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Fake vs. real guns; play vs. reality

Posted: March 12, 2014 - 2:45pm

Driving down Bartlett, my mind burning up over family issues like an engine on overdrive, I caught motion to the left. Two young men wearing tan camouflage with those rubber strap-like things on their chins (I don’t know military garb very well) walked along the large structure that is part of the CCC compound. They carried what looked like automatic rifles (I don’t know guns very well either).

Although not prone to acts of extrovert interactions, I stopped my car, rolled my window down and asked what kind of weapons those were and what they were doing. Perhaps my brain was stultified by my mulling over sibling difficulties, but at any rate, my blood pressure racheted up and my adrenaline kicked in. The two skinny, young men hesitated briefly, and one of them said they were air guns. Both of them smiled quite friendly and harmless like. He said, in a surprised, sort of astonished voice, that they weren’t terrorists. Obviously. White young males with beard fuzz. I immediately thought of the relentless shootings done by school children, disgruntled workers, overly reactive police officers and insane people, killing far more people than have been killed by foreign terrorists in good ol’ apple pie and gun loving America.

“This country doesn’t have to worry about terrorists,” I retorted sarcastically, rolled my window back up and continued through the late, gorgeous sunshine. I decided they were just playing soldier, all hyped up with pretend guns and dress. But then thoughts of Americans plugging Americans resurged in my mind,  and I called the police. Perhaps the guns were real, and the camouflage announced the real intent. Play can mimic reality, and sometimes it does so too well.

Katie Dawson

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treebarq
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treebarq 03/13/14 - 10:23 am
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Fake vs. real guns

So let's outlaw the fake guns and legalize pot... Then these young men can hang out all day getting stoned and not do any harm.... Yeah, right.

automobilie
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automobilie 03/13/14 - 12:39 pm
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Airsoft?

For those of you reading this that don't know what airsoft is; It's very similar to paintball though different in a variety of superficial ways (IE The core mechanic is the same). However, airsoft tends to be MUCH cheaper, cleaner, the accuracy is higher, and the damage from a tiny plastic BB is less than a 40g paintball. Also, by requiring less gear (Only eye protection), most airsoft players will dress up in camo gear and garb (It is kind of a dress up game, I know I've got my own set of gear!).

Although you're likely used to the cheap clear plastic guns sold at Walmart or Fred Meyer's, there's also the more hobby-grade level that this writer likely saw. These are better built airsoft guns, and are for a more mature player group (13+) and, though they have more power, are still just a glorified plastic shooting BB gun.

An airsoft gun can usually be distinguished from a real gun in that;
A. They have a bright orange tip usually
B. If they cycle the gun it'll definitely not sound like a firearm
C. Removal of the mag will reveal a plastic mechanism, not actual bullets
D. Very few people can afford an actual $15000 rifle....

We mostly play on private property or in secluded woods as long as we have permission from the owner. Though there's usually commercial game fields in more populated areas.

I've been airsofting for the better part of 8 years. It's an enjoyable and physical outdoor activity that appeals to younger generations, it's an alternative to drug use, and it can be a team-work building exercise. Since there's no marking paint players are required to play on the honor system and show integrity unless they want to be kicked from the games.

If your younger kids are interested in playing airsoft, make sure they at least wear proper eye protection and that they either use clearly fake guns or (If they're black), that your neighbors know that they're just out playing and not a danger to anyone.

You should also ensure that they know how to react if police do get called in. You could even go one step further (If they're young kids) and give the police station a heads up call if you expect your kids will be out for awhile so the officers know what to expect if someone does call in. However, you should still not let kids play in open public areas to avoid these situations! There's ample woods around town and usually a friend with plenty of land to play on.

Airsoft is a fun outdoor activity as long as you exercise proper safety and care. It can be shared by a wide range of ages and people. If you're interested in learning more about airsoft, a popular forum, ASF or Airsoft Forum, can be found through a quick google search. There's all sorts of guides to safety, rules, how to work on airsoft guns, and so much more.

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