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I don't, but I do carry a knife, a first aid kit, and some basic survival items. Same mentality, IMHO. Being prepared. As I said, I don't carry a gun, but I don't think that those who do are paranoid. They just are a bit more concerned about the violent potential of their fellow man than I am. I probably should be more concerned, as my father is a retired forensic psychiatrist (i.e. he treated the criminally insane), and should know better.
I moved this to the 'Program' thread because I was hoping the discussion would stay in that realm.
I also do NOT, EVER, take firearms on unit outings. I NEVER take firearms backpacking, even when alone, and so far, even in the backcountry of Yellowstone or similar places. I fear people I meet who DO pack heat, when I'm camping, ESPECIALLY if with the unit.
Basement, you really seem wound up about this, what gives?
I don't carry because here in the great communist state of Maryland you can't realistically get a CCW. If I could I would.
Would I carry on a scout trip? I don't know but I had an incident happen on the last camping trip that had me wishing I was packing. And of course the Park Ranger tells me later that he was an hour away and wouldn't have been able to help even if I could have gotten a cell call out.
What would you do if some crazed Boy Scout hater drove into your camp with a shot gun and started shooting randomly at your boys? Of course that could never happen, or could it?
I see no reason to have firearms on a Scout outing, other than part of an organized program run by a certified range director. If there is any doubt about the safety of a camping area, simply don't go there.
"Except for (1) law enforcement officers required to carry firearms within their jurisdiction, and (2) circumstances within the scope of the BSA hunting policy statement, firearms should not be in the possession of any person engaged in camping, hiking, backpacking, or any other Scouting activity other than those specifically planned for target shooting under the supervision of a certified firearms instructor. (Among the purposes of this policy is to prohibit adult leaders from bringing firearms on BSA camping and hiking activities or to unit meetings.)"
I don't have any need or desire to own a firearm. I've been hunting and to the range, but I'm happy to say the desire to own one has never struck me. I am becoming concerned about a more paranoid society that thinks arming everyone is a way to be secure. Seems our priorities lie in the wrong place.
As far as the safety of my units are concerned, I stand by what I say. If you really feel the need to have someone "packing heat" on a camping trip, recruit a Police Officer as a committeeman or an ASM, and have him carry his weapon on the outing; which is completely within the scope of the G2SS. I have such a person on my committee,(mainly for the purposes of the CO desiring background checks before council/national "gets around to it") and there has never been a need to utilize his services. If an area is in doubt, we leave it out. Unfortunately, tragedies happen, and nut-jobs are everywhere. We have no way of predicting when or where--we can only do our best to protect the youth in our charges. Having firearms on a Scout outing, discreet or not, can lead to disastrous consequences. Thanks to the news media, paranoia abounds.
I am a long-time (31 years and counting!) police officer and have been a Scouting leader since 1991. Sometimes I have one, sometimes I don't. It depends on where we are going. My own policy as the Advisor of my Venturing Crew is that it has to stay on me 24/7. The youth never know I have it, but frequently assume I do and have politely been asked not to inquire.
One of the unit's parents is also an officer. He gets the same deal: carry it on you 24/7 and it's no problem. We don't leave them in our cars, and I don't carry them on backpacks or water events (I have enough stuff to carry, and the nut cases tend not to go backpacking or canoeing!).
Law enforcement officers are, of course, required (within the guidelines of common sense!) to carry our firearms and/or required to act in the case of certain events, so a discrete firearm, handcuffs, etc., are typically kept handy. Frankly, requirement or no, it would have to take something very, very serious for me to act with Scout's present, but it can be there if I am forced to protect myself or my unit's members. Just because I am Scouting doesn't mean the world suddenly became less dangerous.
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