Tuesday, December 27, 2005
The use of cover is a good way to gain and keep the tactical advantage. We will call this “cheating,” and in the context of a gunfight, cheating is good! Dueling (standing at 10 paces as you and your antagonist lob projectiles at each other) is a sure fire way to get yourself killed.
While conducting training for my agency’s detectives, I was astounded as to how many of their techniques fell apart when they, while armed with Simunitions® had to 1) neutralize a threat; 2) from cover, while; 3) getting shot at by a suspect (yours truly) armed with a paintball gun. As I fired paintballs on their positions of cover, they were instructed to make hits on me while minimizing their own exposure. All manner of contortions and positions were assumed, but what won time after time were the following tactics:
img alt="shooting technique" src="http://www.officer.com/article/photos/1135116928215_387-sm.jpg" />
Modify your stance based on the type of cover. This means that if you have narrow cover you must get narrow. Short cover requires you get small. Just get the most that you can behind the cover position. This requires that you practice getting into positions wherein you can properly use cover and accurately fire. You never want to do something for the first time while in a gunfight. This is why we practice and why we must practice using different heights, sizes and types of cover.
Stay at least an arm’s reach away from cover. If you hug your cover position you are limited in your movement and may be hit by secondary projectiles or shrapnel, if bullets hit the surface in front of you. It seems that some people equate being close to cover with safety, but just the opposite is true. Closeness limits your response options and is actually more dangerous.
Don’t quick peek. I was taught the use of the quick peek in officer survival training years ago. It is vastly overrated. The theory is that, with a quick peek, you can find your assailant while minimizing your own exposure. The problem is frequently the quick bob-out-and-back doesn’t let you get enough visual input to see much of anything, and if you do, once you’re behind cover the suspect may move. Also, when peeking, you are in no position to shoot. I had numerous detectives that tried to use this technique repeatedly, only to catch a paintball on their face mask. In training we call this “learning.” On the street we call this “getting shot.”
Be on your sights before exposing yourself from cover. Align the sights behind cover. When you roll out, find the bad guy and place that alignment on the suspect (this is called “sight picture”). Don’t try to move out from cover, then align the sights find the suspect, and make the shot. This takes too much time and exposes you while you’re doing it. Reduce the process by already having the sights aligned.
Roll out. I’ll credit John Farnam with recommending this technique. The idea is to roll your upper body out from cover versus stepping out. It is accomplished by getting a solid base behind cover with one or the other foot forward, and rolling out from the waist. I’ve seen it successfully done with a variety of foot positions.
Shoot around, not over, cover. The exception is long low cover, like a wall where you cannot shoot around. Our eyes are positioned one third of the way down from the top of our heads. When we shoot over cover, we expose a lot of target before we are able to see and return fire. So, shoot around cover by rolling out from the side.
Reload behind cover. If at all possible, do all speed and tactical reloads behind cover, as well as any malfunction clearance drills. You are susceptible to fire while reloading. If cover is available, while not perform these pistol operations while safely ensconced? In my opinion, all malfunction drills should be done behind cover. Think of it—do you really want to be clearing a double feed out in the open while the suspect is busting caps in your direction? Even if your double feed clearance drill is drawing a second gun, wouldn’t this be more safely accomplished from behind cover?
Now that you’ve learned the lessons my officers and I did, go out and practice the use of cover. As you go through your daily routine, be cover conscious. Work around your house, car or other points of cover. Use Airsoft or Simunitions® for a safe force-on-force training exercise. While on the range, increase the amount of practice in which you use cover, move to cover, and shoot while moving to cover. While doing simulation training, if you have a bad guy role player armed with a marking cartridge pistol ready to tag you if you give him or her the chance, I guarantee you’ll approach the use of cover with a little bit more realism and not like some TV detective.
Monday, December 19, 2005
The two girls and a boy have been suspended and face potential expulsion as well, officials said.
“This does not happen often at all, but to have this many in a couple-week period …,” Superintendent Marty Lucas said.
On Monday, one student was expelled for the remainder of the school year for involvement in one of the gun incidents. Two will be expelled through the end of third quarter, Lucas said. Hearings for the other two students involved in the gun incidents will be held next week.
“I think the punishments were appropriate for the amount of involvement the students had in the incidents,” Lucas said.
On Tuesday, a student reported to an administrator that he knew of a girl who was carrying a knife, Bettendorf High School Principal Jimmy Casas said. Another girl and a boy subsequently were found with knives that had blades 3 or 3 1/2 inches long, he said.
The boy brought the knives and gave them to the girls, he added, commending the students who told an adult about the weapons.
No one was threatened with a weapon, and the students who brought the knives did not bring the knives because they felt threatened, Lucas said.
“They did something stupid,” he said. “They just weren’t thinking.”
Last year, the school had two weapons incidents, Casas said. One involved a student bringing a knife, the other a lighter that was used in a threatening manner. The year before, a loaded handgun was brought to the school.
This year’s gun incidents involved an Airsoft pistol and a pellet gun that was brought to school last week, officials said.
A student brought the Airsoft gun to return it to a friend who had left it at his house over the weekend. The gun was kept in a locker until the end of the school day, when one of the students reportedly put it in his waistband. A student who saw the gun reported it to her parents that evening.
The next day, the two students were picked up as they came to school and were taken for questioning, at which time they admitted to having had the gun on Monday, Casas said.
The gun looked real except for an orange marking on the end of the barrel, he added.
A third student then brought a pellet gun with him, Casas said, adding that he believes it was done to show off the weapon.
That student saw the two students with the Airsoft gun being apprehended by school officials as they walked into the building. He became scared and handed the gun to a girl, Casas said. She kept the pellet gun in her locker all day, overnight and into the next day, until a fifth student came to her to retrieve the weapon for his friend, Casas added.
A student who heard about the gun through word-of-mouth came to an assistant principal to report it Wednesday, he said.
Ann McGlynn can be contacted at (563) 383-2336 or email@example.com.
Friday, December 09, 2005
At least four of the Airsoft guns, which shoot plastic B-Bs, have been seized since Thursday. Retired U-N-C-W police Captain Wayne Howell, who still works part time at the department as an investigatorm says the guns carry a Smith and Wesson trademark and resemble the real thing.
Weapons are forbidden on campus property. The issue is particularly sensitive after two students were shot to death last year on or near the campus.
Three of the guns were taken from students last Thursday in Honors House. Another gun and a container of B-Bs were confiscated from a student Monday afternoon in Graham Hall.
Howell says the students carrying the guns were not criminally charged with carrying a concealed weapon but were referred to the dean's office for possible disciplinary action on administrative charges
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Friday, December 02, 2005
The plastic pellet fired by a gun didn't hurt the subject in a 6 News test Thursday. But Campbell County police consider the toy guns deadly.
"He said you know if you were 18, I'd be taking you to jail today," says Larry Humphrey, uncle of one of the boys involved, Josh Humphrey.
Josh Humphrey and a friend were shooting each other with an airsoft pellet gun bought for $15 at a local flea market.
A neighbor saw the boys playing, called police and said they were shooting at her. "The police report says you were shooting at houses and cars. Were you?" 6 News asked Josh.
"No," he says. "No. It possibly could have hit them but not intentionally."
Police charged both boys.
Humphrey was charged with reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, a charge that sent the 14 year old to court Thursday morning.
"He's like, I didn't know you could get in trouble for playing with a toy. I was like, well Josh, I didn't either," his uncle says. "You've got a kid playing with a toy now he's looking at a class C felony if he's convicted. It amazes me."
Police confiscated both guns.
The charge surprised the toy seller at the flea market in LaFollette. "I was flabbergasted because it is a toy," she says. "I've been shot with it. They sting that's about it. No deadly injuries, no deadly injuries whatsoever."
6 News tried repeatedly Thursday to contact the officer who wrote the citation but he didn't return the calls.
Although airsoft BB guns rarely cause more than a bruise, they can blind, cripple or maim in exceptional circumstances.
It is recommended that anyone using an airsoft gun should always wear safety goggles and not look directly at the gun barrel.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Airsoft is a sport and hobby that seven-year-olds can play. Peter Do, owner of PowerEdge, an airsoft supply store and arena, said that it's a less expensive version of paintball, or lasertag without the smoke.
Airsoft consists of people shooting each other with airguns. There are different types of games that include holding locations and penetrating enemy strongholds.
"It lets you let out some aggression," said Michelle Saoit, a University of Hawai'i at Manoa senior.
Airsoft guns fire 6mm pellets. Being hit is like someone flicking you hard in the arm. Since there is a risk involved, there are guidelines that must be followed during gameplay. Everyone at the PowerEdge arena had their bodies wrapped up like a Christmas present under layers of clothing. Because PowerEdge enforces a policy that limits the speed at which the pellet is shot, they could not have been seriously injured. However, the players were aware that being hit by several small pellets will get them several little red bumps on your body.
The most important rule of airsoft is protection. When you are going to play at the PowerEdge arena, they will demand the use of full-face mask and gloves. A long-sleeve shirt and long pants are optional.
Ryan Kam, a PowerEdge employee, said airsoft is like doing cardio exercises at the gym.
"With all your gear on, you will work up a great sweat while having fun," Kam said.
Although children can play this sport, the price that accompanies some of the guns is not usually covered by allowance money. Getting started can cost as little as $40. Professionals invest about $1,000 and up, Do said. Since airsoft is a budding sport in Hawai'i, few people have invested large sums of cash into it. A good midrange gun will average around $200. Other gear includes the mask, gloves, and pellets.
Airsoft is also a collector's hobby. One of the first things that you will see in PowerEdge is that you can build a collection of replicas. The realism of the guns can give a sense that players are a marine or S.W.A.T. team member. PowerEdge supplies the guns from Japan and the parts to upgrade them. In essence, they are a small import toy store.
Friday, November 18, 2005
None of the four passengers on the bus operated by a bus company affiliated with Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co. were injured. The bus driver reported the incident to police.
The police said the pellets hit the bus near the driver's seat. When the bus driver heard the sounds, he looked to his right and saw what looked like an automatic rifle sticking out of a car window
Monday, November 14, 2005
After the air soft pistol gun, top, is compared to a real gun, Evidence Technician John Whisler of the Lodi Police Department puts on some latex gloves to place the evidence back inside an envelope at the Lodi Police Department on Thursday. (Angelina Gervasi/News-Sentinel)
The gun is actually an air pistol that shoots soft plastic balls. It is this gun, police say, that a wanted parolee pointed at Lodi detectives before they shot him Tuesday.Chad Joseph Morrow, 25, remains in fair condition at Lodi Memorial Hospital, where he is under 24-hour guard by police officers.On Thursday, officers showed the gun he allegedly wielded, and they held it up to a 9-mm Taurus handgun. Both are about nine inches long, and both are black.After undercover detectives cornered Morrow in a gas station parking lot and he allegedly rammed their vehicle, they identified themselves and ordered him out of the car, according to police.Instead, Morrow pointed a gun at them, Lt. Bill Barry said.Morrow was shot twice, and detectives quickly moved closer. They secured him and made sure they got his gun out of the way so it couldn't be fired, police say.
A detective placed the gun on top of Morrow's car, out of the way, where it remained for hours.
Onlookers at the scene at the corner of East Elm Street and Cherokee Lane guessed at the caliber of the weapon, and some thought it looked like an officer's gun.Had the weapon not been altered, it would have had an orange tip so people would know it was a fake. Officer and Evidence Technician John Whisler said most such guns are clear with bright colors.Morrow will possibly face charges, though it remains under investigation. In addition to the Lodiincident, he is wanted in connection with two armed robberies in Stanislaus County. He is also a convicted sex offender, and is still on parole.The two detectives who fired shots — Sierra Brucia, a member of the SWAT team, and Mike Kermgard, a firearms instructor and weapons armorer — remain on paid administrative leave.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
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Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Campus Security is still looking for the people responsible for shooting students with airsoft guns at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
Recently UHM students have been the target of air gun attacks. Airsoft guns are air-powered guns, similar to BB guns, that shoot small plastic pellets. A dorm resident was accidentally shot in the face with an airsoft gun at Hale Lokelani last month according to Campus Security. The victim suffered a welt on his face but declined to file a report.
"I was walking down the side road, between Ilima and Mokihana, and felt a sting on my arm. At first, I thought it was just a rock. Then I was hit on the other arm. It stung and left a small mark like a mosquito bite," UHM freshman Daniel Galarza said. "The next day I heard someone shooting an air gun in the same area. It sounded like an airsoft gun."
A Gateway Hall resident adviser reported three men shooting an air rifle near the dorm. Campus Security was unable to locate any suspects. Another student was shot while walking to his dorm and filed a report with Campus Security.
According to the campus security log, a cat was killed with an air gun near Johnson Hall and Gateway House on Oct. 22. The shooter was never found.
"I know a few people who have been shot at. The other night someone shot at windows with a BB gun," a Mokihana resident who did not want to be identified, said. "I hope they add more security."
But the university has no plans to add more security.
"No extra security will be added," said Director of Communications for the Office of the Chancellor Jim Manke. "Dorm windows were shot at, but none were broken. We hope that students will keep their eyes and ears open and help us find out who is responsible."
Airsoft guns are banned from the UHM campus. Campus Security will confiscate any airsoft gun and file a campus report.
"If a person is caught shooting an airsoft gun, especially at another person, they would be arrested and the gun would be confiscated," Honolulu Police Department Lieutenant Mark Ross said.
Due to an increase in HPD reports of individuals carrying guns in public, a law relating to replica guns was introduced by the City and County of Honolulu and signed into law on July 16, 2003. Before the new law took effect, only people under 18 were banned from carrying a replica gun. It is now illegal for anyone to carry or display a replica gun in public. According to law, replica guns are defined as any toy or object that looks like a gun and lacks a feature that distinguishes it from an actual firearm. An airsoft gun is classified as a replica gun.
It is also illegal to discharge an airsoft gun on any public land or public place, except on a properly designated target range. Violators can be fined up to $500 and spend up to 30 days in jail. The punishment increases to $1000 and a year in jail for brandishing a replica gun in the presence of a police officer.
"It does hurt; it stings," said Lance Nonaka, the store manager at Power Edge Hawai'i, a store that sells airsoft equipment. "It's too bad that a few people are going to ruin it for other airsoft users."
Store policy states that a buyer must be at least 18 years old. They also rent equipment for use in the store's arena.
Anyone with information regarding the airsoft gun incidents is asked to call Campus Security at 956-6911. Anonymous reports can also be made on the Campus Security Web site at www.hawaii.edu/security
Monday, November 07, 2005
As one person I talked to recently on the street said, in regards to whether toy guns should be pulled out of all stores in Uxbridge, "there's nothing wrong with the guns... it's the people that are using them." Canadian Tire in Uxbridge has already taken the initiative and pulled its soft air guns off its shelves. These units, although considered toys, could still hurt someone as they fire plastic pellets at 230 feet per second. Try standing in front of a shot from 10 feet away.
Neighbouring Scugog has had its share of problems with replica guns in recent months. One case involved youth holding guns that were mistaken by somebody as being real. Police were called. In this situation, a police officer could feel threatened and draw his or her own gun in defense, especially if it's dark and the officer can't quite see that the person is only holding a blue plastic water gun shaped like a rifle.
I'm sure we all played with a gun of some kind at some point in our lives, whether it be a water gun, pellet gun, or paintball gun. They all have their place. Paintball is a popular sport in which people actually go into closed quarters and shoot at each other, wearing body protection.
People aren't supposed to be firing at others in the streets and causing harm to people, which happened during another incident in Scugog.
Pellet guns, as explained by Uxbridge Canadian Tire owner Pat Higgins, are historically used by rural residents on their farms, presumably to get rid of pests. Water guns are, well, water guns... but if someone pulls out a black water gun and points it at you, what's the first thought that's going to go through your head? Exactly.
Uxbridge Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor has become actively involved in the issue and wants the public to become more educated about replica guns. She has arranged a police presentation on Nov. 14 at 9:30 a.m. at the town hall. The public will have a chance to compare real guns with replica guns, to demonstrate how difficult it is to distinguish between the two.
"Some of the replicas are so good they even have laser (targets) on them," said Mayor O'Connor. "This is serious business."
I suggest anyone with concerns about these guns go to the presentation.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
The possession or use of an airsoft gun--a toy that fires a plastic pellet with low-pressure air or gas--is not prohibited by the Firearms and Swords Control Law as long as the owner of the gun does not use it to cause harm. The hobby has attracted aficionados from a wide age range, from children to the elderly.
Nationally, about 1.2 million airsoft guns are in circulation, commonly used in increasingly popular survival games, in which participants wear camouflage and goggles and arm themselves with the air-powered firearms, according to ASGK, an association comprising 18 toy gun manufacturers.
However, there recently have been a number of incidents involving remodeled airsoft guns nationwide.
On Sept. 25, a car was hit by airsoft pellets that shattered its windows along the Hanwa Expressway in Wakayama. Three days later, a truck traveling through Ibaraki, Osaka Prefecture, on the Meishin Expressway, was shot at with what was thought to be an airsoft gun and the driver's seat window was smashed.
Stock airsoft guns have limited power--if shot at a person, the pellets produce mild irritation and redness on the skin.
But airsoft guns can be "tricked out" by replacing low-pressure air canisters with those containing carbon dioxide gas, potentially resulting in a deadly firearm.
"With the proliferation of the Internet auction, parts are easily obtained for upgrading the guns," a senior official at the Metropolitan Police Department said.
In September, in the first case of its kind, the MPD arrested a manufacturer on suspicion of violating the Firearms and Swords Control Law by selling upgrade parts.
The aim of the arrest, according to sources, was to make manufacturers more aware of the impact of selling upgrade parts.
Yahoo Japan Corp., one of the nation's top online auction houses, has decided it will prohibit the sale of upgraded airsoft guns or parts clearly intended for adding power to the weapon.
However, there are fundamental problems in solving the problem. About 90 percent of illegal remodeled airsoft guns confiscated by the MPD since spring were produced by a manufacturer in Aichi Prefecture.
The device on the gun that regulates the inflow of the carbon dioxide gas had been reinforced so it could withstand the upgrades, the sources said.
The ASGK has set up its own restriction on upgrading the gun's body for upgrading purposes. But the Aichi maker is not a member of the organization, and the police cannot easily charge those who have only upgraded the gas injection device.
Despite frequent crimes involving airsoft guns, parts manufacturers continue to meet the demands of airsoft fanatics who decide to upgrade their guns, despite knowing full well that to do so was illegal.
As long as the association's self-imposed restrictions continue to lack bite, relevant laws, including the Firearms and Swords Control Law, must be reviewed so the sales of parts can be better controlled.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
None of the girls was seriously injured.
Albany Police responded to the call at 2:54 p.m.
“Several of the girls in the JV race said they felt something like a sting on their arms or legs after the race was over. The girls had little marks — like a little welt — but no skin was broken,” Platt said.
“Pretty soon, we put two and two together and we decided to go out onto the course to look for anyone who might have thrown or been shooting something. We just wanted to make sure the kids were safe.”
All of the girls finished the race, and those who were shot, were apparently selected at random, not by a specific team.
Joanne Deming of Albany said one of the pellets grazed her granddaughter’s lip. “She said it felt like a BB hit her,” Deming said.
The meet was held up for about an hour as police, team coaches, school athletic directors and parents scoured the course, especially a small wooded area where someone could have hidden. They found nothing.
The junior varsity boys race remained to be run, Platt said. Coaches and athletic directors agreed the meet should be completed if the course could be secured.
School officials and parents fanned out across the course and the race was run without incident.
Platt said there were no individual suspects as of this morning.
Alex Paul can be reached at 812-6076 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, October 31, 2005
One of the victims told police the eight grade boy was showing off the air-soft gun Wednesday morning during recess.
She says the boy shot her friend first, then shot her. Both suffered bruises.
Firearms are not allowed on any school campus.
The teen boy was charged with two counts of third degree assault and displaying a gun in public.
People call me: Bruce.
My age is: 14.
My school is: West De Pere High School.
I live in: De Pere.
People describe me as: funny.
A band or musician I can’t get enough of is: Mike Jones.
The song I would choose as the theme to my life is: “I’ma Hustla” by Cassidy.
My all-time favorite movie is: “Half Baked.”
I never miss an episode of: MTV’s “The Real World.”
If you’re on the Internet, be sure to check out: www.yahoo.com.
A book or magazine I’d recommend is: “PlayStation Magazine.”
I hate to admit it, but my guilty pleasure is: eating chips.
If I could switch places for one day with anyone, it would be: Mike Jones.
My favorite breakfast cereal is: Fruity Pebbles.
The best birthday gift I ever received was: an airsoft gun from my mom.
A celebrity that really annoys me is: Larry the Cable Guy.
The last thing that made me laugh was: “South Park.”
My favorite cartoon character is: Cartman.
If I could have a super power: to fly.
One of my greatest fears is: snakes.
My best trait is: my personality.
My worst habit is: being lazy.
In my spare time, I enjoy: going on the computer and playing video games.
If I won $1 million, I would: buy a bigger house and give some to my mom.
If I could travel anywhere, I would: go to New York City.
I can’t possibly live without: my PlayStation 2.
My future plans include: going to college.
My dream job would be: a DJ for WILD 99.7 FM.
The best thing about being a teenager is: going places by yourself.
My family includes: my mom Nancy, my sisters Marissa and Marie, brothers Matthew and Bobby, my nephew Desmond, and my dog Naceita.
Hey, teens, introduce yourself to other teen readers with an “About Me” profile. It’s simple. Just e-mail Thomas Rozwadowski at email@example.com and tell him you’re interested. He’ll hook you up with the details.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Hovey doesn't want a replay of that 1987 incident happening on any of his campuses and is asking parents to scratch realistic soft-air pellet guns and other replica firearms off their holiday gift lists this year.
Several look-alikes have been confiscated from elementary-age children on Yucaipa campuses in recent months, he said, and at least one expulsion proceeding is under way. A couple of others have been referred for expulsion review.
Other Inland educators said they, too, are seeing more replica handguns on campus and worry about potential tragedy.
Dianne Pavia, spokeswoman for Riverside Unified School District, said school officials have confiscated four look-alikes at different elementary campuses in just the last two weeks and about a dozen overall from various primary-grade students since the end of last school year.
"Parents for the most part don't know their kids have them because they're buying them from the ice-cream man," she said. "It's apparently a popular item and they're selling them right off the truck for $5."
Greg Vojtko / The Press-Enterprise
Sport Shack owners Howard and Pat Reeves display some the AirSoft and BB guns, including a realistic Crosman 760B repeater.
Pavia said principals have gone to classrooms and explained to students it illegal to bring any kind of firearms on campus -- real or imitation.
"These are expellable offenses," Pavia said.
Hovey said he worries about more look-alikes showing up on campus as the holidays arrive.
"With Christmas coming, I'm afraid parents will be buying their kids what they think are toys," Hovey said. "But if a kid brings it to school and the cops are called, my main concern is that sooner or later some law-enforcement officer is going to mistake one for a real gun. Officers are trained to engage and I don't want anyone getting hurt."
Yucaipa police recently raised the alert at a task-force meeting with school administrators.
"One of the officers brought in a couple of soft-air guns," Hovey said. "They have a magazine you can pull out and they're weighted like a real gun. "
Soft-air guns are designed to fire small plastic pellets and, depending on their design, operate by spring, compressed gas or electrically.
The newer generation replicate real semi-automatic firearms such as the 9 mm Sig Sauer P226, the .45-caliber Colt 1911 and 9 mm Israeli Micro Uzi.
Hovey said possession of any replica handgun on school grounds violates the state Education Code and automatically starts the expulsion process. District administrators have discussed the situation with school principals, he said, and will get the word out to parents through quarterly and monthly newsletters.
Howard and Pat Reeves, owners of the Sport Shack on Yucaipa Boulevard, sell several models of soft-air and BB guns. Their policy is not to sell them to anyone under 18.
"As a business owner, you can't sell what you like. You have to sell what sells," Pat Reeves said. "But if the kids don't come in with a parent, they don't get it. So at least I can sleep at night."
Federal law requires manufacturers to place an orange ring around the barrel of soft-air guns to distinguish them as nonlethal. However, Lt. Jerry Davis, of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's substation in Yucaipa, said he would "dare anybody" to tell the difference between some replicas and the real thing at night.
Davis said deputies are trained to look for the orange ring to make sure they do not inadvertently open fire on someone holding a look-alike but the safeguard is no guarantee against tragedy. While earlier paint-ball guns had big canisters on top of them, making them easily identifiable, newer models resemble real assault weapons and high-powered handguns, he said.
"It looks like somebody's carrying an AR-15 or M-16 assault weapon," he said. "I've seen .45-caliber semi-automatic replicas. They're making whatever they want to make. They're not illegal."
How these "toys" can produce tense situations became clear about four months ago when Yucaipa sheriff's deputies responded to reports of men in camouflage carrying assault weapons near a housing tract.
"When the first deputy approached, they scattered and tried to hide. Now the deputy is thinking he's under assault," Davis said. "It just got uglier from there. Five units ended up responding. It turned out to be a bunch of 16- and 17-year-old kids with soft-air guns acting dumb -- exactly the kind of thing that can escalate."
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Many of the teenagers had the pellet guns since early September, but they weren’t found until Oct. 4, when a 17-year-old was shot in the eye, said police Officer Katherine Finnell. He suffered swelling and blurred vision but was not seriously injured, Finnell said.The pellet guns, which can be purchased at Wal-Mart, Scheels, Shopko and other Lincoln stores, are the latest trend among teens, Finnell said.Problem is, it’s illegal to fire them in the city.
According to a city ordinance, discharging a projectile from any type of weapon — including a toy or a slingshot — is illegal when doing so endangers people or property.The guns can cause welts and other injuries, Finnell said.“They are the rage, now,” she said. “It can be very dangerous.”The 10 Lincoln High students were ticketed for discharging a weapon within city limits. The student who accidentally shot the 17-year-old was cited for third-degree assault. The boys also were suspended, according to school officials.They missed two Lincoln High football games, against Fremont on Oct. 7 and against Lincoln Southwest on Oct. 14. Lincoln High lost both games. The boys are back at school and played in Thursday’s game against Kearney. They also lost to the third-ranked Bearcats.The students had been firing the guns at the walls of the locker room and at each other for fun after practice, Finnell said.“Boys will be boys,” said Lincoln High football coach Jose Jefferson, who discovered the pellet guns. “I’m not upset, just a little disappointed. We lost 10 players for two games.“It’s done. It’s over with. We learned.”Lincoln High Principal Mike Wortman said, “We have always tried to do what we can to make Lincoln High a safe place, and we will continue to do that.”Rachelle Amory, 18, and Teresa James, 17, both Lincoln High students, said a letter about the incident was mailed home to parents.Other LHS students on their Friday lunch break said guns — Airsoft or otherwise — had no business in school.“A gun of any sort should not be allowed,” said James Fuehrer, 17. “It was taken way too far.”Said Steven Calim, 16: “Boys will be boys, but the whole football team?”Reach Josh Swartzlander at 473-7120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Airsoft pellet gunsAirsoft guns, which shoot plastic pellets, rapidly are gaining popularity. They are sold in stores across Lincoln. But it’s illegal to fire them within city limits.The guns come in various shapes and sizes. They worry police, not only because they cause injuries, but also because they can be mistaken for real guns.Source: Lincoln Police Department
Thursday, October 20, 2005
The girls were not injured, and the two boys were arrested without incident.
A passer-by saw the boys with the gun and called police. They immediately ordered Superintendent Ralph Grimm to put the West Central Elementary and High School buildings under lockdown, which lasted for about 30 minutes.
The boys, ages 15 and 16, are from Biggsville. Both appeared with their parents before Judge Richard Gambrel Friday afternoon. Gambrel ordered the two placed under house arrest until their next court appearance, slated for Nov. 2 in Henderson County Juvenile Court.
Airsoft guns shoot 6mm plastic pellets. The guns are often realistic looking, but have a blaze orange muzzle to distinguish them from real firearms.
In a letter to district parents Monday, Grimm said he wanted to comment on rumors surrounding the incident. Grimm said no drugs were involved nor were drug dogs brought to the school after the incident.
"The situation was contained in the parking lot immediately to the east of the bus garage on the North Campus," he said.
The School Board will meet in closed session at 6:30 p.m. today to discuss student discipline. Grimm said while state law gives the district the option of expelling students, the law is subject to interpretation whether the district is required to expel students who have a weapon on school grounds.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Police said the 14-year-old boy had an Airsoft pistol, loaded with plastic pellets, concealed in his waistband.
There was a report that the boy showed the pistol to other students and fired it in the school, police said.
Police said other students told an art teacher, who confronted the boy. "He reportedly knelt down and pulled it out of his waistband and surrendered it to the teacher," police wrote in a press release.
Police said the pistol was an exact replica of a real SIG Sauer pistol - similar to one an 18-year-old Frederick, Md., man had when he was shot and killed by Frederick Police on Sept. 30.
Frederick Police said they were chasing the man and three other people when they ordered him to drop the handgun, but he turned and pointed it at them.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
The woman, 30, told police she was standing along Merchant Street about 1:50 a.m. when a silver SUV drove by and the driver shot her with a pellet or airsoft gun.
Airsoft guns look very much like real weapons but shoot plastic BBs instead of bullets.
The victim, who was not seriously injured, took down the SUV's license plate number and called police, who found the vehicle, with the driver inside, parked at the Diamond Head lookout.
Police took the woman to the lookout, and she positively identified the SUV driver, who was then arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault, police said.
Police said the suspect gave them permission to search the SUV and that they found four airsoft guns.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
According to ShortyUSA.com (an online Airsoft supplier) the spring-loaded guns shoot small plastic BBs at 120 to 300 feet per second. As such, Airsoft guns are classified as paintball guns. According to the UAF student handbook, "For personal safety, all weapons and explosives are prohibited in residential facilities."
Lt. Syrilyn Tong of the UAF Police Department had a chance to fire an Airsoft gun and saw the results. Tong thought they "could be dangerous, particularly in close quarters, there's a possibility for eye damage." Lt. Tong seemed mostly concerned for the safety of innocent bystanders who, unaware that a war was going on, could walk right into the line of fire. "We have to respect the rights of others," she said.
According to police, there has only been one documented report of air gun use on campus to date, and that was during the summer.
"It hasn't really seemed to be a problem this year," said one RA. "It's been going on every year that I've been here, but this year doesn't seem to be any worse than any other."
The RA wished to remain anonymous because he said that during training, RAs are told not to speak to reporters. He said he believed this particular rule was the most adamantly stressed point during the training.
No injuries at UAF have been reported due to Airsoft weapons. When talking to participants and observing some battles, it was apparent to this reporter that participants take Airsoft seriously, and although there is an opportunity for injury, they try to play as safe as possible.
"Well there's no head shots. If someone's tapped out and obviously done, we end the match," said one participant. "I've started wearing long sleeves just in case a battle breaks out."
Another told me that he sleeps with a pistol under his pillow. "You never know," he said. "You never know."
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Thursday, September 15, 2005
In making the gun, Puderbaugh took out the imaging sensor from a Logitech Quickcam and mounted it to the front of an Airsoft pistol. Airsoft guns are realistic looking guns that shoot small and light plastic pellets. The gun was then mounted on a gear assembly and servos powered by four AA batteries. The gun can pan left/right and can tilt up and down. The whole system connects to a host computer via a serial port. Using Visual Basic, Puderbaugh coded a custom application that runs on the host machine. The app allows remote users to log in and control the gun. Operators access a webpage and see real-time video of the target. The gun can then be moved in four directions and can be fired in single shot or full-auto mode with a simple click of the mouse button. To prevent accidental shootings, a safety switch was installed. The simple up/down switch will prevent the gun from firing, even when operators are furiously clicking fire on the webpage.
On September 3rd 2005, in a secluded mountain retreat in Angelus Oaks, California, we witnessed the gun's first public test. Before firing, Puderbaugh checked the movement range of the gun by whirling it right, left, up and down. Satisfied, he flicked the safety switch off, and fired a volley of rounds with a few clicks of his laptop touchpad. The intended target was a surplus laptop and the LCD screen shattered as dozens of rounds made a direct hit
Then Puderbaugh announced on MIRC channels the web address of the gun and challenged people to fire it. Over the course of the day hundreds, perhaps thousands of people tried to remotely control and shoot the gun. According to Puderbaugh, over 43,000 requests were made for the webcam image and about 4,500 commands were sent to the gun. Empty Coke cans, plastic cups and other objects were put up as targets
Puderbaugh, known as Kallahar in the hacker community, is no stranger to remotely-controlled and autonomous gadgets. He has participated in robotic contests at the annual Defcon conventions in Las Vegas and is a member of the Irvine-based autonomous vehicle team, Team Cyberrider, which will compete in this year's DARPA Grand Challenge. In fact all of this is in preparation for next year's Defcon robot contest, where contestants must make a robot that will autonomously shoot targets. The targets will be lit up with LEDs and robots will use IR filters to distinguish good targets from bad ones. The complete instructions on how to build the gun are online and Puderbaugh thinks it was quite easy. "If I can build one for $200, then anyone can. This was not a hard project," says Puderbaugh. While some people may be concerned about the availability of the information, more powerful remote controlled weapons are being used around the world already. For example, remotely-controlled machine guns are emplaced along the new Gaza Fence in Israel and weapons have been mounted on robot sentries in Iraq. Puderbaugh says, "this is what can be done on a very limited budget, the information is already out there. We're not letting any secrets out."
But is all of this legal? A few weeks ago, we ran a story about the California state legislature approving a bill that banned "Internet Hunting" - the remote-controlled shooting and killing of animals. While Governor Schwarzenegger hasn't signed the bill yet, Puderbaugh erred on the side of caution and contacted state and local law enforcement officials to find out the legality of his gun. Most officials didn't know, but according to Puderbaugh, the California Department of Justice said, "we don't have any laws [preventing it], contact your local police department." Puderbaugh realizes the legal consequences of making such a gun, saying, "the responsibility for the gun still lies with the owner, regardless of who is pulling the trigger or where they are located." We called the office of Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach), who sponsored the California Internet Hunting bill, in order to get her view on the remote-controlled gun. A spokesman said that gun wouldn't fall under the bill and was probably legal. He also said that the bill didn't address target shooting against inanimate objects, only shooting against live animals. Although some people may consider a remote-controlled gun to be a menace to society, Puderbaugh considers it to be just a "toy" and his original intention was never to kill or hurt anything. The gun was built as a technical demonstration for shooting cans and other targets. "I don't shoot or hurt any animals," he said.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
That's why Kalamazoo city commissioners adopted an ordinance that says you can't use these types of guns in a threatening manner or imply that it's a real weapon.
Recently, Kalamazoo Public Safety officers nearly shot someone threatening them with a toy gun.
*** Comment: Talk about false information. Airsoft guns are not "altered to look exactly like the real thing". There is no alterations invovled. And what idiot would take an airsoft gun and threaten someone with a real gun?
Thursday, August 25, 2005
I WAS disappointed to read your one-sided article “MP allays fears over tough gun law”, (News & Star, August 19).
Mr Cunningham is said to have reassured enthusiasts, yet there were apparently no “reassured enthusiasts” interviewed. Nor was there any comment from representative bodies such as The Sportsman’s Association or Save Airsoft. Yet you included a statement from Gill Marshall-Andrews of the Gun Control Network.
Mrs Marshall-Andrews tells us that “no-one needs a realistic imitation gun”. So what? There are many things people have that they do not “need” and a great deal of them are more dangerous than an imitation gun incapable of harming someone unless you were to hit them with it.
This ban is just another example of government punishing law abiding people for the actions of a criminal element of society. It is already an offence to use an imitation firearm to cause fear.
I expect the ban will be just as succesful as the handgun ban in 1997 which was closely followed by an explosion in gun crime.
When will the Government realise that it must tackle criminals not ownership of objects?
I shall not hold my breath.
Police say that the pellet guns are becoming so realistic that officers may not be able to tell the difference during a confrontation.
Aurora police have confiscated at least 10 of the fake look-alike weapons in the last year. CSU police in Fort Collins are also dealing with the problem.
The pellet or paintball guns with an obvious orange tip are easy to spot as fake but sometimes, the guns have been altered and the orange tip is painted or marked black, police.
Other guns look identical to a real Glock 22, .40-caliber weapon. They have similar company logos and both use a clip-style ammo magazine.
"We don't have time to ask, 'Is that a real gun?' It's just dangerous. It's not a good idea to have replicas of guns that are so realistic," said Rudy Herrera of the Aurora Police Department.
Police say they may only get a look at the barrel before they have to react with the real thing.
"There's no way for an officer to be able to tell the difference through the mechanics of the way the weapon works. There's not enough time ... These were intended to be identical replicas," Herrera said.
Police want to get the word out -- if you point one of these toy guns at an officer, you could be very sorry.
"If I deem that there's a threat, I'm going to take action just as though it's real. And, unfortunately, we'd have to figure out whether or not it's a real gun after the fact. And that's not right," said Aurora police Officer Marcus Dudley.
Police say that pointing a realistic weapon at anyone could result in an arrest for felony menacing. Officers say there's also a national trend among gang members who paint the end of a real gun bright orange, just to confuse people. That's why police say they won't hesitate.
"We will not hesitate. We have families too. We want to go home to our families every day," Herrera said.
Copyright 2005 by TheDenverChannel.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Located upstairs in the old Battle Lake Hatchery, War House is an airsoft gun arena where participants shoot each other with air guns.
Players have a base on either side of the room, and spread across the court, between bases, there are places for the shooters to crouch and hide.
Airsoft game play is similar to paintball but played indoors with no mess. The guns shoot pellets, and War House provides guns, ammo and safety glasses at a cost of $5 per hour.
They have battery-powered machine guns, semi-automatic Carbon Dioxide-powered gas guns and air spring guns. The gas guns may only be used by students 12 years and older.
War House owner Don Magnuson, an inventor and sporting goods manufacturer from Battle Lake, said he got the idea to open up an air gun arena when he and his teenage son became interested in the activity.
Magnuson said his main clientele are kids between 10 and 16 years old. He opened War House in May for kids to use after school and keeps it open for summer recreation on Friday and Saturdays from 3 to 8 p.m.
He said there have not been any major accidents involving the war games.
"The most important thing is that they keep the safety glasses on," he said.
Magnuson said different games at War House are full court war, half court war, Texas Draw and shoot the can. To expand business in the future, Magnuson said he hopes to open a new building off Highway 210.
The current arena can be rented for birthday parties or any occasion for $40 for 3 hours.
Monday, August 22, 2005
WORKINGTON MP Tony Cunningham has backed the Government’s new violent crime bill, which will add anything that looks like a real firearm to the current ban on guns.
But Mr Cunningham has assured enthusiasts it will not affect hobbies like paintballing and airsoft – a more realistic form of the popular team sport.
He says the real impact of the legislation will be to encourage more involvement in community-based crime prevention initiatives. The much-praised Workington Pubwatch Scheme was flagged up by Mr Cunningham as a good example.
He said it would toughen up on guns, but not stop people having controlled fun.
“Anything that looks like a real firearm will no longer be legally sold, imported or manufactured,” he explained. “Paintballers and airsoft gunners can carry on with instruments that don’t look like real firearms.
“This does not interfere with the aim of the legislation to stop children and young people treating guns as toys, learning about the power the gun gives them and graduating to more dangerous weapons.
Gill Marshall-Andrews, chair of the Gun Control Network, also reassured paintballers. She said: “No-one needs a realistic imitation gun – except perhaps a reenactment society.
“Paintball and airsoft guns do not have to look like the real thing. If it’s not lethal and doesn’t look like a real firearm then there’s no problem.”
The new violent crime legislation follows a 66 per cent nationwide rise in gun crime involving imitation weapons.
The new legislation aims to ensure both police and local communities have the powers to tackle gun crime and alcohol-related violence.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Members of the Gun Control Network (GCN), many of whom have personal experience of tragedies caused by the use of illegal weapons, hit out at an international campaign being run by devotees of paintball and the similar but more militaristic airsoft shooting events.
Airsoft guns are plastic and fire 6mm or 8mm pellets. They originated in Japan in the 1980s and are said to be more accurate and to offer greater range than their paintball equivalents. There are thought to be 10,000 regular airsoft players and 70 sites around the UK which host events or "skirmishes".
The airsoft shooters say the government's violent crime reduction bill will effectively kill their hobby because the low-velocity guns, which fire plastic pellets, would be classified as "realistic imitation firearms". Equipment now held would be unaffected but the sport would be unable to obtain new equipment.
Airsoft shooters have begun a campaign to pressure MPs and promote their sport, bolstered by support from enthusiasts in the US, Canada and Japan.
But anti-gun protesters argue that the shooters should be willing to switch to less lifelike weapons in the cause of public safety. They point out that a significant proportion of gun crimes committed in Britain involve imitation and replica weapons.
Steve Walker of GCN said: "We don't want to stop them enjoying their sport.The problem is the weapons they use. If they were brightly coloured and distinguishable from real guns there would be no problem."
Mr Walker, whose sons Alex, 17, and Andrew, 26, were murdered in 2001 by a paranoid psychotic with a reactivated weapon, said emotions are running high.
"We have got abusive emails from the airsoft shooters, paintballers and people who support the owning of firearms for self defence. But our position is clear. If it looks like a gun it should not be allowed."
Gill Marshall-Andrews, GCN's chair, said: "No one needs a realistic imitation gun - except perhaps a re-enactment society. Paintball and airsoft guns do not have to look like the real thing. A green plastic gun would not be affected by the new legislation. If it's not lethal and does not look like a real firearm then there is no problem."
But Frank Bothamley, who runs Free Fire Zone, an airsoft event site in Cambridgeshire, said enthusiasts felt "persecuted". He added: "We are an easy target. We are a minority group. I think this is a tip of the iceberg thing. If they ban this will it be rifles, shotguns and other things.
"The government wants to stop 15- and 16-year-old's from being on the streets with airsoft guns which they buy from street traders for between £5 and £30. People also carry them as accessories because they look a bit flash. But people who do this as a proper hobby have guns which cost £100 to £600. They look after them."
He said manufacturers aimed to make the guns look real and would be unlikely to stop doing so just for a British market worth less than £10m. "People around the world want guns that look like real guns."
Parts of the US dictate that the guns should have orange bands around the ends to distinguish them from real firearms. "That would be the sensible thing to do," Mr Bothamley said. "The argument is that people would take the band off but if they did and they were caught they should be prosecuted. It is worth remembering that no one has ever been killed with an airsoft gun."
The pastime is straightforward - participants in military clothes hunt and shoot each other. But for the purposes of this debate it has taken on philosophical overtones. Enthusiasts quote Lord Salisbury and his call for a land where "people are allowed, so long as they do not hurt their neighbours, to do as they like".
However, detractors say they must address the practical issues on the street. Figures released this year show decreases in the number of offences involving shotguns, handguns and rifles but increases in those in which imitation guns, deactiviated guns and blank firing weapons were used. Offences involving stun guns and paintball guns also increased.
Mr Walker, 62, a former Bedfordshire police officer, remains haunted by the shooting of his sons. "We just want to get guns off the street," he said. "The frightening thing is how many there are."
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
WANTED: “ASSASSIN” TO KILL FRIENDS.
Airsoft, a growing popularity
amongst firearm and role playing enthusiasts, is gaining more attention in
today’s market. Airsoft is a close relative of the BB gun, but uses a much
larger plastic pellet than your typical BB’s that are 6mm in circumference.
With Airsoft, there
is minimal result of serious injury during a simulation or training activity,
with the advantage of handling a lifelike non lethal replica of a firearm.
The sport of Airsoft was not recognized in North America and Europe until somewhere in the mid 90s, but originated from Japan in the early 1980s when it was illegal to own firearms. However, the Japanese had a great interest in firearms and created spring powered replicas. During this time, the sport became quite popular in neighboring countries such Hong Kong, Korea, Philippines,and Taiwan.
The sport allows safe training or simulations for those who enjoy role playing either as an undercover assassin or whatever their fantasies may be. There are many forums and organization, such as SoCal Airsoft, that people join for a friendly competition, or otherwise known as “skirmishing” their opponents. In addition, Airsoft allow many to collect or own a realistic replica of their dream gun, whether it may be the Glock or
These replica firearms are so realistic that it’s beginning to gain popularity
in the movie industry and has appeared as props in movies like The Terminator and Lara
Croft: Tomb Raider.
One of the largest Airsoft retailers in the nation
is Airsplat.com. Here, you can help yourself to the largest Airsoft inventory.
Whether you’re looking for a spring (best for beginners), gas, or electric gun, AirSplat.com can help you find what you need to fulfill that dream of being in combat or just assassinating your friends for fun. You can check them out at www.airsplat.com or email them at email@example.com
By Agnes Tham
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
"I'm going to dismiss the charges against the students," City Attorney Jim Delapoer said Monday afternoon.
The self-defense instructor who was teaching the class, Christopher Lund of Jefferson, still faces a disorderly conduct charge.
Scott Turner, owner of Turner Taekwondo Inc., said Monday afternoon he was pleased with the decision to drop the charges against the students but still was concerned about the remaining charge against his instructor.
Six citations were issued July 29 after the five students, ages 17 to 45, and their instructor were seen practicing self-defense against someone with an airsoft gun in an alley behind Karate for Kids, 1711 Hill St. S.E.
At least one person driving past on Queen Avenue saw what appeared to be an armed disturbance and called 911.
Police responded with guns drawn. All the individuals were handcuffed on the ground and each one was given a citation for disorderly conduct.
Delapoer said after reviewing the case, he decided to dismiss the charges against the students because they "do not have the same level of culpability" as the instructor.
The charge of disorderly conduct will remain for the instructor, but Delapoer said he is willing to discuss a possible settlement or plea agreement.
"I feel very good for the five citizens, but I'm not feeling very comfortable about them wanting to pursue anything with my assistant instructor," said Turner.
He is hoping an agreement can be reached for Lund, whom he described is a "great person."
Lund said this morning that he has received some legal counsel and is hoping the charge will be dropped.
During the 12 years that Turner's Taekwondo Inc. has been in Albany, instructors have held training exercises outdoors. Lund wonders why now, all of a sudden, it's an issue.
Lund said people at the nearby car wash had been watching the class practice that evening and had no concerns until police arrived.
The situation created that evening was a dangerous one, Delapoer said in an interview.
Even though the students were using airsoft guns, if one of them had pointed it at police and an officer had shot a student, the shooting would have been justified, Delapoer said.
Also, if someone passing by with a concealed weapons permit thought a gun was being pointed at them, it's possible that person could have shot the student without violating the law, Delapoer said.
He has spoken with Turner and requested three things if the outdoor training continues: to prominently display signs where the class is being held. to paint the airsoft guns red, which traditionally signifies a training weapon. And three, to notify police 48 hours before the outdoor training will be held.
"Those three things we can comply with," said Turner, who is planning to continue again with outdoor training.
Toy guns, known as Airsoft pellet guns, are causing such a problem in Kent County police are calling on parents and teens to leave them at home. Police want to get the word out about the problem before someone dies.
Last October a SWAT team surrounded East Kentwood High, as students and faculty were led out by armed police. The school was on lockdown because a 911 caller saw a man enter the school with a gun.
A few months later teens chasing each other playing cops and robbers on a West Michigan street scared a woman, who called police. The kids were confronted as if they were criminals.
In both of those situations, and numerous others, police have come close to shooting people who had nothing more dangerous than a toy pellet gun.
But because the firearms, known as Airsoft guns, look so real they are a real threat. Just ask officer Timothy Hoornstra.
"I was pulling the trigger on my weapon thinking he was going to kill me and I was going to shoot him," Hoornstra said.
He was a millisecond away from shooting a 19 year old man on a Grand Rapids street, he says, after responding to a call about a drug house. When he got there, a man had an Airsoft pistol in his waistband. He pulled it out to show that it was a toy, and officer Hoornstra saw the orange marking on it. But it was close.
"I was pulling the trigger, with our guns we have to pull a certain distance and I was halfway," says Officer Hoornstra.
Police agencies from all over Kent County made a plea Tuesday, for people to avoid bringing the toy guns in public. They also want you
to keep all of the orange safety markings on the toys - which are often removed or painted.
Officers showed a dozen samples to prove how real the Airsoft guns look, and even put WZZM13 News reporter Keith Baldi through a training session to demonstrate how tough it is to tell the difference.
Keith felt threatened enough to fire his weapon, even though the person confronting him had a fake.
"We don't want these guns out in public, we don't want them mistaken as real guns," said Grand Rapids Lt. Pete McWatters.
Over the past year and a half, Grand Rapids Police say they've confiscated 56 toy guns.
And if the owner was brandishing it, they've charged them with a misdemeanor.
All of this, and it doesn't account for how dangerous the guns can be.
A girl in West Michigan recently lost an eye after being shot by an Airsoft pellet.
Monday, August 08, 2005
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Saturday, August 06, 2005
"I thought they were joking," Turner said Thursday. But he soon realized there was truth to the story.
The students were detained briefly at the scene but then released with citations for disorderly conduct.
Turner, who says he has respect for the police department and understands why officers responded the way they did, doesn't understand why citations were issued.
According to an Albany police report, the department received one call from a driver on Queen Avenue reporting an armed disturbance at about 7 p.m. July 29, near the Four Seasons Car Wash, 1070 Queen Ave. S.E.
Police Capt. Ben Atchley said Friday the department may have received other calls as well.
What people saw, Turner said, was five students and an instructor participating in a martial arts exercise in an alley behind Karate For Kids, 1711 Hill St. S.E.
The students were practicing Krav Maga, a martial art that teaches, among other tactics, how to defend against someone approaching with a gun or knife, Turner explained.
The students, ages 17 to 45, were practicing with air soft guns, which were marked to signify they were unloaded or being used for practice, Turner said.
"Officers arrived on scene and observed people who appeared to have weapons in the back alley," Atchley said Friday.
The officers thought they had a possible robbery or gang activity, according to the police report.
The students and instructor were all ordered on the ground at gunpoint and handcuffed, according to the report.
Turner said that a 5-year-old girl, the daughter of one of the students, was patted down by police.
The report made no mention of that but did note that a child was found behind a Dumpster.
Five airsoft guns were seized by police, according to the report.
The officers learned that the activity was part of the Krav Maga class, but the supervising officer decided to issue a citation to all six people for disorderly conduct.
The citations were given because the activity, which could be seen from Queen Avenue S.E., "raised public alarm," Atchley said.
The department also used a tremendous amount of resources to respond to the activity, Atchley said.
If there was a major event occurring elsewhere in the city, Atchley said, the question is whether police would have been able to respond with only half the department available.
"By doing what they did, they diminished our ability to respond somewhere else," he said.
Turner understands why the police responded the way they did.
"Albany police did exactly what I would have expected them to do," Turner said. "I fully understand."
What Turner, and others in the class, don't understand is the citations.
Turner said his students are professionals in the community. "They are really good people. I have a lot of respect for them," he said.
When asked why all the students received citations and not just the instructor, Atchley said he wasn't there and that the decision was made by the supervising officer.
"I feel so bad for my students," Turner said. "If anyone has to get in trouble I would want it to be myself or the school."
He and the others in the class said they are hopeful the charges will be dismissed once they appear in Albany Municipal Court.
A conviction of disorderly conduct carries a maximum fine of $2,500 and maximum jail time of six months.
Turner has operated his martial arts business in Albany for 12 years.
During all that time, students have practiced tactics outside, Turner said.
The alley, with graffiti and wire fencing, gives students a different environment from the matted floors inside.
The irony, Turner pointed out, is that his students have probably never been in an alley at any other time in their lives.
Turner said officers have driven by at other times, and watched them or asked what was going on, but no one had ever been issued a citation or even been told to go inside.
Now several of his students have canceled their membership, Turner said. "I can't blame them."
He noted that one of the students originally came to his school because of its good reputation.
A call to the police department or signs in the alley stating that training was in session could have prevented the whole episode, Atchley said.
"There was no indication to us this was a training exercise."
Turner said he has not spoken with anyone at the police department since the incident.
And while martial arts classes continue as usual, outdoor exercises will be held inside until the incident is resolved, he said
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Monday, August 01, 2005
Lock n' Load time! One round fired and blamo somethings wrong. After taking a look I saw that the slide was stuck open with the loading muzzle jamming up the place, I pushed the muzzle back and did a little ASC search and the O-Ring seems to be the culprit. After tinkering with the O-ring I got it to fired nicely and did it! I can empty a whole 31 round clip in approximently 5 seconds. The kick wasn't that strong for such a gun, my KSC USP Compact seems to have a harder kick then the Hi-Capa and its smaller too.
The rail is completly optional for those that want to keep the Hi-Capa's lines smooth. The nice Bomar sights are fully adjustable but I see no purpose of fiddling with it so I left it alone. Metal parts are abundent in the Hi-Capa (from top to bottom) Front & Rear sights, Slide catch, Hammer, Slide Guide, Thumb ress, Safety, Trigger, Internals and Magazine.
All and all I love this gun I recommend it to anyone not wanting to buy a WA for several hundrad more.
+ High ROF (Rate of Fire)
+ 31 Round Magazine
+ Option to install rail
+ Bomar Sights
+ Metal lower frame (Actally its middle)
+ Chromed Port/Slide Guide/Barrel/Hammer
+ Nice Weight
+ Dial hop-up
+ Fairly large gas resovior
+ Skeleton Trigger
- O-ring slipage
- Mag release somewhat sensitive
- Slide has to be remove to adjust hop-up
- Grips are molded right into the lower frame
- Mag release is also somewhat big
- No real steel trade markings
- Tapping of the lower frame is needed to mount rail
- Hammer doesn't go all the way down causing friction on the side so its harder to cycle.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
The report came the same day terrorists struck in London.
Cochran, the first officer to arrive, saw the men, took high ground, pointed his rifle at them and looked through the scope.
"There was a bunch of kids on the playground," Cochran said. "I'm thinking, 'Are these guys here to shoot kids?' "
Cochran could see the butt of a rifle sticking out of a case. Three other police officers arrived, surrounded the men and aimed their guns at them.
Just as one man looked as if he was going to pull the rifle out of the case, officers yelled for him to drop the weapon.
"Immediately he drops it," Cochran said. "Thank goodness. I was scared he was pulling a rifle out."
Cochran said he likely would have fired to protect his fellow officers and possibly killed the man.
Had he fired, Cochran would have shot a 17-year-old boy videotaping a homemade movie with a couple of friends.
"There was no doubt in my mind it was a real gun," Cochran said.
The call -- and avoidance of a tragedy -- prompted Manhattan Beach police to issue a warning for teenagers and their parents for the second time in two years.
Airsoft guns, which shoot plastic pellets and are meant for target practice, look real and can be mistaken by police officers as a deadly threat, Manhattan Beach police Capt. Randy Leaf said.
"Police officers, when they get a call of something, they don't know what the story is," Leaf said. "They have to assume it's a man with a gun. Things could go bad pretty quickly."
Two more incidents occurred in the next few days, sparking a decision by authorities that the public needs to be warned that such guns pose a deadly threat to the shooter, and that they are illegal to discharge in the city.
• At 8:37 p.m. July 8, a police officer on patrol saw something fired from the back and side windows of a pickup truck as it turned from Manhattan Beach Boulevard to Sepulveda Boulevard.
The officer, believing the shooter was firing at two bicyclists, stopped the truck. As he did, someone called police to report being shot in the left thigh by the occupants of the truck.
Police cited the teens and confiscated four airsoft handguns, an airsoft rifle and five containers of plastic BBs.
• At noon Monday, police received a call of a drive-by shooting at Highland and Marine avenues. A pedestrian was shot by someone with an airsoft gun as he walked down the street.
Airsoft guns fire round plastic BBs or ceramic projectiles. According to police, many will fire a 6 mm projectile at speeds up to 310 feet per second.
Manhattan Beach has a law making it illegal to shoot an air gun without a permit from the chief of police. The code includes airsoft guns, BB guns, slingshots, bows and arrows and firearms.
"The greatest concern to law enforcement officers is the way these guns look and feel," Leaf said. "Most airsoft guns mimic the style and design of a real firearm."
Two years ago, Manhattan Beach police issued a warning about the guns after a teenager playing on the roof of Grand View Elementary School turned and fired an airsoft gun at a police officer.
Tragedy was averted because the officer realized the gun was a toy.
Federal law mandates that airsoft guns carry an orange band around the barrel, but police officers sometimes have trouble seeing them, Leaf said.
Joey Vigil, who sells air guns at Airsoft Extreme in Torrance, said these guns have grown in popularity in the last few years.
"I tell my customers to treat them like real guns, not to show up with them in public. I like pre-qualify them," Vigil said. "If they don't have the mental capacity to own guns, I won't sell it to them or if they are acting stupid."
Cochran said airsoft guns should be used at home and not brought out into public like the boys did at the park.
"Were they doing anything against the law? No," Cochran said. "Could it have gotten them killed? Yes."
Friday, July 08, 2005
Officials told NBC 7/39 that the 14-year-old boys brought the air gun to Farb Middle School in the 4800 block of La Cuenta Drive in Tierrasanta.
Susan Levy, who is the principal at Farb, told NBCSandiego.com that a parent called police after seeing at least one of the boys playing with the gun at a bus stop. Police began their investigation shortly after arriving on campus, calling students out of class and interviewing them. Eventually, a female student was able to lead detectives to one of the boys, according to Levy.
The Airsoft pistol that was confiscated fires a plastic projectile with the aid of a CO2 cartridge and is manufactured to closely resemble an actual weapon. Levy said the gun had an orange barrel tip, which is used to differentiate it from a real gun.
The boys were still being questioned on campus by police at 11 a.m. Levy said the boys will be arrested and that they will both be recommended for expulsion under the school district's zero-tolerance policy. There is no word yet on what charges will be filed against the teens.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
The settlement, reached between the campus and the fraternity last month, will strip the fraternity of its current membership and allow it to reopen in fall 2006, provided that it follows a host of conditions.
The punishment is the university’s response to an incident on April 8, when police say at least three chapter members took turns repeatedly shooting a pledge with Airsoft pellets loaded in a BB gun after he refused to tell them the location of other pledges.
Because the settlement shuts down the house for a year, it has forced both the president and vice president of the UC Berkeley Interfraternity Council, both Pi Kappa Phi members, to resign.
Dean of Students Karen Kenney called the punishment the strongest against any campus fraternity in the last 15 years. She said the university had been close to permanently revoking the fraternity’s charter.
“In the absence of the dedicated partnership of the national (Pi Kappa Phi) organization, we would have completely eliminated the fraternity from university recognition,” she said.
The agreement puts a number of conditions on the chapter’s return, including a ban on alcohol in the chapter house until 2008, a live-in adult house director for at least five years, a $4,000 fine and 750 hours of community service.
All 35 current members have been transferred to “alumni status” by the fraternity’s national organization, and only up to four of them will be allowed back in for the fall 2006 semester.
The three individuals involved still face additional punishment from the university’s Student Judicial Affairs office, said UC Berkeley spokesperson Janet Gilmore.
The hazing punishment marks one one of several incidents last semester that drew negative publicity to the Greek community, including a fight at a Kappa Alpha Psi-sponsored ferry party on May 1 which resulted in four arrests. The university responded to the semester’s events in May by indefinitely banning alcohol at the campus’s 70 fraternities and sororities.
Campus and national fraternity officials called the moratorium on alcohol harsh but necessary.
Mark Timmes, the chief executive officer of the Pi Kappa Phi national organization, said yesterday that he supported the punishment, and that the members of the fraternity had “fallen victim to what we call groupthink.”
“For Pi Kapp, it’s an embarrassment,” he said. “But they’ve done some good things—it wasn’t that the culture was so rotten that it couldn’t be saved.”
Sam Endicott, a member of Pi Kappa Phi who stepped down from his post as president of the Interfraternity Council last month, agreed that the punishment was appropriate.
“I’m disappointed that 95 years of Pi Kapp history ended that way,” he said. “A few members messed up, and the whole organization needs to be accountable to the members’ actions,” he said.
The future of the chapter is uncertain. Two representatives from the fraternity’s national organization will help recruit a new house membership in fall 2006, Timmes said, but they will be forced to do so with no returning leadership and a ban on alcohol.
Sam Kim, a member of Pi Kappa Phi, said the chapter was already facing recruiting difficulties before the hazing.
“About a year and a half ago, we had a membership of 55, and we’ve fallen far from that now,” Kim said. “Let’s hope that nationals can work out some kind of magic and get us back on track.”
Kim criticized the university’s investigation—which found substance, weapons, hazing and abuse violations from the hazing incident—as inaccurate. But he said even he does not know exactly what happened.
“The only people who really know what happened were the people there shooting the pledge with the air gun,” he said.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Then get involved in the first Demo Days event to take place in New England on July 16 at Waste Management's Turnkey facility. It's a two-day, overnight warlike event that will benefit the families of soldiers.
The "airsoft" event is like paintball but the pellets go farther and are more accurate. Organizers says it's an honorable game. Waivers will have to be signed.
Planning Board member Rick Healey the event has been ready to go for months. He said he informed the police so they don't think a militia is trying to take over the city.
Registration begins at 7 a.m. July 16. Admission is $20. There will be a 9 a.m. briefing and then the fun begins. For more information call (603) 978-5349.