Air Soft Rifles – Are They Dangerous? [POLL]
Yesterday we had the story of one teen who was arrested for shooting an Airsoft gon at a youth football practice on Oaklyn.
I mused on air as to whether or not the arrest was warranted and concluded that it was.
According to the story:
Oaklyn Police say a teenager was arrested after witnesses say they saw him shoot an airsoft gun at a group of children practicing football.
Police say officers were dispatched Oct. 2 at about 6:15 p.m. to the Oaklyn Cougars Athletic Association practice facility on West Cedar Avenue for someone shooting a firearm.
Officers arrived and learned that the weapon was an airsoft gun and the alleged shooter was a 15-year-old male from Woodlynne.
Police say one child was hit but was not injured.
The 15-year-old was arrested and charged with assault and weapons possession.
However, when having the discussion, I was told by a number of callers that not only was the arrest in the case warranted, but that Airsoft rifles can be dangerous when in the hands of kids.
So I ask, are they dangerous?
In response, I got this letter last night from a 14 year old who doesn’t want to be identified:
I'm 14 years old, I got my first air soft gun when I was 12.
I never brought it to a school or even out in the street. Both of my parents are firearms proponents, and one parents is a member of of the NRA.
I have had air soft wars were I was shot in the face. If it is this "weapon" that you say it is, then I wouldn't be perfectly fine after being shot in the face with an air soft gun.
When I turned 14 my father taught me to shoot at a trap range.
Was this kid stupid: absolutely. But was he a direct threat to the safety of the general public: no.
Is this "training" for becoming a mass shooter. I apologize, but I would say you are irresponsible and a little incompetent for thinking that a child who uses a toy is a future mass murderer. (I did say he was practicing to become a mass murderer – perhaps overstating a bit…just a bit!)
This kid was an idiot with out a doubt. He should get a slap on the wrist, and walk away scared as hell, knowing never to do that again.
Should he be thrown in prison, stripped of his right to bear arms, and denied his privilege to vote: absolutely not.
Air soft guns are toys that should be treated as training for firearms use, including battle simulation.
There is almost nothing more dangerous then a gun owner who has no prior, or current experience with his firearm.
But are air soft guns "weapons", make no doubt, I have some air soft guns that will leave my opponent in a (voluntary) air soft battle with a nasty bruise. But I tell you what I told them,"you'll live".
But please, before you call some one a future mass murderer, please know your subject.
Almost all of the recent mass shooters were either mentally ill, or on a physiological drug. To my knowledge, Adam Lanza, and James Holmes never had an air soft gun.
I'm happy to know I have such young listeners who are "tweaked" to issues such as this!
So, in doing further reading about the Airsoft story, I came upon this comment made by a reader to the story I reference.
The definition of "firearm" in the NJ statutes potentially includes airsoft guns. The determination turns on whether or not the projectile fired from the gun can cause an injury to a person. From the comments here, that appears to be open to debate.
2C:39-1. Definitions. The following definitions apply to this chapter and to chapter 58:
f."Firearm" means any handgun, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, automatic or semi-automatic rifle, or any gun, device or instrument in the nature of a weapon from which may be fired or ejected any solid projectable ball, slug, pellet, missile or bullet, or any gas, vapor or other noxious thing, by means of a cartridge or shell or by the action of an explosive or the igniting of flammable or explosive substances.
It shall also include, without limitation, any firearm which is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person.
Weapon? Sounds to me, at least according to this definition, that it is. As to whether it can injure someone – sounds to me like it could.
Dangerous? You tell me!