Boy Scouts = Hamas ?!?!?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Elbert County, Colorado Sheriff William Frangis, likened a local Boy Scout Camp to a Hamas Training camp. Read the article and come back for my take on this.

In the interest of full disclosure, I was a Boy Scout. I didn't make it to Eagle Scout, but I was close. I considered it one of the more useful extracurricular activities from my youth. I learned a myriad of things, such as shooting, archery, knot tying, basic survival skills, first aid, canoeing, and many other outdoor skills. To this day, I still enjoy participating in a variety of shooting activities, so I am also probably biased in that regard.

I don't know what a Hamas training camp sounds like (nor was I at this Scout camp), so I can't make a valid comparison. Nevertheless, making a reference to a terrorist group in a newspaper article in regards to a complaint is in poor taste, shows where his bias lies, and does nothing to contribute to a reasonable solution. This guy is an ass and I hope he loses in the nest election.

"The Scouts say no one complained to them."

"They didn't talk to anyone; they just did it," said 75- year-old John Dunn, a former Elbert County commissioner and 44-year county resident who lives about a quarter mile from the Scout camp.

One of the first steps in resolving any problem or conflict is to let the other party know that there is a problem. If that doesn't get anywhere, tkae it to the next level, but don't start the process by calling the Sheriff or a local newspaper. In all my years of participating in various shooting activities, I have yet to take the time to travel to all the neighbors and let them know what I would be doing. Mr. Dunn, having lived in the county for 44 years, probably knew that there would be shooting activity at a Scout camp with a range.

"The noise was unbelievable," Dunn said, adding that it was enough to scare the elk, deer, and birds in the vicinity. "We haven't seen them since."

He is claiming that the wildlife was scared off on May 19th and hasn't returned by July 7th. In my opinion, he is either lying or is an idiot. I have shot on a variety of ranges and have observed plenty of wildlife. I have showed up when a range has opened and observed deer feeding in places where there was gunfire just 12 hours prior. I have taken game in the woods where others have just a 1/2 an hour ago. I have shot sporting clay courses and seen birds and chipmunks in the trees.

"Frangis said in a letter to commissioners that the fundraisers the Scouts planned this year potentially could scatter thousands of pounds of lead from shotgun shells. He also said people have been seen smoking near stockpiles of ammunition at the camp."

There have been numerous studies about the environmental effects of lead shot and I am not aware of any that show that it is significantly harmful. As for smoking near stockpiles of ammunition, I would say that unless there are open barrels of black powder, the danger of an explosion is exaggerated.

Herman said neighbors are asking the Boy Scouts to stop all shooting activity at the range.

This is not reasonable. I have a hard time understanding people that move into the vicinity of a shooting range and then complain about the noise. Thankfully, in Michigan, shooting ranges are protected from this kind of harassment by law if they comply with recognized safety standards. I am not suggesting that people should be allowed to fire away 24 hours a day on their property. Part of being a good neighbor is being reasonable and respectful. Hopefully, the Boy Scouts and their neighbors can come to some kind of compromise.


Smitty 1:46 PM  

Yeah, this is pretty screwey. It sounded like a Hamas camp??? Boy Scouts, as you point out, being compared to a terrorist organization is not only in poor taste but paints the wrong kind of picture.

I'm with you. If the beighbors or the County Commission have a problem, all they had to do was go to the Scout Master for the Troop and say something. For crying out loud, one of the people complaining was one of the Commissioners! So be a leader and take care of it!

I see a lot of this, though; a lot of "I have a problem with "X" so I will go to the paper." Did you think of maybe approaching "X" first? No. I guarantee not. We'd rather be passive-aggressive.

I was a Boy Scout too. Never made it to Eagle. But, as with you, I learned a load of amazingly useful skills. In fact, as we did the Mountian Warefare and Survival Training Center in Bridgeport, CA, many of the skills presented were mere review for me. Come the big "test" at the end of the 3 weeks, it was a breeze. I already have built fires from wet wood, purified water, built off-the-ground shelters, roped across raging rivers and orienteered without a map.

steves 3:02 PM  

Orienteering was a blast and it seems to be a useful skill in case your GPS breaks down. The shooting range I belong to now tries to be very accomodating to the neighbors. They are offered free memberships and the hours are pretty reasonable. It isn't all that loud, unless you are directly downrange.

I am sure that the scouts would have scheduled around the Jewish camp's services if they knew about them. The Scout camp I went to was 60 miles southwest of Munising and was truly out in the middle of nowhere. We had a rifle range (.22 lr), but no shotguns.

Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 3:20 PM  

I am not sure people should get too freaked out about the Hamas reverence. Let's unpluck our panties from our asses.

I don't think he was comparing the Boy Scouts to a terrorist organization, he was just trying to say it was loud. Maybe a better reference would have been: "It sounded like a war zone"

This should be treated like any other activity that is loud and bothers others. We usually have noise ordinances for such things.

I too get tired of people taking a problem to a higher level than needed. I get calls all the time at work from people pissed at their local government. So instead of calling them, they call their state government and want us to fix the problem. What a waste of time.

I was a boy scout - briefly. My Scout Troop sucked. It took 2 camping trips a year to the same camp ground where the "leader" would bitch about how nobody helped out and then he would bully the kids. I should have sought out another troop. A good friend of mine obtained Eagle Scout through his troop in Brighton, not far from where I lived. His Troop rocked. They went shooting, went on white water rafting trips, climbing out west, did service projects. I would have enjoyed it. Hell, I did enough work on his Eagle Scout service project to get one of my own.

Now, about that Beer-making merit badge…

Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 3:44 PM  

Uh, oops: reverence = reference

steves 5:55 PM  

I would have to say that my panties remain wedgie-free. I'll admit that I was annoyed by the comment, but I found the totality of the circumstances to be what was the most annoying.

When people use words like "Hamas" or "Nazi" and "Hitler" and "fascist" it conjures up strong images. In certain circumstances, it makes sense. In others, it is ridiculous hyperbole. I think this instance is an example of the latter and tends to show that the Sheriff doesn't really want a compromise.

I think this whole situation is a perfect example of what not to do to resolve a conflict. Unless the Boy Scouts were shooting AK-47's and RPG's, I doubt it really sounded all that loud.

In Michigan, ranges are subject to local noise ordinances. There was a range in Livingston County that a group tried to shut down by saying it was too noisy. The range supporters did some sound tests and found that the noise from the range was less than the noise from traffic and the busybodies ended up losing.

B Mac,  8:35 AM  

HEY! You damn kids need to be QUIET. Some of us are trying to SLEEP!

Now get off my lawn. And watch the flowerbed.

(BTW, was this the first time that people in rural Colorado had ever heard gunfire?)

Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 9:19 AM  

I am somewhat familiar with the gun range situation in Livingston county. While I rarely agree with the whiners in that piece of crap county, (I grew up there) the state chose a pretty populated area to build the thing.

How it usually in works in Livingston is that the gun range is there first (or some other attraction that accompanies a rural area) and then the people build a house right next to it and then bitch when it's loud. A prime example is when all the snobs moved into Brighton for the country character and then proceeded to eradicate all country character. The mill pond downtown is an attraction for the city. A few hears back the city built concrete barriers to try and keep the ducks and geese from leaving the water and from crapping on the sidewalk.

Little did they realize – ducks can fly.

This is how it usually works in Livingston County:

"Honey, let's move out to he country, away from all this Oakland County congestion," said Husband.

"That's a great idea, dear, how about Brighton," asked wife?

Three months later:

"Damn Honey, this lousy area doesn't have enough Starbucks, those pesky Deer keep eating my roses, and I keeping seeing those horrible farmers and hunters everywhere I go."

"You're right dear, we need to put a stop to all that gross hillbilly stuff. I am hopping into my Land Rover and marching right down to city hall to demand that those tractors be kept off the road and that hunters stop wearing that dreadful orange color."

"Good for you dear, while you are at it, stop by the school board meeting. Those scumbags want to raise our taxes because all these 'new people' keep crowding little Billy's school and now they want to add more silly classrooms and teachers. Go get em.!"

steves 8:13 AM  

Bob, I have never used that range, so I am not all that familiar with the location. It is my understanding that the noise is not that bad and levels are less than the noise from traffic. It seems to be a case of NIMBY.

My grandparents built a camp on an inland UP lake in the early 1940's. At that time, the area was very undeveloped and there were very few people living there. Since then, the demand for lakefront property has gone crazy and the lake is getting very crowded. The long-time residents are starting to see some of the same problems from the people that want the services of a Chicago suburb in rural BFE.

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