Thursday, July 2, 2009

Should Under 18s Be Allowed to Play Airsoft?

Is reserving Airsoft replica guns to the 18 or older age group a missed opportunity for a community-based gun safety education campaign?

By: Vanessa Uy

Sometimes I do envy my great-grandparents, as Boy Scouts between the ages of 11 and 12 they regularly use hunting rifles that fire the 22 long rifle round – i.e. the biathlon gun – as part of their gun safety training. While we kids in the 21st Century had been deprived of basic gun safety education given the easy availability – if you know were to go to – under US$100 Kalashnikov (7.62mm X 39 mm firing ones) knockoffs and FN Five Seven “Mata Policias” pistols. Not forgetting to mention the odd 123-grain Lapua Scenar round or two. But if our policymakers are serious about community-based gun safety educational campaigns, isn’t the local Airsoft clubs a good place to start?

Given that Airsoft replica guns from a handling and action standpoint is very similar to a real gun, they could easily serve as a very excellent platform to educate “older” kids about gun safety. And Airsoft guns are magnitudes more safer that their real / Steel Gun counterparts. Especially when compared to a rifle that fires the 22 long rifle round which could easy kill someone when mishandled. If you happen to mishandle an Airsoft gun, all you get is a painful welt as opposed to a deep wound and a compound fracture.

In our post-9 / 11 world, it has been proven time and time again the importance of keeping citizen militias in a constant state of readiness is very effective in keeping a country’s sovereignty intact. Thus giving colonial powers something to think about before they violate the sovereignty of a legitimate nation-state. It even serves as the foundation of America’s constitution during the Revolutionary Wars. The sooner we teach our citizens the value of gun safety, the more effective they will be in keeping tyranny at bay. After all, shouldn’t kids be having fun while learning at the same time?