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Mike Siegel: Boy Scouts of America

Have they lost their way?

Mike Siegel
October 23, 2017 - 10:18 am

First it was the admission of girls.

Now it is the dismissal from the scouts of a boy who simply challenged a sitting state senator.

Based on that premise, no young person who wants to become a journalist or talk show host is disqualified from becoming a Scout. That profession requires curiosity and inquiry with challenging questions, apparently a value that is rejected by this cub scout den.

But wait a minute. As a Cub Scout, I recollect being taught the traditional values of this nation by the scouts and you were rewarded if you demonstrated the ability and commitment to live those values

And does anyone think there is no possibility of abuse when boys and girls travel together in one group?

This creates an environment replete with potential problems that could otherwise be avoided.

And why dismiss a boy scout simply because he asks questions of a servant of the people?

The Boy Scouts have turned common sense on its head and have endorsed policies and values that are antithetical to what the original purpose of scouting was.

In the case of the challenge to the state senator, the 11-year-old boy and Senator Vicki Marble had a testy exchange. Ames Mayfield is a cub scout (boy scout affiliate for younger children) who took issue with the Senator’s position on gun rights.

Young Ames said:

     “I was shocked that you co-sponsored a bill to allow domestic violence offenders to continue       

      to own a gun. Why on earth would you want someone who beats their wife to have access

      to a gun.”

His father had to be the bearer of bad news for his son when the scouts dismissed him from their pack. Mr. Mayfield said:

     “I had to go home and tell my son he was kicked out.” My son was heartbroken because he        really liked this den leader and couldn’t understand why his question was inappropriate.”

It is astonishing that the leader said that the question was too political and disrespectful.

This leader should be the one summarily dismissed and shown the door. It is beyond outrageous that the asking of a legitimate question of a public official who works for the people should be insulated from challenging questions on their views and support for positions that should be legitimately challenged.

This question is not about gun rights. It is about an individual who has shown violence in a cowardly way by physically abusing his spouse. The same standard, of course, should apply to wives who abuse husbands.

Nevertheless, I would have asked this senator that same question if she appeared on my talk program. In fact, I intend to invite her on my program to answer that question.

The NRA agrees that violent felons should be denied access to firearms. It is indisputable. Yet a question that any journalist or talk host worth their salt would ask of this senator creates punishment for young Ames.

This child should be commended for doing research that showed this Senator has videos on her web site regarding gun control.

And, adding insult to injury, other scouts asked Marble about the border wall, fossil fuels and voting for Barack Obama.

Those are also subjects that are legitimate areas of inquiry and should also be supported.

They were not dismissed from the scouts as Ames was.

One may reasonably conclude that the leader of this cub scout pack appears to support firearms for spouse abusers. Otherwise, why would he single out that question from Ames as unacceptable and the others permitted?

As it stands now, Ames is 4 months away from graduating from the cub scouts to the boy scouts. His father has been offered a number of other dens for Ames to join. Ames will land on his feet. He is obviously thoughtful, challenging to policies with which he disagrees and is a future leader of this nation.

He has shown this den leader to be petty, biased, and suppressive of the spirit of free speech.

He should be sanctioned, not Ames.

I applaud Ames for behaving in the very way the founders intended under our Constitution. The strength of that document has been reinforced by the courage this young man has shown.

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