Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Is The Problem Here?

Alright, this article kind of got me a little steamed. I am definitely not as composed as I probably should be here. I just have issue with people like this, not just regarding this subject but many many subjects. People like this just need to keep their opinions to themselves, but then again, they are probably saying the same thing about me. Read at your own risk...

(I have my own comments in the parenthesis after the article which is in quotes.)

"Everyone has probably heard concerned parents wondering if first-person shooters or other kinds of fighting videogames will have a negative impact on their children. In popular games like “Halo” and “Modern Warfare,” the graphics are frighteningly realistic with extensively detailed scenery, fluid character movements and all of the gory details that accompany a character getting shot or blown up.

"It’s one thing to leave all of the blood, gore and weaponry safely locked inside an Xbox console, but what about the toy guns, the Nerf shooter and the pellet guns that are available for even very young children?
I remember the brightly colored squirt guns of the ‘90s and the little hand held Nerf toys that shot out foam discs. Now, the toy aisles of most stores have a vast array of fake weapons. Nerf guns have ammo belts, laser sights and tripods, and squirt guns have turned into these monstrous water cannons that actually sting when they hit skin. Move a couple of aisles down and pellet guns are available in a variety of shapes and sizes with containers of shiny, plastic, pea-sized projectiles."
(Many have had the argument about the violence in video games. It is probably a justifiable concern. But where she takes this article is a little eccentric. It gets better so just keep reading.)

"I’ve been shot with a pellet gun as well; they do leave a mark and I’d say they’re definitely not a good idea for young children who don’t know how to aim away from the face, but my concern is how startlingly realistic these toy weapons look and what that means for children. Instead of a squirt gun looking like a ridiculous cartoon device only intended to shoot out water, many squirt guns or foam dart guns eerily mimic actual weapons."
(I am sure that when this author was shot by a pellet gun they were the nerd or the fat kid that was trying to tell the people with the toys in an overly superior tone that they should knock it off. If that was the case, I would have shot the little snot as well. Run home to mommy baby!)

"To me, the message that these realistic toys are sending children is that it’s OK to shoot guns and OK to have guns, because children are allowed to have them and they’re just toys. What would happen, then, if a parent left their handgun or hunting rifle in reach of a child who then grabbed it and proceeded to shoot it because it resembled a toy? How are children supposed to understand their guns may only shoot out a foam  dart with a suction cup while their parents’ guns hold actual ammunition?"
(It dang well better be okay to have guns. We have the right to own firearms in the constitution. The founding fathers of this great nation saw it as a liberty that shouldn't be extinguished, that everyone should have firearms for the protection of self, home, and country. So the question that lies here is this: Are we going to raise up a whole new generation of wussies? Wussies who are afraid of guns, because they don't know how to use them, and they have been told they are bad? What happens when this country is in trouble,  or there is ever a need for them to use one? They will be the typical Hollywood-portrayed freaks who are so afraid of touching anything "unclean" that when their generation is running the country, everything fun and tasty and exciting and stimulating of any kind will be outlawed. Just kill me now.)
Associate Bob, note the sissy hairstyle, the white gloves, the totally un-trendy robes. I don't want our society to end up like this. And it will if some people have their way.
"Young children won’t realize that real guns hurt people and can even kill people; a child’s understanding of the fragility of life and finality of death is limited at best. I had almost no comprehension of death as a child and, as an adult, I still struggle to realize that we all will die."
(Young children, teens and young adults know more than you think they do...and you, trust me on this one, know less than you think you do, as is the case with most overbearing adults. Children learn at an astonishing rate compared to adults. What the problem is here is a lack of education. They have parents that don't take the time to educate them. To set limits on them and help them understand the realistic implications of what they are doing. Here are two examples. A group of kids wants to go play Airsoft (Airsoft is the "realistic looking pellet guns"). They go into the woods in their neighborhood and start to shoot around. The guns may look real but they most definitely sound fake, incredibly fake. There isn't a chance in hell that anyone would mistake the sound of an Airsoft gun for the real thing. And these kids run around with their guns shooting each other and when people come walking through the woods they just keep playing and shooting. On their way home they walk around with their guns in view and even shoot each other and stop signs on the way home. There are a lot of things wrong with this scenario. Now for example two. There is a large group of Airsofters here in my neighborhood. They meet weekly for their Airsoft games. They go to a public location like the canyon, the woods, a field out in the middle of nowhere. They usually talk to the police before hand to let them know that they will be there. When they are on the field shooting each other up they are in full military gear. Their guns are more realistic looking than those of group one. They look like a military commando group. They aren't just running around yelling and shooting. They are hiding, strategically moving to corner and eliminate the other team. They look like pros. When someone walks down the trail and comes into the engagement zone they yell, "CIVILIAN!!" and the match stops immediately. They talk to the person telling them that they are just playing a game and they have stopped the game for them as they walk through so they don't need to worry and then when they are gone, play resumes. Who do you think will get the police called on them? Who do you think will cause panic in uneducated or overbearing adults? The point of these two scenarios is to show the difference between a kid with a gun who hasn't been educated and one who has. The second scenario always ends favorably whilst the first one sometimes ends up with the police being called and the kids getting in trouble and in the most extreme of cases being shot cause they won't put down their realistic looking gun. What are we teaching our kids if just because some are dumb and get shot while wielding an Airsoft gun then no one can have Airsoft guns? Is this really the message that we want to send to our kids? If this is the case then we shouldn't allow them to drive a car for fear they might get into an accident. Or they shouldn't be allowed to go to school cause there have been shootings at schools. Or they shouldn't be allowed to be at home cause burglars or fires or natural disasters. It just sounds more and more ridiculous as the list grows and grows. This reasoning isn't sound.)

"The vast majority of parents wouldn’t admit that they condone violence, yet many of these same adults buy airsoft guns for their children for Christmas without considering the implications of that action. Most of these parents probably wouldn’t let their child go out and shoot a real gun, but they’re telling these children that it’s  perfectly fine to shoot a fake gun with fake bullets because it’s not real."
(That's right, it's not real. But it can teach them how to properly handle a real weapon should they encounter one. I would be worried about the kids from scenario one earlier if they ran across a real weapon. That is how accidents happen. Now the kids from scenario two, if they found a gun, they might still think it is just as cool as the kids from one, but they would more likely handle it with respect. They would know not to point it at someone's head. They would know how destructive they could be. They wouldn't just go around pointing it at things shooting it. What do your kids know about guns? Which group would they or you yourself be associated with?)

"That is a very complex message to give to children in an already violence-saturated society. And, regardless of the implications of realistic toy weapons on a child’s perceptions, another aspect regarding fake guns must be considered. Given the fact that concealed-carry is legal with the correct permit and reports of homicides flow in daily from the big cities, how are people supposed to immediately distinguish a child’s toy from the real thing?

Imagine a group of children playing in a front yard, screaming in make-believe terror as their best friend points a foam dart gun or a group of adolescents hiding behind bushes in the park, ducking and rolling and shooting each other with pellet guns. How would these scenes appear to an individual walking by, and what if that individual was carrying an actual gun and perceived the situation as dangerous?"
(I covered this in my earlier paragraph. And if the person carrying an actual gun can't distinguish between kids with fake guns making that make fake sounds playing a game or gangsters having a real shootout, then they shouldn't be carrying a real gun. Someone carrying a gun goes through training to know how to handle a gun and how to handle situations that would involve real guns. And I hope to heaven that you don't carry a gun around author. If you do, I greatly distress over the safety of the kids in your neighborhood!! I wouldn't trust you with a gun for any amount of money. You are dangerous. Such bigoted ideas about guns and fake guns and nerf guns of all things is reckless! It is irresponsible! It is nearly reprehensible! How can you publish this crap? I sure hope that people are smart enough to recognize that there is nearly NO validity at all to what you are writing hear. Write from your corner of fear all you want, but don't spread your disease to others, keep it to yourself.)

"In Brownsville, Texas, an eighth-grade student was fatally shot by police because he refused to put down what police believed to be a real gun, according to a January 4 ABC News article by Christina Ng. School officials called 911 to report there was a student with a gun. The school was put on lockdown, and when the student pointed the gun at the police officers, the officers fired shots, at least two of which hit and killed the student. Afterward, the “weapon” was identified as a harmless pellet gun."
(The problem wasn't the Airsoft gun. The problem was that the kid had problems. None of us can adequately judge where he was coming from. What was going on in his life that prompted him to take a gun to school in the first place? What prompted him to keep the gun in his hand and then point it at the officers? The problem wasn't that it was an Airsoft gun at all, the problem was much deeper. Did he feel like he didn't have any friends? Did he feel like he was an outcast? Did he feel like his family hated him? Was he being abused? And a thousand other things that we will never know.)

"The eighth-grader really had no business bringing the pellet gun to school and there was no reason why he should have pointed it at the police officers, but if the pellet gun didn’t so closely resemble an actual weapon, the officers probably wouldn’t have fired. If the pellet gun was, say, lime green and didn’t have the same shape and size as the average handgun, the incident would have been a simple transgression of school rules.
In May 2011, a 15-year-old student at a school in New York brought a “realistic-looking toy Uzi and promised to ‘start shooting,’” according to a May 27, 2011 NY Daily News article by Rocco Parascandola and Ben Chapman. The teenager was arrested, but a girl who was present for the incident said she still doesn’t “feel safe at school,” according to the article. Even though no physical harm was done, consider the effects of this student’s actions; his classmates no longer feel safe at school, all because he pulled out a fake gun and made threats. This is another case that would have been much more of a non-issue if the toy gun did  not so closely mimic the real thing."
(I like how the author talks about it being the guns fault. It isn't the guns fault at all. He had his reasons for wanting to bring a realistic gun to school and then for pointing it at police officers. Again, that has nothing to do with the gun. If all Airsoft guns were "lime green and didn't have the same shape and size as the average handgun," he would have found a different realistic looking weapon. And if he was looking to die, which we don't know but can assume because of his actions, then he might have found any number of other ways to take his life. I have had many friends take their lives just from my neighborhood growing up. I grew up in a small town in a nice neighborhood. Everyone knew everyone else. It still happened, and we didn't have realistic looking Airsoft guns. Those kids had their own reasons for doing what they did. Are we going to ban all cars from the roads because people walk in front of them? Or because people crash and die in them? That seems a little extreme. Cars are too realistic because they are dangerous and cause accidents, they must all be banned! Just because some guy got in an accident doesn't mean that I should have my rights restricted. I love to drive. I am not an idiot behind the wheel because I have educated myself on how to drive, how to be respectful to others on the road, how to obey traffic signals, etc. Again, it isn't about Airsoft guns looking real, it is about the person behind the gun. This battle has never been about Airsoft guns, it is about the right to have a gun in the first place. I go back to the inspired genius of the founding fathers who wrote our beautiful constitution, they had the right idea. They had the vision to know what they felt were the most fundamental rights for us to have. The saying, "Guns don't kill people. People kill people," comes to mind. If someone is looking to hurt someone, or hurt themselves it doesn't matter whether Airsoft guns look real or not, they WILL find another way. The focus should be on the real problems in these situations. When a doctor diagnoses you with a sickness or disease he doesn't only treat the symptoms, he cures the sickness/disease. We need to cure the disease, not just treat the symptoms.)

"Realistic toy weapons just aren’t healthy for children or for society. Introducing toys to young children that mimic their deadly counterparts only ingrains the use of violence and guns and normalizes their use. Children are bound to want to send projectiles at one another, but if there have to be any toy weapons, why do they have to look like weapons? Make them goofy shapes and ridiculous colors and maybe the grip of militarization will ever-so-slightly lessen. "
(Your clarion call here author will inspire some to side with you, but you lack understanding of the situation and your misguided blame will turn people away from your cause. I suggest you get more factual knowledge under your belt and you learn to write about real problems instead of your misguided take on the symptoms of what is going on. It sounds like there are more issues here with you, author, than you wrote here in your article. "...the grip of militarization," I don't know what to say about that. Wow, maybe you should write an article about that instead of trying to push your extremist viewpoints in an article about something that is totally off-topic for this kind of message. Thank you for your time, you gave me something to do today.)

If you are looking for realistic Airsoft guns and accessories, then come to the one-stop online and retail store stop, HobbyTron.com. Where Awesome Happens!!

--This fun article was brought to you by the Kansas State Collegian. View the original article here.

Here is a comment from a reader posted on the article on the Kansas State Collegian site.

Mon Jan 23 2012 13:48
Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but holy cow Kaylea. perhaps we should remove out thumbs to keep children from using their hands as toy guns. The solution to your issue is good parenting, I grew up around both real and play guns, from a very early age i knew the difference between the two and the proper handling of each. I have had interaction with the police half a dozen times while in the possession of realistic airsoft guns, you know why I didnt get shot? Thats right you guessed it, I complied with their commands and the issues were resolved with out arrest or blood shed.You should be embarrassed that this article has your name on it.

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