The 2015 Boy Scouts of America National Shooting Sports Manual listed “water gun fights” as a prohibited activity for its members, and it’s caused quite a controversy. The rule requires that water guns and rubber bands only be used for shooting at non-human targets. It’s not a new rule, but for some reason has been the target of a lot of attention and ridicule this week.
A recent blog post on Scouting Magazine may have something to do with the recent spotlight on the rule. One adult leader of the Boy Scouts of America wrote,“Why the rule? A Scouter once told me this explanation I liked quite a bit: A Scout is kind. What part of pointing a firearm [simulated or otherwise] at someone is kind?”
The Guide to Safe Scouting manual says, “Pointing any type of firearm or simulated firearm at any individual is unauthorized. Scout units may plan or participate in paintball, laser tag or similar events where participants shoot at targets that are neither living nor human representations.”
Any talk about guns — even the toy variety — always inspires heated debate. There are those who agree with the rule, those who think it’s absurd, and those who think the future of our stealth armed forces is doomed since our Boy Scouts can no longer point toy guns in each other’s faces.
Fox News host Rachel Campos-Duff pondered the ban on Wednesday’s edition of Outnumbered. She asked, “If we keep emasculating our boys and not letting our boys be boys, how are we going to raise the next generation of hard-core, CIA operative Navy Seals?” She then goes on to call it “the feminization of boys.” Her equally astute co-panelist says, “You know what we’re doing? It’s the wussification of America.”
Campos-Duff hypothesizes that less toy gun fights equals more “basement boys,” or men who hang out in their mom’s basement all day playing video games. Her co-host Andrea Tantaros added, “There’s a lot of thumb-sucking, Beta-wearing, pajama boys running around out there. I think it’s a bigger problem.” Can any person with vocal chords be a Fox host?
It’s not surprising that an organization who describes its members as “trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent” would have a rule like this. No one is telling people how to parent. These Scouts can continue shooting each other with toy guns until they’re blue in the face at home. The implication from the Fox News hosts that prohibiting children from using each other as targets in shooting games is going to somehow crumble our future armed forces or the masculinity of boys is… no words.