Thursday, May 14, 2009

Explorer-Scouts Train in Post-9/11 Law Enforcement Methods -

Explorer-Scouts Train in Post-9/11 Law Enforcement Methods -

This article made me lose my appetite.

"The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.

“This is about being a true-blooded American guy and girl,” said A. J. Lowenthal, a sheriff’s deputy here in Imperial County, whose life clock, he says, is set around the Explorers events he helps run. “It fits right in with the honor and bravery of the Boy Scouts.”

I hope that my kids don't have to learn how to use guns and deal with fake or real blood and militant action in order to be true-blooded Americans. What about those who show their patriotism in other, peaceful ways?

Membership in the Explorers has been overseen since 1998 by an affiliate of the Boy Scouts called Learning for Life, which offers 12 career-related programs, including those focused on aviation, medicine and the sciences.

One more reason to avoid the Boy Scouts, as if their stance on sexual orientation wasn't enough.

The training, which leaders say is not intended to be applied outside the simulated Explorer setting, can involve chasing down illegal border crossers as well as more dangerous situations that include facing down terrorists and taking out “active shooters,” like those who bring gunfire and death to college campuses.

So we should encourage our kids to act like the police, or carry weapons, and maybe get hurt or killed getting the way of actual professionals who we pay to deal with people who are dangerous? If the training is not intended to be applied, why do it? Sounds like marketing to me.

Cathy Noriego, also 16, said she was attracted by the guns. The group uses compressed-air guns — known as airsoft guns, which fire tiny plastic pellets — in the training exercises, and sometimes they shoot real guns on a closed range.

“I like shooting them,” Cathy said. “I like the sound they make. It gets me excited.”

Attracted by the guns eh? What about all that pap about teaching these kids to protect our country? Seems like they need a bit better of a screening program.

And this might be my favorite quote:
In a competition in Arizona that he did not oversee, Deputy Lowenthal said, one role-player wore traditional Arab dress. “If we’re looking at 9/11 and what a Middle Eastern terrorist would be like,” he said, “then maybe your role-player would look like that. I don’t know, would you call that politically incorrect?”

Yes, because all terrorists are from the Middle East and wear traditional Arab dress. Profiling is such a great skill for adolescents to have during their formative years when they're already struggling with inclusiveness, tolerance and making good choices.

I'm glad I wasn't the journalist assigned to cover this story.

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