A Colorado Cub Scout was kicked out of his den after questioning a state lawmaker about her stance on gun control and race in the U.S.
The 11-year-old Cub Scout, Ames Mayfield, asked several pointed questions during an Oct. 9 meeting with Republican State Sen. Vicki Marble for which the scouts were told to prepare questions on issues important to them. Mayfield’s mother recorded her son asking Marble why she refused to support stricter gun regulations and posted the video to YouTube.
“I was shocked that you co-sponsored a bill to allow domestic violence offenders to continue to own a gun,” the scout said, also noting the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas during his more than two-minute series of questions. He continued: “Why on earth would you want someone who beats their wife to have access to a gun?”
Marble, a staunch gun rights advocate, responded by defending her position and legislative record and said that mass shootings like those in Las Vegas and Aurora, Colorado had occurred in gun-free zones.
“We need crime control,” Marble said, “and it has been shown that the more guns a society has, the less crime and murders are committed.”
Marble also deployed the often-used Chicago talking point, seeming to argue that if the city had more legally-owned guns, there would be less violent crime.
Five days after the event, the scout’s mother, Ms. Mayfield, was asked to speak with the Cub Scout leader who manages several dens in the Broomfield area, including the one to which her son belonged, the New York Times reported.
“He let me know in so many words that the den leader was upset about the topic of gun control,” Ms. Mayfield said in an interview. “It was too politically charged.”
She continued: “He communicated that my son was no longer welcome back to the den.”
Ms. Mayfield also speculated that her son had been removed due to her decision to post her son’s questions to YouTube and also said the den leader was upset about other remarks during the questions, including one which claimed the Senator thought owning a gun was a right and health care was merely a privilege.
The video was extensively covered by Colorado news outlets, who latched onto it partly due to the gun control issues and also because Ames mentioned comments Marble had made in 2013 regarding health issues among black people.
“When you look at life expectancy, there are problems in the black race,” Marble said at a 2013 poverty reduction meeting. “Sickle-cell anemia is something that comes up. Diabetes is something that’s prevalent in the genetic makeup, and you just can’t help it.”
“Although I’ve got to say, I’ve never had better barbecue and better chicken and ate better in my life than when you go down South and you, I mean, I love it,” she added.
Many at the time deemed her comments racially insensitive at best, but Marble told the scouts the media had taken them out of context. She also mentioned that she had a multicultural family and was very proud of that.
The Broomfield Boy Scouts group tried to distance itself from the controversy by issuing a short statement on its website.
“Our Troop was NOT involved in the Mayfield incident,” the statement said. “As part of the Boy Scouts of America and the World Scouting Organization, we are an inclusive group regardless of politics, religion, gender and race.”
The Boy Scouts organization as a whole has also felt some shock waves from the incident and issued a statement on Friday, saying that Ames was now in another den in the Broomfield area.
“The Boy Scouts of America and the Denver Area Council are pleased that the family will continue their participation in Scouting,” the organization said. “We are committed to working with families to find local units that best fit their needs.”
Ms. Mayfield confirmed that she had chosen a new den for her son but said they were disappointed in the den leader’s decision.