Two statements included on page 99 of the new Boy Scouts of America National Shooting Sports Manual infuriated individuals and resulted in immediate outrage on social media Tuesday.
Image source: scouting.org
The two troubling statements concerned the organization's policy on water guns and water balloons. The first one, found on page 99, placed limits on water guns and rubber band guns.
“Water guns and rubber band guns must only be used to shoot at targets, and eye protection must be worn," the manual said.
On the following page, there is a sentence about the restrictions placed on water balloons.
“For water balloons, use small, biodegradable balloons, and fill them no larger than a ping pong ball," the manual said.
The statement about water balloons appears in a section discussing ammunition for sling shots, wrist rockets and catapults. There is no specific mention of using water balloons as something thrown with a scout's arm.
Bryan Wendell of Bryan on Scouting a Boy Scouts' leadership information blog, offered clarification on the limitations, directing interested parties to page 61 of the organization's "Safe Scouting" manual.
“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," it stated.
Wendell gave additional support in the form of something he liked that was told to him by another "Scouter," adding, “A Scout is kind. What part of pointing a firearm [simulated or otherwise] at someone is kind?”
A commenter identifying himself as "Dave" posted his reaction to the new rules Wendell's blog site, “What a load of politically correct crap. What’s the point of super-soakers if you don’t shoot them at others to get wet and cool off on a hot day?”
Many on Twitter also expressed outrage.
The Boy Scouts bans water gun fights. That's it. America as we know it - proud, free & tough - has officially died. http://t.co/3vTDxfVAz6— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) May 19, 2015
Boy Scouts new radical left overseers ban water gun fights, limit water balloons, say they’re not ‘kind’ http://t.co/EmSgD5ZJKW— PatriotMash.com (@PatriotMash) May 19, 2015
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