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More on the NSSF Thing

I have a copy of the study that I’ve been going through.  It makes numerous references to “non-lethal firearms” in the context of getting new shooters, who might be intimidated by firearms, to become comfortable:

Shooting sports programs utilizing non-lethal guns as a means of introducing newcomers are likely to be well-received by non-shooters and even anti-shooters.  By making non-lethal guns available, such programs will reinforce safety and the importance of learning to handle firearms and becoming comfortable with them.

This terminology needs to be banished from even having the chance to enter the shooting vernacular, and I don’t know of any sport shooter or instructor who would use it.  Here I’m thinking they are referring to airguns, but airguns are not “non-lethal” and are, in fact, potentially dangerous instruments that should be treated as such.  I do agree with starting new shooters, who are interested in the shooting sports, but might be afraid of firearms, off with air guns.  It’s a good recommendation.

But if we want to emphasize safety, we should never, ever, under any circumstances, imply a firearm or air gun does not have the potential for lethality.  If you’re teaching new shooters that air guns are non-lethal, you’re shirking your responsibility as an instructor.  This language should never have made its way into an industry publication.

6 Responses to “More on the NSSF Thing”

  1. BobP says:

    What about air-soft, paint ball, and simmunitions? Though I bet someone can imagine a scenario where these could be lethal as well.

  2. Sebastian says:

    I would argue AirSoft, Paintball and simmunitions have no legitimate place in teaching people the safe and responsible use of firearms for self-defense or sport. Simmunitions only in advanced tactical training, and Airsoft and Paintball are not shooting sports.

  3. DirtCrashr says:

    Encouraging Airsoft is surly what the Brady’s want most and is the road to the land of the InternetCommando (in black or cammo) and MySpace pages ruling over all…

  4. Ahab says:

    I’m with Sebastian, I don’t think that paintball or airsoft have any place in teaching people to shoot; they can be fine teaching tools but only after people already understand the basics of firearms safety.

  5. Phelps says:

    As someone who plays paintball, I can say that it is nearly impossible for them to be lethal (the only death I know about is from a woman who was hit by an improperly disconnected air tank, not a paintball) but they can seriously maim, especially the eyes, if misused.

  6. Sebastian says:

    Paintball guns are pretty much non-lethal, yes, but paintball also isn’t a shooting sport.

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