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How can we, the BSA, positively respond to the ongoing issue around Gun Control?


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      At every camp I have attended, the issue of Gun Safety and so on has been major.  Range access is monitored and anyone violation things either leaves or sits for a bit, dependenton the problem.  No Scout or Scouter is allowed to shoot without the proper precautions, including ear and ey protections and, if unfamiliar with a gun, direct aid or monitoring.  The merit badge includes a major protion on Gun Safety and I believe touches on the gun control issue, depending on the state.  

     The NRA still isa major supporter of BSA, and part of that is because of the eductional elements of the BSA programs, which evolved from the original NRA structure and educative ideas.

    As we struggle in our seemingly impossible political morass over the Second Amendment and Gun Control and safety, what is our role in  getting past the obdurance and foolish overreactions?  Our youth and leaders do not seem to not understand the basic needs and safety issues, and again, they cannot handle the guns without proving they know how and can be safe. 

   So why is that simple premise, in some broader form, not acceeptible to the political naysayers?  Common sense should suggest that real testing of some sort should be a gun requirement, just as it is for driving a car and so on.  It should not be this hard to put that idea of safety and VERIFIED QUALIFICATION  into play.  And all guns licensed in some manner seems prudent.  Types of weapons possibly restricted based on certain factors of course also make sense to someone that looks beyond the hyperbole about "taking our guns".  

    So, what do we do as responsible community mentors?  How might we strengthen even more our BSA Gun program?

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The simple answer is that BSA needs to stay out of the gun control debate because BSA is a non-partisan, non-profit.   However, since you bring the topic up. There is no good gun legislation

Your points are well taken.  Switzerland.  Mexico.  etc.   I've hesitated responding because of extreme political intensity here.  IMHO, it's not a gun problem, but perhaps gun control could help

Gun control and the second amendment is a touchy subject for all, not just the BSA. The guns themselves are not the issue rather society as a whole. There is not enough attention put into me

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40 minutes ago, skeptic said:

    So, what do we do as responsible community mentors?  How might we strengthen even more our BSA Gun program?

1. Secure, separate firearm and ammunition storage. I do not want to read another story of firearms stolen from a camp.

2. Maybe move to lead-free ammunition and safer cleaning solvents.

3. Increasing cost of equipment, safety devices, ammunition, registration, insurance, licensing (taxes) may end BSA Firearms programs.

All that said, I worry more about armed criminals entering a scouting event.

My $0.01,

 

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The simple answer is that BSA needs to stay out of the gun control debate because BSA is a non-partisan, non-profit.

 

However, since you bring the topic up. There is no good gun legislation, period. We literally have the 2nd amendment because our former government tried to take our guns away while they had their boot on our necks. Here's an idea, BSA should reform the duty to country education in our programs to actually teach why George Washington, while considering himself a loyal British citizen turned his back on the crown, and led the Continental Army in a revolt. 

We can also look internationally to see why having an armed population is good (all the Ukranian civilians fighting back against the Russian Army). We can also look at the first thing despots do to an armed population (when the Taliban just took back control of Afghanistan they didn't force little girls out of schools or force women back into burkas first, they confiscated all the firearms first). 

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The only appropriate role for BSA is gun safety and education. Having attended two funerals over the years of young boys in scouting who killed themselves with a firearm kept in the home, supposedly secured, there may be further information to be shared with scouting families in particular about the connection between access to firearms and youth suicide. There are numerous studies that link home access to higher rates. 

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It all boils down to a definition of "weapons of 'War.'"

They should be banned from private ownership. Just consider the carnage they have caused.

The souls of so many children.

And the grief of their families.

America is sadly broken.

And I grieve for these children and their families that I do not know, but I grieve.

 

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In my opinion, the BSA should stay out of the political debates as it relates to gun control.

Really, all the organization can do is to double down on helping our youth to grow up truly living the Scout Oath and Law. I guess I would also add that the continued teaching of safe and responsible gun operation/ownership remains important.

As it relates to the slaughter of innocents in our country  by horrible people with access to guns…..there is a minority of fellow citizens who are simply ok with these sacrifices for the sake of the 2A. That is not going to change anytime soon. Live your life as best you can but keep your head on a swivel.  Know your surroundings and know your escape plans. If it happens flee…if you can’t flee fight back viciously. 

Edited by ALongWalk
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Gun control and the second amendment is a touchy subject for all, not just the BSA.

The guns themselves are not the issue rather society as a whole.

There is not enough attention put into mental health for one. More needs to be done to identify those who are more prone to mass violence.  We need to do more for those with mental health issues even if it means more mental health hospitals. 

Violent video games have made more young males prone to glorify the mass deaths that incur within the games and take those glorifications into their own reality.

Certain musical genres glorify violence and death and that has contributed to guns and death.

We have become to liberal towards criminals and prison.  We need laws that have bite in them. Just look at cities like New York and San Francisco where violence and the lack of bite in the laws (sentencing) has made those cities so violent.

We need to teach to young people the value of life. Not just of others but their own lives as well.

I do not have guns in my house and that to me is a personal choice. One because of my own and my daughters depression, but also as my family has had gun violence touch our lives. My brother murdered his wife and subsequently killed himself yet I believe in the second amendment.

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2 hours ago, johnsch322 said:

Gun control and the second amendment is a touchy subject for all, not just the BSA.

The guns themselves are not the issue rather society as a whole.

There is not enough attention put into mental health for one. More needs to be done to identify those who are more prone to mass violence.  We need to do more for those with mental health issues even if it means more mental health hospitals. 

Violent video games have made more young males prone to glorify the mass deaths that incur within the games and take those glorifications into their own reality.

Certain musical genres glorify violence and death and that has contributed to guns and death.

We have become to liberal towards criminals and prison.  We need laws that have bite in them. Just look at cities like New York and San Francisco where violence and the lack of bite in the laws (sentencing) has made those cities so violent.

We need to teach to young people the value of life. Not just of others but their own lives as well.

I do not have guns in my house and that to me is a personal choice. One because of my own and my daughters depression, but also as my family has had gun violence touch our lives. My brother murdered his wife and subsequently killed himself yet I believe in the second amendment.


I’ll start my response with this, neither political party has the spine or integrity to address this issue, this violence that is killing children.  

If not enough that’s been done about mental health since Columbine, 23 years ago, and not enough since Sandy Hook, 10 years ago, what needs to still be done?  Just saying mental health is not an answer but an handwave to avoid talking about the issue.  It’s a cop-out .

And I am no statistician, but to the facts of murders with guns stand up to scrutiny when competing in liberal state versus conservative?   

Fianlly, do you really think that censorship is the answer, and it is ok so long as it protects the second amendment?  The constitution also used to support the practice of slavery, but the country was smart enough to figure out that that part of the constitution needed to be fixed.  


 

 

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1 hour ago, Navybone said:


I’ll start my response with this, neither political party has the spine or integrity to address this issue, this violence that is killing children.  

If not enough that’s been done about mental health since Columbine, 23 years ago, and not enough since Sandy Hook, 10 years ago, what needs to still be done?  Just saying mental health is not an answer but an handwave to avoid talking about the issue.  It’s a cop-out .

And I am no statistician, but to the facts of murders with guns stand up to scrutiny when competing in liberal state versus conservative?   

Fianlly, do you really think that censorship is the answer, and it is ok so long as it protects the second amendment?  The constitution also used to support the practice of slavery, but the country was smart enough to figure out that that part of the constitution needed to be fixed.  


 

 

I struggle with responses like this because they don't invite a discussion unless it is one sided. Kind of a type of censorship to me.

If anyone thinks this is just a guns issue, then I believe they are coming from a political agenda perspective and don't really care about the children.

Mental health should  certainly be part of the discussion because who would consider the state of mind of this killer to be normal. I once listened to a psychologist on NPR. He was hired by an east coast state after the Columbine school shooting to travel and organize community meetings with parents to discuss how family dynamics can effect the mental health of youth in school. The conclusion of experts and political elites at the time was that the shooters were loners and their parents were part of the problem because they never realized their sons planning the shooting. The psychologist said he was very concerned after leading these community discussions because the parents didn't seem to want to understand their roles in a healthy family dynamics. He said the parents were so fixated on their personal lives that they were instead trying to fit their kids in the parents busy lives instead of developing a life around the whole family. That was very frightening because that was a professional who was politically liberal speaking on a NPR.

Let's have a real discussion.

Barry

 

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2 hours ago, Navybone said:


I’ll start my response with this, neither political party has the spine or integrity to address this issue, this violence that is killing children.  

If not enough that’s been done about mental health since Columbine, 23 years ago, and not enough since Sandy Hook, 10 years ago, what needs to still be done?  Just saying mental health is not an answer but an handwave to avoid talking about the issue.  It’s a cop-out .

And I am no statistician, but to the facts of murders with guns stand up to scrutiny when competing in liberal state versus conservative?   

Fianlly, do you really think that censorship is the answer, and it is ok so long as it protects the second amendment?  The constitution also used to support the practice of slavery, but the country was smart enough to figure out that that part of the constitution needed to be fixed.  


 

 

Thank you for your response but I would like to ask you where I advocated censorship? Mental health and how it is dealt with is not a cop out. I have a child who suffers from depression and she feels like not enough resources are there for her in High School.

I would like also to point out that gun violence does not just kill children but also adults. I am sure that many times more adults die from gun violence than children.

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28 minutes ago, johnsch322 said:

Thank you for your response but I would like to ask you where I advocated censorship? Mental health and how it is dealt with is not a cop out. I have a child who suffers from depression and she feels like not enough resources are there for her in High School.

I would like also to point out that gun violence does not just kill children but also adults. I am sure that many times more adults die from gun violence than children.

You are right.  I read your post soon after reading Congressman Jackson (Tx) comments where he looks to blame music and video games.  It would have been more accurate to say that you could read your comments to imply that you support censorship.   Not that you are supporting censorship. 

apologies for putting words in your mouth   

 

Edited by Navybone
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20 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I struggle with responses like this because they don't invite a discussion unless it is one sided. Kind of a type of censorship to me.

Let's have a real discussion.

Barry

 

I purposely stated that the political leadership lacks the ability to do anything.  I do not believe this is a guns only issue, or a mental health issue, or a video game issue.  It is a complex issue that requires adults willing to talk consider all aspects of the issue.  
 

If anything, my comment reflects my frustration with the current approach by leaders in this country to state useless absolutes (ban guns, 2A is sacred…)when it comes to mass killings ( there were 6 today where more than 4 people were killed by gun violence).  It gets us nowhere.  There is no single solution.  This is hard, but hard is ok - that is why they are elected   
 

but not sure why you think I am censoring you.  I am not. 

 

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13 hours ago, SiouxRanger said:

It all boils down to a definition of "weapons of 'War.'"

They should be banned from private ownership. Just consider the carnage they have caused.

The souls of so many children.

And the grief of their families.

America is sadly broken.

And I grieve for these children and their families that I do not know, but I grieve.

 

And not a single upvote.

There has been a ton of angst expressed here for child scouts who were subjected to child sexual abuse, yet for children being MURDERED, not a word.

I stand appalled.

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1 hour ago, SiouxRanger said:

And not a single upvote.

There has been a ton of angst expressed here for child scouts who were subjected to child sexual abuse, yet for children being MURDERED, not a word.

I stand appalled.

Maybe because your stance is an extreme.  I have plenty of anger about children being killed by guns, but Extremes have gotten us what?   Nothing.  We are a country and a culture that has relied on private ownership of guns.  To believe the answer is no guns is unrealistic.  What we have are cowards in office who offer nothing but extremes ( ban all guns, 2nd Amendment trumps all, etc).  Until we can walk off that, nothing will change.   We are also a nation of compromise, but we seem to have forgotten that. .  It’s not a binary issues - guns or no guns.  My two cents.   

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Given BSA's partnership with the NRA and the NRA's hardline stance against gun reform it is tough to see BSA as a neutral party.  To be fair though, I am not aware of alternate organizations that provide good gun safety instructor training.  I (as does many scouters) want to see BSA continue shooting sports, so I expect that partnership to continue.

There is really no point in arguing about this on an online forum.  No one will change their minds and nothing is ever done.   After we simply accepted the outcome of Sandy Hook with no action, I'm not sure what could ever happen that could result in change. 

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