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Should parents allow kids the use of Airsoft guns?

When your child is writing his wish list for Santa Claus or for his/her birthday and you read that he/she wants an “Airsoft gun”, you don’t have to be alarmed. Air soft guns are harmless providing safety rules are observed. Airsoft shooting is probably one of the safest and most popular sports enjoyed in the world today. But, still there are some people that think they should be banned. So before you agree or disagree and in particular if you consider purchasing anything and in especially anything to do with sports and shooting you always should do some background research.

What are Airsoft guns?
Airsoft guns are realistic-looking TOY guns that fire small plastic bullets to ranges of 25 to 45m at speeds of around 75 - 100 meters per second. Airsoft game is a paintball-like team game that's originally come out of Japan. These guns are often high end reproductions of today's most favorite conventional firearms, both rifles and handguns.

But let's give this matter a thought. Forget the air/BB gun you know from when you were a kid. You remember the one that shot out a neighbor’s kitchen window. Or maybe the time that you or someone you knew shot a small whole in the car door. Some one might have already been telling you, it isn’t a BB gun, it's an Airsoft gun. It shoots a light weight (soft) plastic BB. It will not and cannot break the neighbors' windows or ruin a cars paint job.

Many people mistakenly believe that the Airsoft gun is just the newer version of the BB gun that they know from their youth. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Airsoft guns have been around for almost 30 years. While many of the air guns of old were used for hunting, Airsoft guns are designed for recreational activities such as paintball, indoor/outdoor target practice or simulated combat.

Where do they come from?
It started in Japan were the ownership of real guns were illegal. The people, who are known as great hobbyist, created highly detail metal replicas of real guns that fired non-lethal plastic pellets. These replicas became common in the Japanese market so company started producing the guns to other countries such as Korea, Philippines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Eventually, these Airsoft guns traveled to the USA and UK and became very popular.

Types of Airsoft Guns:
There are 3 different types of Airsoft guns available: spring operated, gas operated, or battery powered.

The spring operated guns work on mechanical power. For each shot, you need to cock the gun by pulling back the bolt. Gas powered guns use compressed carbon dioxide to shoot the BB.

The electric Airsoft guns are the most complex guns. One of the advantages of these guns is that they can be operated in both full and semi-automatic modes. Electric-powered Airsoft guns typically use a rechargeable battery to drive an electric motor, which cycles an internal piston/spring assembly in order to launch pellets. Automatic and semi-automatic operation is possible which gives these guns the popular name "automatic electric guns" or AEGs. They are the most commonly used and widely available type of Airsoft gun. Good for both of experts and beginners, especially for beginners.

Instead of shooting metal pellets of BBs, these guns fire a 6 millimeter plastic BBs’. Combined with the lower barrel velocities, this mean these guns are safer to operate. Because of this, Airsoft guns are often used in simulated combat for either training or sport purposes.

In Paintball for example; there are so many different brands of guns to choose from and how do you know which one to choose? One style of gun is the gas blowback air pistol. Some of these markers are cheap gas and electric air soft guns from $50 to $200. These guns are for those beginner players that are just starting out. The more experienced players play with markers that cost anywhere from $ 400 to $ 2000 plus. The experienced players take the game much more seriously, they are weekend players and tournament players not a once a month player. They started out just like you.

Like other sports there are lots of different accessories that come with Airsoft Guns: scopes, blue lights, lasers, masks, cases, holsters, slings, cross hair scopes, batteries, chargers, targets, tactical vests, apparel, and more. Also, Airsoft upgrades and modifications, Spring and Gas Airsoft Gun upgrades, external Airsoft Electric Gun (AEG) upgrade, internal Airsoft Electric Gun (AEG) upgrades, mounts, and weaver rails.

Now, the question whether an Airsoft Gun is safe or not and if they should be banned?: Well after hundreds of neighborhood Airsoft battles involving a dozen or so kids, there has not been any reported injuries. Unlike football which often can result in a broken thumb or basketball in which ankles and knees get a lot of stress, Airsoft has been a very safe activity for children and adults. Not to mention, it gets your family moving.

So, when you are watching your children open those boxes on Christmas morning you will be pleased. You will see them play with the Airsoft gun together with a protective mask, goggles and gloves. These generations of kids were raised on riding helmets and seatbelts just automatically wear protective gear without thinking about it.

Choose your markets carefully. All players should be wearing the proper equipment. Everyone should be wearing safety glasses and the proper attire. When using these markets make sure the safety is on until you are ready to shoot because these markers can go off accidentally, almost like a real gun. Make sure that when you play that these guns are regulation and are allowed to be used where you play.

Observe the law and observe your and other people’s safety at all times.


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