Volunteer mentoring organization is anti-gun


Rusty Shackleford
July 19, 2011, 02:11 PM
I've gone ahead and volunteered for an organization that pairs you with underprivileged kids to mentor. As I'm filling out paperwork, it's mostly the usual stuff... agreeing to a background check, listing references, and saying what is unacceptable as a mentor.

Here's where I'm hung up.

"Volunteers must not have in their possession illegal substances, firearms, or open alcohol during contact with the mentee."

First, they lumped in having firearms with possessing illegal substances.:mad:

Second, their office is in a very high crime area of a large metropolitan city where I am not comfortable going without my CCW.

Third, their parking facilities are not even adjacent to the building. This requires a walk through sketchville.

Fourth, underprivileged kids around here do not live in the areas with the best crime rates. Yet I am barred from possessing a firearm when I go pick them up.

Fifth, we are supposed to do activities that both the mentor and mentee are interested in and enjoy... and one of my favorites is shooting. That just got nixed.

I want to help. I want to volunteer. They have a huge waiting list of kids to be paired with a mentor, most of which will never get paired. And now they've just about got me turned me off of the idea.

What do you guys think?

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July 19, 2011, 02:18 PM
Explain your concerns and why you cannot in good faith be a part of that organization.

July 19, 2011, 02:20 PM
Concealed means Concealed. My $0.02

If found out either you're defending your life, or you might lose your mentor-ship. Your call.

July 19, 2011, 02:35 PM
Yet another problem easily solved by a pocket .380. Essentially zero chance of ever being outed and its still a gun.

July 19, 2011, 02:42 PM
If you're not going places that its illegal to have a gun or its actually somehow illegal for you to have a gun with you than carry anyway. Whats worse? Not being able be to a mentor or losing your life or even the kids life?

July 19, 2011, 03:04 PM
Their policy may be about liability or it may be about political views. Talk to them and see. If they won't change their position only you can decide if you should participate. I would however say that agreeing not to carry a gun, regardless of how much you disagree with the positiong, but doing so anyways is lying. Last i checked most people considered lying to be immoral.

July 19, 2011, 03:07 PM
^^ It's a forgiveable sin...Jesus did say to sell your cloak and buy a sword ;)

Rusty Shackleford
July 19, 2011, 03:09 PM
I'm probably just going to conceal well and keep mum about it...

The whole thing just grates on me though. They give both mentee and mentor a list of things that are unacceptable. If either party violates any of the rules, you automatically get booted from the program. These kids are being told that if the mentor breaks any of these rules, they need to report it to the organization so they can be matched with another mentor. In effect they are teaching them: firearms=bad.

Now the other rules make perfect sense. For example, if you do illegal drugs, you shouldn't be a mentor. Also, if you expect your mentor to give you money and gifts, you don't deserve to be a mentee. It's just how they are telling the kids that if they see a gun at all, even in your house, it automatically makes you unfit to be a good role model... no wonder city folks are so anti-gun. They've been brainwashed their entire lives.

Rusty Shackleford
July 19, 2011, 03:18 PM
No. JustinJ is right. Lying is immoral and I have to sign a statement saying that I agree to abide by these rules. I do not agree. I am not about to get beaten, shot or stabbed while going to this building or while picking up my mentee.

What if my mentee noticed I was carrying?

"Shhhhh, don't tell on me. I lied when I signed that statement agreeing not to have firearms, and you need to lie for me too because you signed a statement saying you'd report anything like this. It'll be our little secret! Really, it's okay to lie about just this one thing!"

Yeah, that's a perfect way to teach a kid to have good moral character.

July 19, 2011, 03:19 PM
It's not an illegal firearm. :D

jay gatz
July 19, 2011, 03:24 PM
I would sit down and discuss your concerns and reasons why you will not stop carrying. If you cannot come to an agreement with this program I'm sure there is another that would be more than willing to accept your time.

IMHO if you want to be a mentor to children you should act like one and solve problems like this in the adult fashion and not through juvenile tactics.

July 19, 2011, 03:33 PM
From the sound of your post, I think you might be more satisfied if you find another type of volunteer work. You list a number of reasons for not volunteering, including safety concerns. The only reason for volunteering stated in your post is "I want to help". Unless your desire to help exceeds your objections to the recruitment rules, this type of volunteer work is not for you.

When choosing volunteer work, go with something you can get behind 100%.

July 19, 2011, 03:45 PM
When choosing volunteer work, go with something you can get behind 100%.

I'd say something close to this. If it was just the carrying issue I might ignore it. But if you can't get the kid out to enjoy your views and values of life (which is part of what mentoring is about ... substituting a positive world perspective for a negative one), then I'd find another organization to do something for.

Sit down with the highest-level officer of the organization you can reach and explain your concerns. Explain that this is part of the life you want to share. If that is not welcome, take the value you offer to another organization.

July 19, 2011, 03:45 PM
I don't agree with the policy, BUT, I can see it being an insurance/liability issue. Also, considering there is a huge thread about stupid things people have seen other gun-owners do, I could see that as an area of concern as well.

Sav .250
July 19, 2011, 03:47 PM
Go with your "gut feeling." It won`t let you down..

July 19, 2011, 03:56 PM
Their policy is an ignorant, knee jerk reaction, and should be treated with appropriate contempt as is consistent with the law.

July 19, 2011, 04:03 PM
no firearms huh.......good thing they forgot to mention black powder......

just something for you to ponder.

July 19, 2011, 04:03 PM
What you could try is to shift the comfort/discomfort around a bit. Ask to see some one in charge of the program. Tell them you'd like to have an appointment to discuss some potential future issues in their policy.

To wit,
"Volunteers must not have in their possession illegal substances, firearms, or open alcohol during contact with the mentee."

This "sounds" like smart policy, but, it's not written as one; legalese and not legal prose.

Mention that the policy has a flaw in that a mentor (or mentee one supposes) could have closed alcohol in a session. And, that, clearly, a flask, or a bottle in a #2 candy sack are not the message the program wants to send out,

Then, point out that there are a number of legal substances that can be possess illegally. Two dozen pseudefrin, for one. Vicodin is a legal substance, but it can be possessed illegally. Ritalin and the like are legal--might be necessary for some mentees--but also could be in illegal possession (or use).

Start that you are concerned that the agency be protected from problems like this.

Then, and only then, casually mention that there is a group of mentors that exists that has had criminal background checks performed, are law-abiding, are not substance-abusing, and are largely upstanding members of their society. And they have CHL to prove it.

Frozen North
July 19, 2011, 04:07 PM
They lump guns and drugs together because they are ignorant to those who legally carry firearms. I wonder if they would object to an off duty LEO being a mentor.

In the land with unicorns and marshmallow clouds, only cops and bad guys carry guns. If you are not a cop, you must be a pusher with a Glock Foh-tay. I bet they are quite set on this issue.

Would it be such a bad thing for inner city kids to go to a range and learn proper gun safety? It would do nothing but save lives and open minds, but I bet they won't go for it!

July 19, 2011, 04:26 PM
You may also want to ask if LE officers are allowed to mentor and if yes, are they forbidden from carrying? While you may not be able to change their policy you certainly won't if you don't try. There really is no better way to guarantee second amendment rights than to bring more people into our hobby and this may be an opportunity to do so.

Rusty Shackleford
July 19, 2011, 04:33 PM
I think I'm going to look into other organizations. This one is a good one, unfortunately. They come highly recommended by several friends of mine who volunteer with them and have had excellent experiences. I also know that in my particular city, they do not have enough men volunteers, so many of the young boys stay on the list for years waiting for a match. It's become so bad that they are now allowing women to get paired with boys under ten.

I guess there are other organizations that will respect my civil liberties and my safety. It's a shame really.

July 19, 2011, 05:26 PM
Does that mean you aren't even going to ask for clarification on their rules? It could simply be that they don't allow illegal possesion of guns but worded poorly.

Rusty Shackleford
July 19, 2011, 06:16 PM
I have an interview with them in the next couple of days. I think I'm going to have everything filled out and in order except for the signature portion for agreeing to the rules. When I'm asked to sign it, I'll explain why I can't.

If anyone has any better ideas or a good way of saying what I need to get across, I'm all ears.

July 19, 2011, 06:30 PM
Good luck!

July 19, 2011, 08:28 PM
It could simply be that they don't allow illegal possesion of guns but worded poorly.

That's how it reads. Don't carry a stolen gun, sawed off rifle or shotgun and you're good to go.

July 19, 2011, 10:38 PM
You're on the right track. Make your stand on principle and make it respectfully. If they insist on their policy walk out with your head high and you have done all of us a favor. We have to be seen as responsible ,principled people to gain ground in the battle for hearts and minds.

Onward Allusion
July 19, 2011, 10:49 PM
Rusty Shackleford (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=116907)
Volunteer mentoring organization is anti-gunVolunteer doing something else that you don't have ANY issues with. It's your time and energy. Not worth going into a bad part of town without your EDC or lie about not having one on you. Neither is good.

Think about volunteering on something closer to home. No need to go out of one's neighborhood, town, or even country to help when there is a need for volunteers in most areas locally.

July 19, 2011, 10:49 PM
If I VOLUNTEER my time, they had better VOLUNTEER my rights as a U.S. citizen, especially licensed.

Otherwise, I would volunteer elsewhere. Giving up rights to "help" others sounds like the reason we have TSA in airports.

July 20, 2011, 08:28 AM
They lump guns and drugs together because they are ignorant to those who legally carry firearms.

I agree with this, don't attribute to malice what can be explained by simple ignorance. It's hard for those in the gun culture to see it from the inside but if you didn't grow up hunting and shooting it's easy to go your entire life without knowing that law-abiding citizens can carry handguns, or that there is no such thing as a 'gun license' in most places.

You are doing the right thing by having a conversation with them.

July 20, 2011, 09:27 AM
"If I VOLUNTEER my time, they had better VOLUNTEER my rights as a U.S. citizen, especially licensed."

I don't think one does volutneer work of this type as a favor to the group. Its supposed to be about the kids so i say it is at least worth the effort to try and rectify a bad policy.

Rusty S, i forgot to mention earlier that i think what you are doing is great. A person is defined by their actions and this one says great things about you.

July 20, 2011, 09:47 AM
Please ignore the "concealed means concealed" types. As usual, they miss the whole point.

Whoever mentioned the idea of police officers being mentors has an excellent idea: it would be very hard to argue that policy that effectively bans police officers from being mentors. My guess is the policy is supposed to be about illegal guns, but who knows.

Good luck and carry the good fight for us.

Jorg Nysgerrig
July 20, 2011, 11:05 AM
If the terms of an agreement are unacceptable, the proper course of action is to simply not enter into the agreement. If you choose to enter an agreement, you should do your best to abide by the terms to which you agreed.

Someone who voluntarily agrees to do something with the plan to willfully disregard the terms agreed upon is far more deserving of contempt than any clearly stated policy.

The Lone Haranguer
July 20, 2011, 12:42 PM
They might have a concern about liability and safety. Sometimes "underprivileged" kids have "troubled" backgrounds. (This can apply to the "privileged" ones too.) Any kind of access to your guns could mean real trouble.

July 28, 2011, 05:50 AM
It is a shame that an organization that could use a great many honest upstanding examples of good citizenship will loose these volunteers due to a policy that lacks any foresight with regards to legal firearms ownership. :banghead: I would definitely go ahead with my plans to talk with a higher up official with the organization about the issue. Please let us know the outcome of this meeting. If it is negative would you consider telling us the name of this organization so that we can stop wasting our time trying to apply and getting rejected as a proper role model due to this policy. Being a responsible citizen of a community that can and is capable of following the law is in my opinion a great role model. So sad that many can not see the forest for the trees. Good luck with your meeting.

July 28, 2011, 11:45 AM
Possessing weapon is dangerous because it might have a wrong impact on the kids.

There are a number of studies showing that exposure to weapons being used in positive, responsible ways has amazingly positive impacts on kids.

July 28, 2011, 12:06 PM
Bring up the issue and discuss the relevant points with them. I'm sure that there are competing organizations that don't have this problem.

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