Jump to content
ParacordMan1220

Scouts and Fixed Blades; New viewpoint

Recommended Posts

[aussie accent]"That's not a knife..."

Nice to see we tie ourselves in the same knots on different continents. Definitely not delving into UK knife law, but I've seen the reaction to knife crime and knee jerk responses and rule making. Then that nice Bear Grylls fella comes along and it's all survival this and bushcraft that. I prefer Ray Mears, always trust a tubby survivalist. Anyway...we then have lots of groups buying sheath knives for their kids to use. Cubs love a pointy stick eh? Then The Scout Association get Victorinox to sponsor a badge (don't start me on that), and the poor bushcraft guy that was writing an article for the magazine on making a whistle out of a twig (or something) has to put away the hand-crafted sheath knife he has and whip out a folding Swiss Army Knife for the photos. Meanwhile a small group of my explorers make their own sheath knives and leather sheaths. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fixed blade restriction is a 1980s leftover from camps restricting the large blade survival knives made popular by the Rambo movies. Cheap copies were easy to get at the time and a lot of boys had them. Some of them were large enough to compete as a machete. They weren't restricted because they were more dangerous,  the restrictions were based on the military image they portrayed, which the BSA tries hard to stay away from. Sadly, all fixed blade knives were the casualty of the restriction. Ignorance (I know mods hate that word) kept the myth alive, but surprisingly, common sense seems to have prevailed and acceptance of the fixed blade is coming back.

Barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope that they bring back the Kit Carson Kit. It had a leather sheath in which on put a fixed blade knife AND a small hatchet.

I thought those were the coolest thing in the scout catalog when I was a kid!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All alliterative.   Neat.   Fixed blade vs folder....

It comes down to the need to:

1) Be useful.   In the Panamanian jungle, yes, a machete on the belt might be useful.  At Camp Runamuck, not so much.

2) Carve a wiffle stick (what did you call them?) for fire making, yes a fixed knife, maybe 4" blade can be useful. 

3) Impress your friends, ("oh that is so cool! ") .  Maybe, but at what cost to pocketbook, weight carried,  awkwardness personified,  legality,

4)  Protection?   A Boy Scout?  Dundee not withstanding....

5)  Cuisine?  Kitchen operation?   Fish cleaning?  Rabbit butchering?

6)   Opportunistic need.... fingernail  cleaning, toenail trimming,  annoying tree branch elimination,  shaving (!!),  bear skin tanning, ,,,

7)  Carve a woggle?   WB Beads?   Woodcarving Merit Badge? 

8)  Target practice?  Yes, at CSDC, but must use the provided throwing knives.

9) Nice award for Old Scouter. Engraved and packed in a case?

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, ParacordMan1220 said:

I can see that. However, that's a bit of a stretch for carrying an unapproved knife in an outdoor environment. LE would probably chuckle at that one:laugh:

One thing to be careful of is bringing ANY knife to summer camp if outside your state. 

We went to summer camp the first year I was SM at a camp several states away, so we needed a bus to get there. I was busy doing all my pre-camp prep (logistics, etc.) when I happened to catch an old, old thread here about knife length and state laws. Turns out that if ANY of our Scouts had a knife anywhere on the bus that was 3" or longer they were violating state law in one of the states we were travelling through. A quick inquiry to the state police confirmed what I read. In short, anyone with a BSA pocket knife would have been in violation of that state's law back then. The state police's solution? Put them all in one bag and have that bag at the front of the bus in case we get pulled over.

Oh, and the bus did get pulled over.  We showed the trooper the bag and told him why we did it. He said, "Ya'll are a well-armed troop!"

  • Haha 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Eagledad said:

The fixed blade restriction is a 1980s leftover from camps restricting the large blade survival knives made popular by the Rambo movies. Cheap copies were easy to get at the time and a lot of boys had them. Some of them were large enough to compete as a machete. They weren't restricted because they were more dangerous,  the restrictions were based on the military image they portrayed, which the BSA tries hard to stay away from. Sadly, all fixed blade knives were the casualty of the restriction. Ignorance (I know mods hate that word) kept the myth alive, but surprisingly, common sense seems to have prevailed and acceptance of the fixed blade is coming back.

Barry

It always sounds funny to me when the BSA mentions to stray away from a military image. After all, that is where their origins begin. Maybe if we'd go back to the tradition, things would might better organized.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, prof said:

See the source image The good old days!

Kit Karson Kit?  I have the BSA version of this.  Both knife and belt ax marked with the BSA logo and the the snaps for securing the knife and ax have the BSA logo.  The leather is embossed with the logo as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another note to consider...  Anytime one wears a sheath knife, carries it in a vehicle, etc. they must be exposed in an open carry state and if concealed, but have proper permits.  Youth under 18 cannot obtain such permits.  As mentioned, know the laws of the state one is in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Col. Flagg said:

One thing to be careful of is bringing ANY knife to summer camp if outside your state. 

We went to summer camp the first year I was SM at a camp several states away, so we needed a bus to get there. I was busy doing all my pre-camp prep (logistics, etc.) when I happened to catch an old, old thread here about knife length and state laws. Turns out that if ANY of our Scouts had a knife anywhere on the bus that was 3" or longer they were violating state law in one of the states we were travelling through. A quick inquiry to the state police confirmed what I read. In short, anyone with a BSA pocket knife would have been in violation of that state's law back then. The state police's solution? Put them all in one bag and have that bag at the front of the bus in case we get pulled over.

Oh, and the bus did get pulled over.  We showed the trooper the bag and told him why we did it. He said, "Ya'll are a well-armed troop!"

@Col. Flagg I think the laws pertain to the length of the blade, not the knife opened. One might want to check the wording carefully with these laws.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Stosh said:

Another note to consider...  Anytime one wears a sheath knife, carries it in a vehicle, etc. they must be exposed in an open carry state and if concealed, but have proper permits.  Youth under 18 cannot obtain such permits.  As mentioned, know the laws of the state one is in.

That is not the law in Ohio, which has no permits for carrying a concealed weapon except for hand guns.  The first inquiry in Ohio is whether one is carrying a concealed "weapon" -- a matter of intent -- rather than a concealed tool.

 

One ought to inquire as to each particular jurisdiction, as localities such as New York City have draconian knife laws (the bill to repeal the N.Y. City ordinance passed the N.Y. legislature with a large bi-partisan majority recently but was vetoed by the Governor of New York.  Ordinances in Ohio, such as the Cleveland knife ordinance making it a crime punishable by at least fix months in jail to pick up that knife at McDonald's, (any "knife" with a blade over 2.5", without exception, if "possessed" in a "public place"), have been held unconstitutional by Ohio's appellate courts on the grounds that they do not require proof that the item is possessed as a weapon, making them contrary to Ohio general law.

http://www.knifeup.com/knife-laws/

https://www.akti.org/state-knife-laws/

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Stosh said:

@Col. Flagg I think the laws pertain to the length of the blade, not the knife opened. One might want to check the wording carefully with these laws.

In this case, @Stosh, it was blade length. There were several BSA pocket knife and Swiss Army blade lengths at the time 3", making them illegal in this state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/4/2017 at 9:57 PM, TAHAWK said:

Yet B.S.A. still allows local council or unit option to impose zero tolerance (zero judgment) rules, which contradict B.S.A. safety and outdoor program policy.

Well, I think the BSA generally does not have a problem with a unit/CO imposing MORE safety restrictions than National requires.  On an issue such as sheath knives, where there really is no reason to ban them, I would rather see all units be consistent in not banning them, but I think they have a "right" to have a different policy.

I do not necessarily feel the same way about councils.  The "Scouting program" should be the same in every council.  If there are particular characteristics of a certain camp that make any specific kind of knife particularly dangerous (though I can't think of what such characteristics might be), I think an exception can be made.  Otherwise national standards should be complied with.

By amusing coincidence, this past weekend my wife and I attended a concert.  After entering the lobby, you had to take all metallic objects out of your pockets and then pass through a metal detector - a routine that I am very accustomed to because every courthouse that I am aware of now has at least that level of security.  (I do remember when many did not, but those days are long gone.)  My wife, however, had forgotten something - she had a very tiny version of a Swiss Army knife on her keychain.  The thing is probably an inch long, or less, so the blade is less than an inch.  I am not sure what she even uses it for.  When she took her keys out of her pocket to put them in the tray next to the scanner, the guard noticed the "knife."  So I had to take it back to the car.  There were no "other consequences," as the guard understood that my wife had not intended to bring a "weapon" into the concert.  But, as someone pointed out above, something similar has happened to Scouts when arriving at school, with greater consequences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

  But, as someone pointed out above, something similar has happened to Scouts when arriving at school, with greater consequences.

Locally, the schools have a rule about such situations--it's called safe harbor, and basically, if a child realizes that they accidentally have a knife or lighter on them, if they turn it into the teacher as soon as they realize it, it will simply be confiscated until a parent can come pick it up. However, if they show it off to another child, or if it slips out of their pocket, then punishments will be enacted for the contraband. It's a pretty reasonable rule.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×