Airsoft Guns Aren’t Toys

The Washington Post ran an article last Sunday on an encounter by a bunch of kids who broke into their school to play airsoft, and sheriff’s deputies with real guns.

Some parents say the guns are fairly harmless, especially with safety goggles and supervision, just a step beyond laser tag and Nerf guns, a less-expensive and cleaner cousin to paintball. Officials at a major airsoft importer said that safety should be a priority and that the guns are marketed for adults.

Some parents think it’s harmless to give their kids pot and throw boozer parties for the kids and kids’ friends too.  I do not advocate banning airsoft guns, as many do, but they aren’t toys, and parents that let their kids run around the neighborhood with them are stupid.

As for Airsoft the game, I have no problem with it if it’s done at a field designated for it, and the proper safety equipment is used.  I’ve done paintball before, and it’s fun.  But I can’t help but wonder whether it would be better for kids to have exposure to the shooting sports, rather than airsoft, so that they can learn that the firearms they see in video games aren’t toys to be played with.

12 thoughts on “Airsoft Guns Aren’t Toys”

  1. My nephews and I have shot each other with airsoft bb’s and they HURT, even through jeans. One of my nephews shot me in the leg from 8″ away and a blood blister formed. They absolutely are not toys to be given nilly-willy to unsupervised children. The ban-happy crowd offer no real common-sense solutions to anything except to simply ban it. Geez. To me, airsoft guns are not a problem. Breaking into a school is and should be charged as such. I don’t know who’s stupider, people who create a problem with perfectly legal items, or the people who try to ban them because of that. Goes to show that stupid is as stupid does.

  2. This is one of the things I haven’t gotten around to blogging on. Since I ran across airsoft, it struck me as a really good way to instill REALLY BAD habits and attitudes towards firearms in kids.
    While I agree that they shouldn’t be banned, I think that there needs to be a little more respect shown them than a lot of people do.

  3. I think that trying to introduce anybody to the shooting sports via airsoft or paintball is ultimately a fool’s errand, because properly understood airsoft and paintball aren’t shooting sports. They have more in common with tag, capture the flag, and military reenactment than they do any kind of recreational shooting you can imagine, even IPSC-style matches.

  4. I’d agree, but I’d be lying.

    Ok, I agree it’s not a way to introduce someone to the shooting sports, but it’s a great way to play “guns”.

    Better than what I had as a kid. Those metal BB’s really hurt. =)

  5. I feel I have to disagree.

    Airsoft is both – a shooting sport and a MILSIM/realistic way to play “guns.”

    Hear me out.

    I’ve done both. I spent several years and several thousand dollars on the MILSIM aspect of the game. Proper period uniform, weapons, travel to designated fields with hundreds of others. A little like Civil War re-enactors…on full auto with plastic BB’s. And yes, I agree it is stupid as hell to have that kind of weaponry and dress running around, say, a high school. It’s a good way to get shot, and it falls to the parents not to let their kids be that dumb. It’s also stupid not to use safety gear. As they say, it’s all fun and games until someone puts an eye out, and then it’s fun and games you can’t see.

    As a shooting sport and a way to introduce new shooters, airsoft guns have their niche. In Japan or Hong Kong, where it originated, the only way to shoot IPSC is with an airsoft pistol, and they’re just as expensive and tricked out as full on race guns used in IPSC here. Search google for “IPSC airsoft”. It’s fun too, and incredibly freeing, to be able to set up a course of fire in ones own living room, bedroom, etc. What better way to practice for home defense than IN the home.

    Additionally, a gas blow-back pistol, using HFC22 gas, recoils about as realistically as a .22. BB’s will, within 25ft or so, fly reliably to point of aim. They have realistic controls, realistic ergonomics and realistic sights. In other words, using nothing but an airsoft pistol in my garage, I can completely take a new shooter thru the four rules, thru muzzle discipline, thru controls and nomenclature, thru proper storage and handling, thru target acquisition, thru proper sighting and thru trigger control.

    Before ever loading a live round and paying for a spot on a range, I have instilled the basics and made the shooter comfortable with operation and handling. Additionally, while learning, the shooter is not endangering themself or anyone else with a stray muzzle or clingy trigger finger. An ND with a 6mm BB is a _bit_ more survivable than a .22 or 9mm, and it manages to teach the lesson without any pesky funerals or ER visits.

  6. Found this interesting blog after a google search.

    Iv been looking into these Airsofts for the kids but they do seem to be dangerous. Maybe not life threatened but could certainly take an eye out. Its made me think twice about them, but teach them young with airsoft and the should be safer if and whenthey take up real guns on the estate.

  7. Martin:

    I think airsoft is fine for kids, as long as they are supervised by adults. If I had kids, I would let them use airsoft guns to practice shooting. But I wouldn’t let them run around the neighborhood with them, and the guns would stay under my control when not in use.

  8. Also, I make sure all mine are of the clear plastic variety.

    No real looking toy guns in my house.

    No toy looking real guns, for that matter. But that’s another subject, isn’t it? =)

  9. Josh has it right on. Airsoft has its place, and its shortcomings to the real thing. Airsoft is MUCH more 1:1 when traiing somone how to use the real steel. Even down to the weight on some guns. I too would use an Airsoft gun for training purposes, especially when instilling the 4 rules into someone. I’ll take a 6mm BB hit anyday before a .22 hit.
    I have an airline pilot aquantiance who is part of the FFDO program, and he bought a matching Airsoft version of his carry gun to practice drawing and handling with. Think of it as dry practice with snap caps that actually fires something- with a bit of recoil.

    But just like paintball Airsoft can be dangerous if used by unsepervised children (or even “unsupervised adults”). And absolutely not to be played in open public, or breaking into buildings– idiotic.

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