THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE
MAN: Oh, look at this article in the paper! That's ridiculous!
WOMAN: What is?
MAN: They're trying to ban scouts from carrying penknives.
WOMAN: What's wrong
MAN: Well, scouts have always carried penknives, haven't they? They're an
essential part of their kit. How are they going to chop firewood, prepare food,
or carve tools without them?
WOMAN: Well, I think too many young people carry knives these days. I read the
other day that knife crime has risen by over fifty per cent in the last year,
and it's time something was done about it.
MAN: I agree that something should be done about knife crime, but scouts aren't
really into that, are they?
WOMAN: How do you know? If there's bullying and intimidation among kids at
school, it might happen at scout meetings too?
MAN: I'm sure the leaders know the boys in their troop, and they'd be keeping an
eye on any troublemakers. Anyway, banning knives completely undermines one of
the main aims of the Scouts.
WOMAN: What do you mean?
MAN: Well, the first Scout Law says that a scout should be trusted, so surely
they can be trusted enough to carry and use a penknife safely?
WOMAN: How about if the leaders keep the knives and hand them
out when they're needed by the scouts?
MAN: That's just complicating the matter.
Scouts have always
carried a knife on their belt. Anyway, in my opinion, if you teach young people
to respect knives, they will value them as a tool. If you treat knives as
dangerous implements, they may never feel comfortable with them at all.
WOMAN: Is it actually legal to carry any kind of knife these days?
MAN: I'm not sure. No, wait a minute. It says here that it's 'legal for anyone to
carry a foldable, non-locking knife as long as it's shorter than seven and a
WOMAN: Right. In which case, I don't see the problem. If it's not against the law
to carry a penknife, then I really don't think the Scouts Association should be