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Thread: Parents: what do you think of airsoft guns?

  1. #1
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    Parents: what do you think of airsoft guns?

    My sons came in from playing around the neighborhood last night (they are 11 and 8), and reported that some friends of theirs had airsoft guns, and they'd been playing "war games" with them. I didn't think too much of it until my younger ds showed me the pellets they used - 6mm hard plastic pellets. I was immediately concerned about the safety of these, and got online this morning to find out more. It turns out airsoft guns are real guns, not toys, and are actually banned in some states. I now have an 11yo who is very upset with me because he thinks I'm overreacting . I'm just wondering what other parents have experience with these - do you let your kids play with them? If so, what are the rules (if any)?
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  2. #2
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    My son has one, but was not able to get one until he was 13 (I am pretty sure that is the law in CO, but in any case it was my law). The three boys that he plays with understand the rules, and as two of them are from military families, they understand the safety of guns. They are only allowed to play in the backyard of one friend's house, and they wear safety goggles at all time. There is no intentional shooting at a face and there is no shooting at close range, but I won't lie, it can happen. My son is not allowed to play with anyone other than these three other boys. I know them, I know their parents, I know the rules that they have implemented. I will tell you that they played with them quite often when they first got them, but now it just once every three or four months. We live in a military town, and my son wants to go into the military by way of the academy or ROTC. I guess I am not thrilled with him having one of these guns, but I trust him and the group of friends that he plays with when he uses it.

    I will say that my son has had bigger injuries (meaning welts) from paintball than he has ever received from an airsoft gun.

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  3. #3
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    So this is basically a pellet gun? I know a woman on another message board who lost her nephew in an accident shooting with a pellet gun. IMO 13 year old boys are not trustworthy with these types of weapons. I've seen what they'll do with BB guns.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbrogier
    So this is basically a pellet gun? I know a woman on another message board who lost her nephew in an accident shooting with a pellet gun. IMO 13 year old boys are not trustworthy with these types of weapons. I've seen what they'll do with BB guns.
    From what I've read, airsoft pellets don't travel as fast as BB gun pellets, so presumably the risk isn't as great. One of my classmates in grade 10 lost an eye with a pellet gun (he and his friends were horsing around with it), so I know the damage they can do - I'm sure the same potential for eye injury exists with airsoft guns. I'm leaning towards letting older ds play with them only under adult supervision, and only with proper protective goggles (I'll need to see the actual guns first, though). I can't see me buying one anytime soon, however.
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  5. #5
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    FWIW is worth, my son also has a bow and arrow that he uses under adult supervision as well. There is always the potential for injury, but there is potential for injury when I let them ride their bikes to the trail that requires them to ride on a somewhat busy street. I guess my point is, you have know your kids, know the kids that they are playing with, implement the rules and then decide. I probably am more worried when I see my son jumping on a trampoline than when I know he and his buddies are playing with their airsoft guns.

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  6. #6
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    this has become a big topic at my house. My ten year old wants one. The other day he went to a friend's house and the dad asked me if it was okay if my son played with the airsoft gun. He showed me the goggles attached to a helmet they wear and stated they would be supervised. I said in theory I have no problem with the guns, but absolutely NOT until my son has been thoroughly trained by us and observed by us to be using the safety precautions and only under supervision by us or parents that we know that are as cautious as we are. We would also require (if we do get one) that said gun be locked up in the same manner that I would require a regular gun to be put away. I don't want to start a whole guns vs. no guns debate, but to put it simply---I think it's important for my kids to learn about guns. I realize there are many logical and reasonable arguments to do otherwise, but that is just what we have chosen for our family.

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    I have never heard of these - when I saw the title of the thread, I thought it was meant those plastic things that shoot a Nerf-type disc or ball. Then I Googled the term "airsoft guns" and saw the real thing! They are described as scaled-down replicas of Berettas and other real guns. It looked a little scary to me.

    I would not feel comfortable with my son using one of these. I realize that a "no gunplay" rule is idealistic and unrealistic to have, however I don't have to make it easy for him or more realistic for him to engage in 'war type' games. If he wants to play with fake guns, I'd rather have him have to scrounge around and make one out of Legos, or something, than give him this as a toy. I feel the same way about paintball - those paintballs can do damage accidentally, my neighbors had to do some repairs to their front door after a local teenager shot it with his paintball gun.

    My 11 YO son has not heard of these guns, so I am just glad he is content to shoot hoops outside!

  8. #8
    Last week my son played with air-soft guns with a neighbor boy . I had never heard of them until then. He came home with red welts all over his face.....looked like he had a bunch of big mosquito bites. I freaked out over THAT and he tried to reassure me by telling me not to worry, the marks are just from an air-soft gun!

  9. #9
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    A little boy who used to ride my bus died from a brain injury received when one of the pellets went through his eye and lodged in his brain... a very freak accident, that could have been avoided.
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  10. #10
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    FWIW, DH just had to kick a kid out of the university residence halls for having one of these on campus.

  11. #11
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    The woman I was talking about lost her nephew when another boy shot him at close range in the chest. It penetrated his heart. You wouldn't think a plastic pellet would have that kind of force, but I've seen guys shoot themselves in the foot with BB guns and that leaves quite a mark.

    Paint guns have round liquid filled pellets. The impact is quite different. I would rather any kids I know or take care of play with THOSE than pellet guns.

    I also wouldn't let kids play around with guns that look so real. That's just asking for trouble if someone assumed it was a real weapon and thought they were in danger. I think any "toy" gun should be flourescent green, yellow, or orange.
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  12. #12
    I myself am not a parent, but I feel that many parents are poorly informed about airsoft. Here are some big mistakes:

    1: Airsoft are not BB or pellet guns people think of. They do not use a metal BB, and rarely use a hard plastic BB. Soft Plastic BB's are most comonly used. They do not leave welts, or should not. The most high powered rifles may leave a small welt if used at close range, but that is only if it is at close range with no arm protection. As long as the person being shot is wearing long clothing (Blue jean, sweater) I do not see it likely that they would get hurt.

    2: If done right, no one should get injured at all while airsofting. One of the few risks is a BB going into an eye, and that rarely happens for a couple reasons. One, to hit someone in the eye would be very difficult and Two, everyone I know who airsofts always wears goggles of some sort. Every airsoft company I know recomends goggles also.

    3: People do not die all the time from airsofting. I have heard of extremely few cases where people died, and all of those cases involved hard or metal BB's, not eye protection, and guns that had been tinkered with (made so they shoot harder. The only other case I've heard of someone dying was when a policeman mistaked the gun for a real gun. There is a simple fix for this. Have you or your child paint the gun another color (bright colors work best, such as yellow or white), and always make sure your child's gun has an orange tip (required by law). This makes them resemble squirt guns more than real guns.

    I am not suggesting however that you should let young children airsoft. I personally never let my little brothers touch my guns, and most of my friends are the same. We all acknowledge that airsofting requires a certain ammount of responsability, which ten year olds don't always have. In fact, you must be 18 to buy a gun by yourself. If you have a parent with you, or a written permission, you may buy one at 14 in most states. I myself say 14 is an okay age to let them airsoft. I started at 13.

    The final thing is the difference between airsoft and paintball. While paintball guns look less releistic, they hurt much more when they hit. It is also easier to make it more painful, by adjusting the power of your gun or freezing the paintballs. A frozen paintball can punch a 3 in. hole in solid wood. So, that is a decision you must make yourself.

    But if your child shows intrest in airsoft or paintball, give them a chance. At least talk to someone who has airsofted before, to get the inside scoop.

    HAve a good day,

    The teendefener

  13. #13
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    I just read your thread starter, I have not been able to read the responses yet. I only have a few minutes so I thought that I would respond now and read later.

    My sons came home from a friends house and wanted them too. I was very much against them at first and said absolutely not. He continued to bug me about it and after speaking to the mother of his friend and talking it over with DH, I agreed to let him have one. I really thought they were for shooting other things like cans or targets, and was very upset when they (DH bought himself one as well) got home with them and ran around the yard shooting each other. That is, until I walked outside with a scowl on my face and DH shot me on my backside. It stung a little bit, but I realized that it wasn't really painful and didn't come close to making a mark or anything. Paintballs are much more painful than ASG. I'm o.k. with them playing with them now. I do have very strick rules, however, when it comes to playing with them. If you have an AS gun in your hands, you and everyone around you has to have on safety glasses. If someone walks outside and does not have on glasses, all guns have to be put down. No shooting at or around the head, and no shooting at close range. And I always have to have parents permission before anyone is allowed to play with one. My boys know that if they do not follow the rules, the guns will go away. They have been very responsible with them.

    The only thing that bothers me about them is the pellets themselves. They are everywhere in my yard. I really think they need to made so that they dissolve when it rains. Maybe even have fertilizer on the inside to help my lawn.

  14. #14
    I don't know much about airsoft guns (although I do thank teendefender for the informative post!), but I have to say that I'm really wary of letting my kids run around shooting (pretend) guns at people. My son (7) already knows how to shoot a BB gun, and he will soon learn how to hunt, but we are extremely diligent about gun safety, and reminding him that you never ever EVER aim a gun at a person. I'm thinking that argument would go right out the window with these guns.

  15. #15

    Thumbs up therrrrrre great

    it all depends on the age and if they are responsable and if they are trustworthy and all these posts about people dieing and losing eyes all of it could be provented if they wore safty goggles. i play airsoft myself never had an accident on my part or wth any of my friends.

  16. #16
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    I had never heard of airsoft guns before I saw this thread, but we too own guns, my DH hunts, and as leightx commented, the cardinal rule is never EVER to point any sort of gun at another human being, or at an animal that you don't intend to kill. It's a safety measure that needs to be ingrained in any person who is going to use a gun, and it would be impossible to inculcate a child with this principle if he or she were allowed to play with a gun that looks like a Beretta. It also completely negates any attempt to teach respect for a weapon. As crazy as the world seems to be getting, I wouldn't let a kid of mine near one. However, that's a decision that everyone has to make for himself; the parents who are allowing their children's guests to play with these things without getting parental permission first are totally irresponsible. It doesn't even sound as though some of them are using safety goggles.

    ClaraB, I would check with a law enforcement agent to see how legal it is for children to be playing with these things freely in your neighborhood; if in fact it's against the law, it would help your son to see how inappropriate that behavior was. At the very least I'd talk to the children's parents who had them, if you know them, and express concern. Someone could have been injured.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverFarm View Post
    I had never heard of airsoft guns before I saw this thread, but we too own guns, my DH hunts, and as leightx commented, the cardinal rule is never EVER to point any sort of gun at another human being, or at an animal that you don't intend to kill. It's a safety measure that needs to be ingrained in any person who is going to use a gun, and it would be impossible to inculcate a child with this principle if he or she were allowed to play with a gun that looks like a Beretta. It also completely negates any attempt to teach respect for a weapon. As crazy as the world seems to be getting, I wouldn't let a kid of mine near one. However, that's a decision that everyone has to make for himself; the parents who are allowing their children's guests to play with these things without getting parental permission first are totally irresponsible. It doesn't even sound as though some of them are using safety goggles.

    ClaraB, I would check with a law enforcement agent to see how legal it is for children to be playing with these things freely in your neighborhood; if in fact it's against the law, it would help your son to see how inappropriate that behavior was. At the very least I'd talk to the children's parents who had them, if you know them, and express concern. Someone could have been injured.
    This thread is from 2006.
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    Thanks, Joe. That will teach me not to look more carefully!
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverFarm View Post
    Thanks, Joe. That will teach me not to look more carefully!
    I will never understand why the spammers go and find topics that are 6 years old and post under them. I've posted under them too before thinking they were recent - why would you think otherwise?

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    And teendefender looked like a spammer, too, at first glance, since there was only one post, but I figured that since he or she seemed legitimate, the next person was also. Just didn't think to look at the dates!
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  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Shugness View Post
    I will never understand why the spammers go and find topics that are 6 years old and post under them. I've posted under them too before thinking they were recent - why would you think otherwise?
    I was thinking the same thing. How do you even find this obscure thread from 2006? Do you google airsoft guns and then respond.

    This response wasn't as insanely off topic as some are which means that a person actually thought it was a good use of their time. Of course I have also read that when there are *humans* rather than bots doing stuff, it often emanates from third world countries where the price paid to the spammers still makes it theoretically worthwhile.

    For what, I can't imagine though.

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