In yet another example of political correctness run amok, a new rule enacted by the Boy Scouts of America strictly prohibits using toy water guns and water pistols for shooting or aiming at anything but non-human targets. That’s right, as the sweltering days of summer approach, those boys adhering to the BSA Code will have to rely on swimming pools and popsicles for youthful relief from the heat.
The new edition of the Boy Scouts of America National Shooting Sports Manual clearly states that water guns and rubber band guns are no longer for shooting at anything other than inanimate objects. In his May 6 blog, Bryan Wendell, senior editor of Boy’s Life and Eagles’ Call magazines, explained the new rule.
“As summer—and pool weather—lingers on the horizon, it’s a good time to remind you that BSA policies prohibit pointing simulated firearms at people. Yes, that includes water guns.”
The manual includes a lengthy list of other prohibited items—boomerangs, crossbows, potato guns, spear guns and throwing stars. Scouts also may not use “marshmallow shooters that require placing a straw or similar device in the mouth.”
While attempting to explain the context of the watergun prohibition, Wendell said it was based on the premise that a scout—as part of his BSA pledge—agrees to be “kind.”
“What part of pointing a firearm (simulated or otherwise) at someone is kind?” Wendell asked readers of the blog.
Not surprisingly, many readers responded to the editor’s query.
“Sometimes I just have to laugh out loud at how idiotic some things in our society have become. We can’t squirt each other with water guns because it is a ‘simulated’ gun. I can’t believe BSA is so worried about the PC police that it has a policy like this,” wrote commenter Gary USMC.
“This makes BSA look ridiculous and has little if any impact on safety,” commented Gary Holeiwnski.
“Yes, let’s carry every policy to the absurd extreme. That will certainly help scouts shed that geeky image,” added another commenter.
Also falling under restricted items generally used for summertime recreation included those dreaded implements—water balloons.
“Water balloons, meanwhile, have a size limit: ‘For water balloons, use small, biodegradable balloons, and fill them no larger than a ping pong ball.’ (Page 100),” the blog reports.