed blade knives in the troop tool kit with axes and hatchets, and teach kids how to baton kindling with a knife. Which, you can explain to the kids and other adults, is FAR safer than chopping up kindling with a hatchet. You can't cut wood down to kindling with a hatchet without putting your hands at risk. Well, you can, but it's a little tricky. Far more tricky than batoning.

 

But no one can argue with batoning being safer than hatchet chopping kindling. It's safer, much safer I think, than having to hold the wood with your hand and tapping a hatchet into it. Even worse when you have a kid try taking a swing at a piece of wood while they're holding it up with their hand.

While I agree with your general sentiment, I myself carry and use a small birch handle mora sheath knife. However, I disagree with your analysis regarding the safety of using a hatchet to split wood to kindling size. Done properly, the hatchet blade is never out of contact with the wood. There are a few methods which can be employed to accomplish this. The most obvious is to use the hachet in the same way some use their knife to "baton". There are other methods as well. But regardless of which method is used, by maintaining contact between the blade and wood, safety is not compromised any more than with a sheath knife. It is also useful to know how to split wood without either a knife or axe/hatchet using a small saw. Even more useful is learning how to find and collect wood which needs little/no prep to begin with so no tools are necessary. The latter of all these skills is often the most difficult to attain albeit the most useful IMO.

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pocket knives are broken before it comes out of its brand new package. folders that is. SAK does serve its purpose, but you can't really baton with it.

 

why is BSA scared of fixed blade? it just looks homicidal?

 

we teach our boys how to build fires using woods. most of us do not carry saw or ax. but if someone had becker BK-2 or BK-9... who would ever need an axe or a saw?

 

they are tools. we teach our boys to use them as tools, not as an weapon. less chance of cutting their fingers and getting their job done. face the reality. stop feeling intimidated. let liberals go camp at LA and go to 5 start restaurant for their evening snack.

The ban on sheath knives or other decisions which potentially take away the outdoor adventure are not liberal nor conservative in nature. Both sides of the spectrum have been complicit in these decisions and scouters on both sides lament them as well.

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