Why Are Boy Scouts Being Trained to Fight Terrorists?
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Scouting sure has changed since I met with my fellow Cub Scouts in the basement of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
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 â€” an intense ratcheting up of one of the groupâ€™s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.
â€œThis is about being a true-blooded American guy and girl,â€ said A. J. Lowenthal, a sheriffâ€™s deputy here in Imperial County, whose life clock, he says, is set around the Explorers events he helps run. â€œIt fits right in with the honor and bravery of the Boy Scouts.â€
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 â€œactive shooters,â€ like those who bring gunfire and death to college campuses. In a simulation here of a raid on a marijuana field, several Explorers were instructed on how to quiet an obstreperous lookout.
â€œPut him on his face and put a knee in his back,â€ a Border Patrol agent explained. â€œI guarantee that heâ€™ll shut up.â€
Somehow I don't think this is what Lord Baden-Powell had in mind.