Monday, November 07, 2005

Uxbridge is airsoft shooting for safety

Guns, guns, guns.
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.

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