An 11-year-old Cub Scout from Colorado was kicked out of his scouting group after asking a Republican senator about gun legislation.
The incident began on Oct. 9 during a den meeting between Senator Vicki Marble and the Cub Scouts, organized by the Boy Scouts organization in Bloomfield.
The scouts were asked to prepare questions for the senator, reports say.
In a video posted by the boy’s mother, Ames Mayfield excitedly raised his hand to ask his questions.
He read off a multitude of questions, including Marble’s stance on gun control, her controversial comments she made in 2013, and on health care in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting.
“I was shocked that you co-sponsored a bill to allow domestic violence offenders to continue to own a gun,” Ames said.
“Why on earth would you want someone who beats their wife to have access to a gun?”
After two minutes of questions, officials stopped Ames to allow Marble to answer the questions.
Both the official and the senator complimented Ames for his “thorough” questions, before Marble answered, saying in part “it has been shown that the more guns a society has, the less crime or murders are committed.”
But two days later, Ames’ mother Lori said the fifth-grader was kicked out of the group for the questions.
“He is still kind of reeling from this,” Lori told the Denver Post. “He is really sensitive, my heart breaks for him.”
She said a den leader was upset with the line of questioning, saying the topic was disrespectful. She’s now looking for a new den for Ames to join.
When asked, the Boy Scouts of America Denver Area Council spokesperson Nicole Cosme told the Post they were “evaluating this matter closely and will treat all parties with dignity and respect.”
When asked about the fallout for Ames, Marble said she wasn’t going to question the den’s decision on Ames’ membership, but said she didn’t blame the boy for his questions.
“I don’t blame the boy for asking the questions, since I believe there was an element of manipulation involved, and it wasn’t much different from the questions I normally field in other meetings. The invitation to meet with the scouts was never intended to cause friction and controversy,” she said in an email statement.
Lori said Ames researched the senator and came up with all the questions himself.
“My son chose the issues HE wanted to ask the Senator per the assignment we researched, and I helped him find stats to support his question,” she wrote on Facebook.
“Given that the Las Vegas shooting happened, I felt that it should be a reasonable thing to ask,” Ames told Fox News 31 in Denver.
“I don’t feel like I did anything wrong.”
But gun control activists applauded Ames’ questions.
Gabby Giffords, the former congresswoman who was shot in the head while in office, tweeted about the incident last night.
“This is exactly the kind of courage we need in Congress. Ames, call me in 14 years. I’ll campaign for you,” she wrote.
Her husband, Mark Kelly, called Ames himself, Lori told the news station.
Ames said Kelly told him to keep asking the hard questions.
“I’m kind of glad to have someone on my side that truly understands it,” Ames said.
Despite that, Lori says they still love scouting and wants to put the focus on “encouraging kids to ask tough questions.”
“If my 11-year-old plays a role in effecting change for the good, then he successfully completed his assignment on Building a Better World,” she wrote.