Monday, October 15, 2007

Andy McCommish

By now, you've probably seen or read about the Scout who escaped a too-nosy bear while on a camp-out in Pennsylvania. He'd been trained, he said, to "play dead" when he was in New Mexico, and I'll bet he was alluding to Philmont. The adult leaders wisely made a ruckus by banging pots and pans and flashing car headlights, and good for them! The bear departed the area having seriously harmed no one. So far, so good. But then the news-media attributed this to our fortunate Scout: "In the future, though, he intends to make sure he has a pepper spray for bears, and perhaps a gun...'I know how to shoot,' he said." Now before we all go running off to use this as justification for carting along every firearm we can find--from Grandpa's plinker to some soldier-of-fortune's AR--CHECK WITH AN AUTHORITY and remember that THE BSA HAS A STANDING POLICY PROHIBITING FIREARMS at camp-outs and such. I'm told on very strong authority that the adults who created the ruckus did just the right thing, and that anything but a large caliber will have the effect of a pop-gun or, worse, merely annoy the bear (annoyed bears, I'm told, are a lot more problematic than curious bears). So, CHECK WITH AN AUTHORITY (which doesn't include me) and OBSERVE BSA POLICY. The very last thing we ever want to see as a headline is "I THOUGHT IT WAS A BEAR"!

Check out the new October 12th Column!

Happy Trails --


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