Toy (ish) Gun Related Moral Question


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Isaac-1
March 21, 2012, 06:10 PM
I have a potential oportunity to be involved in a business that provides a playing field for paintball and other toy shooting sports that mostly involve shooting at opponents with projectile firing markers (guns). I am not sure where I draw my personal line about the idea of kids (teens) and adults going around playing a modern version of cowboys and indians, in fact it is a bit of a grey area and wanted your thoughts on the individual potential activities and how you would feel about supporting them:

Speedball paintball - a highly sporterized shooting game using non-realistic paintball guns played using inflatible barriers inside a netted off field with sports style protective gear.

Woodsball - similar gear to above, but often played in wooded outdoor areas with cammo clothing and protective gear.

Airsoft - more often played as a tactical close quarters SWAT team like game using highly realistic assault rifle looking guns that shoot plastic BB's (think guys dressed up as SWAT or Army troops with near perfect replicas of AK's, AR's etc) doing shoot house style encounters.

For me I don't have a problem with Speedball, but am not sure how I feel about people going around with realistic looking guns dressed up shooting plastic BB's at each other.

thanks for your thoughts

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The Lone Haranguer
March 21, 2012, 06:50 PM
This is nothing but a kid's game, only with bigger kids. Regardless of how silly I think it might be, it is a perfectly legal and safe activity. The only thing that would give me pause is how much money I could make off it. :D

rha600
March 21, 2012, 06:54 PM
I wouldn't have an issue with it. I kind of know what you mean, but that way of thinking is why we have issues with the anti gun people.


The fact that a gun looks real or looks "fake" is not different than a gun that looks ok like a bolt action .22 and a gun that the anti people say looks deadly, like an AR15 or AK.


It's just the looks, the fact is an airsoft can do as much damage, or be as safe as a paintball gun. I've never done the airsoft stuff but I've been hit many times with a .50 cal paintball going 300+ fps and that thing hurts. haha

AFDavis11
March 21, 2012, 06:59 PM
You'd create a bigger moral dilemma starting up a McDonalds.

ObsidianOne
March 21, 2012, 07:00 PM
What exactly is wrong with realistic looking guns and gear? Just make sure they have their orange tips and if playing in a non-sanctioned area make sure to clear it with local law enforcement and I see no issues.

Lightbringer
March 21, 2012, 07:08 PM
The airsoft community really hates it when kids play with airsoft weapons in normal public spaces. While technically legal, the extreme realism of the weapons often causes dangerous misunderstandings with other citizens and local law enforcement that (at best) result in negative press for airsoft and have the potential to end in tragedy.

Responsible airsoft owners restrict their usage of their airsoft weapons to private spaces such as their homes/ranches and commercial spaces such as paintball fields. If playing in a more public space, they clear it with local law enforcement and put up appropriate signage to avoid civilian confusion. They also treat their airsoft weapons as though they were real firearms at all times and only point them at other human beings when in a match with everyone wearing appropriate protective gear. And even during a match there are typically very specific engagement rules (such as not allowing use of high velocity rifles at ranges under 100ft, calling out for surrender if engaging someone with a standard AEG or GBB at distances under 20ft; etc) that must be followed.

As an owner of both actual firearms and airsoft weapons, it bothers me greatly to see people (kids or adults) playing with them in open public spaces (without signage and appropriate buffering between players and any portion of the space not in use by participants) and/or in an unsafe manner.

Rail Driver
March 21, 2012, 07:10 PM
Airsoft can be quite an effective training aid. I know several top tier training outfits that employ airsoft in some of their training courses.

TurtlePhish
March 21, 2012, 07:15 PM
I play airsoft with my friends sometimes. It's pretty fun if we can get together a good group. All informal though, nothing really "pro" or organized.

Lightbringer
March 21, 2012, 07:15 PM
As an owner of both actual firearms and airsoft weapons, it bothers me greatly to see people (kids or adults) playing with them in open public spaces (without signage and appropriate buffering between players and any portion of the space not in use by participants) and/or in an unsafe manner.

To clarify, this doesn't mean that an organized event with kids and adults is a bad idea. Just take care to hold it in a safe manner in an appropriate location. Airsoft actually is a good place to teach proper firearm handling under safer conditions and, as there is no external marker of a hit, really encourages and rewards honest play.

Konstantin835
March 21, 2012, 07:21 PM
I play paintball and would play airsoft more often if there were places to play around here. Its a lot of fun and could be a useful training tool if you wanted it to be. As long as you leave the tips of the airsoft guns orange than I see no problem.

Ranger30-06
March 21, 2012, 07:59 PM
I play airsoft all the time with my family and let me say, while it isn't exactly the best weapons training, it is excellent tactic training and very good as far as learning your surrounding environment in case you need to get moving in an emergency. It also teaches camouflaging as well as being some pretty great exercise. :D


Honestly, the pro's outweigh the cons, and as long as they aren't mixing guns with the airsoft guns or goofing off with real guns I don't see any issue with it.

Tim37
March 21, 2012, 08:05 PM
i dont see a problem with any of it. hell a lot of shooting ranges have tactical ranges a person can run. nobody has a moral delema with it.

i dont do paint ball or airsoft but i dont see much diffence in it and what we did back in the 80's with water guns

Telekinesis
March 21, 2012, 08:59 PM
I occasionally ref paintball at a local field, so I may be a bit biased, but I don't see anything wrong with it as long as you make sure everyone follows the safety rules. Keep people (kids and adults alike) from screwing around while they're off the field and you should be good.

As to owning a business like this, I don't think you'd be able to make much money. The ones around me, while not struggling to stay afloat, aren't rolling in cash either. If its what you love AND you're willing to take any earnings you make and roll it back into the company for the first 12-18 months (re:no paycheck for that period) then do it.
And another small piece of advise, maintain your access road. You have no idea how frustrating it is as a ref to not be able to come in because I couldn't find a ride as my car can't negotiate the ruts on the access road.

rjrivero
March 21, 2012, 09:19 PM
Where do I stand on this issue? Play on. Give them a place to get out and exercise while pelting each other with whatever. Beats the hell out of opening an internet cafe!!

Deus Machina
March 21, 2012, 10:32 PM
From a business standpoint, it may not be the best bet. You could be comfortable in the hayday of paintball (late 90's to 2005, maybe) but it was one of the things to fade when the economy tanked. Between the economy and politics between each other, even many of the manufacturers have gone bankrupt.

I'm a paintball player, myself. Yes, some of the players get in gear and like to pretend they're military--and know they're not when they're off the field--and more airsoft players tend to because the gear is more often designed for that.

Many more of the players just see it as a game. It's Counter-Strike to some. For most, it's capture-the-flag. It's tag. It's just an assisted version where the slow kid isn't always loosing.

Swing
March 21, 2012, 10:40 PM
You'd create a bigger moral dilemma starting up a McDonalds.

LOL! Indeed.

Deus Machina
March 21, 2012, 10:43 PM
Also: airsoft and paintball markers are not toys. Short of tripping over a log, pretty much the only way to get hurt worse than some bruising is to take your mask off and get an eye shot out.

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