A Few More Words On Airsoft Safety
As with most other physical sports or activities, there are a lot of safety issues that need to be addressed before getting started with Airsoft. Even though it is designed for fun and entertainment, Airsoft can be potentially dangerous or harmful to players and non-players alike. We as Airsoft players need to show responsibility when it comes to our game and activities. For these reasons it is imperative that before playing Airsoft, new players are informed with the knowledge of Airsoft safety as well as the importance of Airsoft safety rules.
Airsoft is an activity that is increasing greatly in popularity, even amongst teenagers and kids. Would you allow your child to own and operate an Airsoft gun? If you are considering an Airsoft gun for your child or teenager, there are things you should consider. Even though Airsoft guns shoot plastic BBs, they can still put out an eye or chip teeth if your child does not wear proper Airsoft safety gear (such as a wire-mesh face mask). Also, most Airsoft guns look real enough to fool the police, and an unsupervised child waving an Airsoft gun around could be arrested or even worse – get shot – by a law enforcement officer.
Be sure your child knows that having an Airsoft gun means exercising responsibility when playing target practice in the backyard or playing with friends. You and your child should both become aware of firearm safety guidelines; talk with your child’s Airsoft buddies and their parents to make sure that everyone is aware of the rules and safety precautions. When your child is not playing Airsoft, be sure to lock up or put away Airsoft guns out of reach and in a safe place to reduce the possibility of accidents. Actively supervise your child and their friends’ Airsoft games along with other parents; make sure that your child and his or her friends are wearing the appropriate protective masks and gear. Watching them play shows that you want them to stay safe, and it shows that you share an interest in what your child enjoys. As long as you keep these things in mind, you and your child can have loads of fun enjoying Airsoft together.
One of the most crucial points when learning Airsoft safety is to learn and know that Airsoft guns are NOT toys.
A lot of people view Airsoft guns as child’s toys and hold them with the same regard as BB guns, which is a very foolish mistake. Airsoft guns are exact 1:1 replicas of real military firearms, and they are often even made of the same materials and operate in the same manner, even though they do not shoot real bullets. Airsoft guns can fire plastic BBs at speeds of 200 to 300 feet per second, and without proper protective gear have the potential to cause real damage to uncovered skin, eyes, and teeth. Airsoft guns need to be treated as if they are real firearms loaded with bullets. When not in use, they should have the safety on and the magazines removed from them, and stored in a place where they will not be tampered with. Owning an Airsoft gun requires common sense and responsibility on the part of the owner, and in inexperienced hands, it could cause real damage. Exercise caution with your Airsoft guns and equipment – they are not toys, they are real weapons, and a truly responsible player should be able to properly balance fun with Airsoft along with the responsibility of following safety guidelines.
Protective gear is one of the most important elements of Airsoft safety. The BBs fired at such a high speed and force can do real damage to people and animals even though they are only made of ABS plastic. Most Airsoft teams and groups require certain protective gear such as masks, goggles, gloves and occasionally, some players wear protective cups or knee and elbow pads under their clothing. Camouflage clothing made out of canvas or other heavyweight fabrics is also often suggested and worn amongst Airsoft players. Goggles for Airsoft have to adhere to special regulations, and goggles made for other purposes, such as dust and wind protection or skiing goggles are definitely not to be used for Airsoft protection. Masks for Airsoft are made out of wire mesh or thick plastic to protect the face and some models even include removable throat guards. Heavy clothing is optional but should be considered to keep BBs from breaking the skin or causing welts or bruises if you take a few hits. Though good safety gear does cost a few extra dollars, being protected and safe is well worth it. Being injured because of carelessness is something that should be avoided at all costs.
Lastly, and most importantly, as a responsible Airsoft player, you should always do your best to follow the rules and guidelines of Airsoft safety. There are really only a few simple rules, and they are not hard to adhere to. Airsoft guns should always be treated like real guns, and should be respected in the same manner. If there is a safety function, it should be turned on whenever you are not playing Airsoft, and removing the ammunition magazine is also recommended to prevent accidental firing accidents. (You should also always keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to fire for exactly the same reason.) Always wear protective gear when playing Airsoft – you can be seriously injured if you are not wearing your mask and goggles. Incidentally, you should never fire at anyone that is not wearing protective Airsoft equipment, ESPECIALLY police officers. Airsoft guns are almost undistinguishable from real weapons, and minors have been shot because of ridiculous stunts like waving their Airsoft guns in front of policemen. Above all, use your common sense, and you will not only have a great time playing Airsoft, but you will set a good example as a responsible Airsoft player.