September 7th, 2009

UK Scouting Assn. Bans Pen Knives — Triumph of the Nanny State

Boy Scout KnifeSorry folks, this is not a joke (or late April Fools’ story). The Boy Scouts Association for the United Kingdom has issued a “guidance” directive telling Boy Scouts not to bring knives to camping events. Prior to this ruling British Boy Scouts were allowed to carry penknives with blades of less than 3 inches.

A Scouts spokesman defended the new policy, saying: ‘We believe that young people need more places to go after school and at weekends, where they can experience adventure without the threat of violence or bullying and the need to carry weapons. Scouting helps to prepare young people with valuable life skills, while keeping them safe by not carrying knives.’

Boy Scout Knife

Hmmm, what will the UK Scout Association ban next? Pointed sticks? Ropes? Heck, those neckerchiefs could be pretty dangerous too — better get rid of them. Lord Baden-Powell is no doubt rolling over in his grave. One troop Leader from Kent, England wondered: “Whatever happened to the first Scout Law: a Scout is to be trusted?” Even the British Guardian website questioned the logic of the knife ban: “Scouts are so closely associated with pocket knives that the term Boy Scout knife is a synonym for penknife.”

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