Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Caught in the Crossfire

"KAPOW!" A ricochet barely misses my head. I crouch lower, gripping my gun ever tighter. My arm is already bleeding from an earlier hit, but I tagged one of them in the neck, the memory causes me to laugh a little. Two more shots ring out and I hear the desperate cry "I'm OUT!" My partner and I exchange a nod and take off down the corridor firing wildly. After the screams I'm able to make out, "Enough, enough, I quit." I pause to take in the sweet taste of victory.This exchange did not take place in Iraq or some other far off war-torn country but rather in the trenches of the dorms. This was how they introduced me to the sport called Airsoft.
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."


  1. I surf the web looking for blogs like this one.
    Your site was on point and will be back again! Awesome
    I hope you can look through my plastic surgery new york blog.

  2. Unbelievable blog. I can hardly wait to vist this
    site again.I'm consistently looking up blogs like
    I know that you love my work so, look up my blog.

  3. Unusual blog. I liked the site its from so much I
    have to visit it again! I surf the web for blogs like
    yours in my spare time.
    Hey playa! You need to check out my plastic surgery houston blog.

  4. Terrific blog. I search the internet everytime I
    get a moment to find blogs. Its better than cold iced
    tea and I have to visit it one more time!
    I beg of you, just check out my plastic surgery center blog.

  5. Unbelievable blog. I can hardly wait to vist this
    site again.I'm consistently looking up blogs like
    I want you to stop and compare with my male plastic surgery blog.

  6. Hot blog. When I get to seraching on the web for
    blogs, its got to be like yours! And the site is off
    the hook! I just kept coming back!
    I wish I was like you, but I'll go and peep your bank credit card blog.