Thursday, April 26, 2007

Take the Airsoft Gun Challenge

There's a lot of debate going on right now about what the results of the Virginia Tech massacre might have been had just one targeted student been armed.Here's a way we can approximate real world results: Stage an Airsoft mass shooting.Gather around 20 friends or so. Pick a room to conduct the test. Everyone should have protective gear. One person should act as recorder/tally keeper, off-limits to the action.One person will act as the shooter. He will enter the room where everyone else is seated in simulation of a classroom setting. He will block the only exit and begin shooting. In order to be faithful to the Virginia Tech scenario, no one will fight back. You can run, you can duck and cover, you can play dead, you can plead, you can pray, but you can't counterattack. Feel free to add to the pandemonium, though. If hit, raise your hand and remain in place.What were the results?Now we're going to repeat the test, but this time, one person in the room will have a concealed Airsoft pistol, and will draw and fire it at the shooter when they think they can. Again, to be faithful to real world conditions, this person should have practiced with the "weapon" beforehand to approximate the skill level of a trained and knowledgeable gun owner. And to keep things as realistic as possible, don't tell the shooter or anyone else this scenario is planned. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Let them get through one massacre, and then tell them you want to do it again to reconfirm the results of the first test--that way, the shooter will be just like Cho, or Harris or Klebold--he won't be expecting resistance from his prey--and the "victims" will likewise not have cause to react differently.What were the results this time? If the person shooting back is hit, could he likely have continued firing? Note that this does not guarantee everyone will survive, or that there won't be collateral damage--what we're looking for is simply a difference in raw numbers of people shot. The recorder will call a halt to the action when the initial shooter is deemed stopped, and ask everyone to remain where they are and report if they've been hit and where.Then we can up the ante. Pick a new shooter, again one who doesn't know there may be armed victims. Now add another concealed carrier in the classroom, or maybe a couple more--after all,those opposed to armed defense would have us believe the more people with guns, the worse such situations are likely to become--why not test that theory as well? As the number of concealed carriers goes up, what happens to the number of victims?Feel free to come up with variations and rules of your own--this is just a rough idea at this stage. If anyone actually conducts these or similar tests, I'd be interested in hearing the results.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

UF student arrested for having airsoft pellet gun on campus

University of Florida Police arrested a student early Thursday after receiving a report that a man with a handgun had been seen in the Beaty Towers West Residence Hall. Travis Raymond Young, 19, was arrested for aggravated assault, UF Police reported. A sworn complaint also was filed for improper exhibition of a firearm/weapon.At about 1:30 a.m., city and university police set up a perimeter near the residence hall. Officers were conducting a door-by-door check of the hall when they identified the suspect as the boyfriend of a woman living in the building, officers reported. She told police he had left her room and had a non-lethal �AirSoft� air gun. Air guns commonly are known as pellet guns. Officers later located Young at his home at Broward Hall, police said. He cooperated with police and told them he had an air gun. The man did not brandish the air gun at the Beaty Towers West Residence Hall, according to the police investigation. But, after consulting with the State Attorney's Office, police arrested Young on the aggravated assault charge because the student who first reported the incident told officers she was afraid after witnessing an unknown man who appeared armed with a handgun. The student told police she saw the butt of a handgun with duct tape on it.For more on this story, see Friday's Gainesville Sun.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Force on Force Training Simmunitions vs Airsoft Guns

Simmunitions is the name of state-of-the-art training ammo that is used by law enforcement, military, and security for realistic force-on-force firearm training exercises. Simmunition rounds are fired from real firearms that have temporarily been converted for such purposes. While this obviously increases the realism of the drills and exercises it also increases the risks of accidents and injuries.Over the years there have been numerous deaths related to the use of Simmunition rounds. Most of the deaths were due to unsafe practices, such as allowing participants to bring live firearms and live rounds into the training area. In some cases participants were directly injured by the training rounds themselves. However, we know that in order for training to be street-effective it must be as real as possible while avoiding injuries and deaths. This is why Simmunitions and other similar products are so highly valued by reality-based trainers. However, there are other issues regarding the use of Simmunitions and similar products.1) Simmunitions are generally only available to law enforcement, military, and security personnel.2) Simmunition rounds can be very expensive at approximately $2 per round plus the cost of conversion kits for each firearm used.3) Requires specialized protective gear that can also be costly.4) Simmunitions obviously involve some safety issues as mentioned aboveAll of these issues can be quite frustrating for the civilian trainer who wants to increase their defensive and tactical knowledge as well as their firearm handling skills. Although, thanks to modern technology we know have a solution- Airsoft.Airsoft replicas have many advantages over Simmunitions and other similar products, to include:1) Readily and easily available to everyone.2) While the costs can vary depending on the type and quality of the gun, generally Airsoft are less expensive overall. Rounds average $3 per 500-1000 and can be used multiple times.3) Minimal protective gear is required and it can generally be picked up at any sporting goods store that carries paintball or airsoft supplies.4) Proper safety protocols are still a requirement for Airsoft training but are obviously minimized with the use of Airsoftreplicas.In short, Airsoft replicas now represent the safest and least expensive way to increase tactical and defensive firearm skills.This training tool has been adopted by law enforcement and security officers around the globe. If it works so well for them, it obviously will work for the rest of us too.

Monday, April 02, 2007

700,000 illegal airsoft guns in circulation

Only one-eighth of remodeled airsoft guns outlawed in August under the revised Firearms and Swords Control Law in August have been disposed of or returned to their original condition, a National Police Agency survey has found.
Airsoft is a military simulation sport. Airsoft guns, typically replicas of real firearms, fire spherical plastic pellets.
According to the NPA, there are about 800,000 remodeled airsoft guns subject to the revision in Japan, but only about 100,000 of them have been confirmed to have been discarded or modified to reduce their muzzle energy. The remaining 700,000 are believed to be owned by gun enthusiasts.
The airsoft guns in question are remodeled versions of manufactured products, and the makers do not have a clear idea of who the owners are. Some airsoft gun makers plan to run TV commercials to publicize the revision, while asking police not to immediately crack down on illegal gun ownership, saying some people may still be unaware of the revision.
The revision was put into effect after cars were hit by remodeled airsoft pellets in September 2005 in Osaka and Wakayama prefectures.
Airsoft guns subject to the revision are those with pellets measuring at least six millimeters in diameter and can penetrate an aluminum can when fired from a distance of one meter. Those found in possession of such weapons are subject to a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine of up to 300,000 yen.
Manufacturer groups such as Air Soft Gun Kyokai (ASGK) estimate that of the 4.5 million to 5 million airsoft guns in the nation, about 800,000 remodeled ones became illegal following the revision.
The NPA decided that the six months after the revision would be a transitional period, and if illegal airsoft guns were discarded or remodified to bring their muzzle energy within the legal limit during that period, the owners would not face a penalty.
The transitional period ended on Feb. 20, and the NPA found that only about 100 remodeled airsoft guns were brought to police stations to be disposed of during the period, and that only about 100,000 such guns were fixed by manufacturers to lower their firepower.
An NPA official said, "The transition period is over, so if we find someone who owns such an [illegal] airsoft gun, the person will have to be penalized."
On March 20, the Metropolitan Police Department sent papers to prosecutors on a 28-year-old man of Kanagawa Prefecture on suspicion of possessing two remodeled airsoft guns. The MPD found the man bought one of the guns when he was in primary school.
Remodeled air guns usually sell at high prices after being fitted with stronger springs or having their air canister replaced with a carbon dioxide one.
But the ASGK said, "Airsoft guns are toys, so we don't conduct follow-up checks on customers."
The Japan Air Sports Gun Association, comprising three air gun manufacturers, will commission TV commercials showing that airsoft guns with a certain muzzle energy are illegal.
The association also has started asking police to show an understanding attitude if owners voluntarily come forward to ask about how to dispose of their airsoft gun or weaken their gun's firepower.
(Mar. 31, 2007)