ABC 7 (Colorado)
An 11-year-old Cub Scout from Colorado was kicked out of his den because he asked his state senator about gun control.
When Colorado State Senator Vicki Marble visited the boy's den on Oct. 9, each of the Cub Scouts present was given the opportunity to ask her questions about the issues on their minds. While some scouts asked questions about issues like the potential to build a wall along the border between the states and Mexico and fracking, Ames Mayfield was more concerned with the topic of gun control, according to his mother Lori Mayfield.
“Why on earth would you want somebody who beats their wife to have access to a gun? There’s something wrong in our country where Republicans believe it’s a right to own a gun, but a privilege to have health care,” Ames can be heard asking Senator Marble in a video shared by his mom. Ames also asked his state senator about previous comments she was reported to have made about poverty and mortality rates among the black population.
“I was astonished that you blamed black people for poor health and poverty because of all the chicken and barbecue they eat,” Ames tells the Senator, who responded by saying those comments were “made up by the media.”
Ames’ questioning was cut short by his den leader. A pack leader met his mother five days after the meeting and said that Ames was no longer welcome in his den. Instead, Ames was offered a spot in another den within his pack. Unfortunately, the meeting times for that specific den don’t fit with the family’s schedule.
"I am really heartbroken that my den leader, which I really felt like I had a pretty good relationship with, decided to kick me out," Ames told 9 News in Colorado. “I was a big fan of the den originally, but now since I know ... how they view things, I'm kind of concerned, so no, I don't really want to get back in.”
When it comes to political beliefs, the official stance of Boy Scouts of America is that they don't favor the left or the right, according to a post on Scouting Magazine, which outlined specific guidelines scouts must follow to avoid appearing inline with specific political beliefs. Additionally, even though their handbook of rules and regulations actually warns against involvement of scouts in political matters, it also points out that their policy is to not limit the individual opinions of their scouts.
However, the official stance doesn’t appear to hold much weight since an individual's eligibility for a den or pack is actually in the hands of the of the chartered organization running the pack, according to HuffPost.
Ultimately, Ames and his mother have decided it is best to leave this particular pack entirely, instead of moving to a new den.
The Cub Scouts should be an opportunity for children of all backgrounds to find common ground with one another. In this case, it appears that the adults in charge are prioritizing a specific set of beliefs, even if it means excluding a child who disagrees.
But regardless of whether Ames finds a place with the Cub Scouts, we suspect he'll do just fine. Former U.S. Senator Gabby Giffords, who was shot in 2011, has already pledged her support — and help running for office.
This is exactly the kind of courage we need in Congress. Ames, call me in 14 years. I’ll campaign for you. https://t.co/fdE4DinnRk— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) October 19, 2017