Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Windows shot out

About 20 vehicles in the Crescentwood and River Heights areas had their windows shot out by someone armed with a pellet or airsoft gun Sunday night, police say.
No injuries were reported and no one has been arrested.
The vandalism occurred on Corydon, Grosvenor and Kingsway avenues about 10 p.m., police said. Someone called police upon hearing the sound of gunshots.
It’s believed the suspect or suspects were in a vehicle when the shots were fired. Police didn’t release a description of the vehicle or its occupants.
Police are looking for witnesses. Anyone with information about the incident or suspects is asked to call the Division 16 crime unit at 986-2877 or Crime Stoppers at 786-8477.


On June 11, a Sherwood Family YMCA employee called police to report a teen pointing a gun at people in the facility’s lower parking lot. Less than 10 minutes later, three Sherwood police officers, a Tualatin officer, two King City officers and a Washington County sheriff’s deputy headed toward the teen, a patrol car leading the way down the street followed by the officers who had shields, hand guns, beanbag weapons and rifles drawn.
A moment later, Nick Dailey, a 16-year-old Sherwood High School student, and seven of his friends were lying face down on the ground, handcuffed.
What police didn’t know was that Dailey’s weapon was actually an airsoft pistol, a replica of a handgun that shoots hard 6mm plastic pellets instead of bullets. After confirming that the gun wasn’t real, Nick and his friends were quickly released.
However, the incident illustrates a growing problem among local law enforcement officers: Airsoft weapons look real with the exception of an orange tip that can easily be removed or altered to resemble a real gun.
That’s something that worries Walina Dailey, Nick’s mother, who fears that a situation could turn out tragic if police think a teen has a real weapon.
“That’s my biggest concern,” said Dailey, adding that her son never pointed the gun at any of the other teens that night.
Incident was unusual
“The mere fact of owning (an airsoft gun) is not a crime or against our city ordinance,” said Hanlon. He added, however, that it is against the law to fire such a weapon within Sherwood city limits.
Although the majority of Nick’s airsoft gun was transparent, police say they can’t take any chances in assuming it’s a toy gun, pointing out that more and more components of handguns are being constructed with clear polymer plastics.
Hanlon noted that at least one airsoft gun police have previously come across, looks identical to the MP5 weapons Sherwood police formerly carried in their patrol vehicles.
Even the weight of the airsoft products are similar, said Hanlon. That makes police treat such situations as if they’re dealing with someone holding a real weapon.
“A gun is a gun even if it’s fake,” Hanlon pointed out.
While the YMCA encounter was a rare incident, police say the approach was necessary because they didn’t know whether or not they were dealing with a real weapon.
What made it more confusing was that it was a third party calling in the information with the call coming in as “a possible shooter,” causing more concern than normal.

Plea deal reached over robbery charge

WOODSTOCK - A 20-year-old Cary man accused of trying to steal marijuana and money during a drug deal accepted a negotiated plea today. Erick Blanco, of 750 Blazing Star Trail, pleaded guilty to felony criminal damage to property in exchange for prosecutors dropping a more serious charge of attempted aggravated robbery. Blanco admitted to breaking the rear driver’s side window of a vehicle and was ordered to pay the car’s owner $410.As part of the agreement, McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather sentenced him to two years of probation, 30 days in jail, a $500 fine and 50 hours of community service. He also was ordered to complete any drug and alcohol counseling recommended after an evaluation and to pass at least 10 urine tests while on probation.Police had said Blanco came from behind a bush with an Airsoft gun and approached two people involved in a drug deal in June 2009, at 2709 Crystal Lake Ave. in Cary. He tried to take about 8 ounces of marijuana and less than $300 cash, police said shortly after his arrest.The more serious charge he originally faced was a Class 2 felony, which typically is punishable with probation or up to seven years in prison.

War games centre plan gets council approval

PLANS for a war games centre have been given the go-ahead by planning chiefs despite objections from nearby residents.
Airsoft Skirmish CentreEast Staffordshire Borough Council’s planning committee passed the application for the Airsoft Skirmish Centre at the former barracks, in Stubby Lane, Marchington, by a majority vote of eight.
The decision on the application, submitted by Shawn Sowter, has been a long time coming after it was submitted in December.
It went before the committee in March but the decision was deferred after it was decided that more information was needed on the noise impact.
In April the application was withdrawn following concerns over the impact on protected species in the area, chiefly bats.
Speaking at the meeting, Ms S Fulford asked the committee not to accept the plans saying she was speaking on behalf of all the residents as there was no independent noise survey carried out.
As well as concerns about noise, she also spoke about protected species living on the site.
Ms Jillian Peto also told the meeting that the plans were totally inappropriate for the area and said that residents’ human rights had to be taken into consideration. She said that vandalism on the site had been exaggerated to support the application.
Mr A Rice, the agent for the applicant, said no further delays would be accepted as his client had agreed to ‘a number of compromises’.
He said that the council’s experts had accepted the plans and had said it would be unreasonable to object on the grounds of noise.
Councillor Robert Hardwick expressed concerns about barn owls and great crested newts that could be living on the site.
Other councillors were also concerned for wildlife living on the site and the impact on neighbours.
Councillor Trevor Hathaway said the games centre would only be used 28 days of the year, which worked out at one day a fortnight, between 10am and 6pm.
Therefore, he said it would not be that much of a disruption to the wildlife and the noise was not excessive.
Councillor David Brookes, chairman of the meeting, said: “We could find better use for this site as I do not think that this is appropriate.
It has been derelict for the best part of 30 years.”
Planning delivery team leader Jo Roebuck said it was a fine balance with arguments on both sides and the five-year approval gave the opportunity for this impact to be reassessed.

The plans were approved with the conditions set out by the planning officers which include pyrotechnics limited to a maximum sound level of 70dB when measured at five metres, no more than 60 people in a game and the submission, approval and implementation of a bat activity monitoring scheme.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Airsoft Handguns – The Perfect Gift For Every Thirtysomething Kid

They’re not in the same category as toys but airsoft pistols are an ideal hobby for any adult or young adult. Unlike paintball guns or normal airguns airsoft hanguns are designed to look just like the real thing. This has posed a problem for airsoft gun owners over the years due to airsoft pistols being used in “armed” robberies. Believe me when one of these is pointed in your face it looks just like the real thing. To combat this danger airsoft manufactures are now making many of their airguns in clear plastics and/or with an orange flash at the tip of the barrel to counteract this problem.
Your airsoft pistol is capable of firing a 6mm plastic bb at speeds of up to 300 feet per second which while not dangerous to exposed arms or legs could definitely cause damage to unprotected eyes. Always, always use safety glasses when firing an airsoft gun indoors or outdoors. A ricochet can happen quite easily and the results can be horrific. The actual power of your handgun will depend on the firing mechanism used. Your choices are spring, gas and electric. Spring and gas offer the highest power range but the newer Airsoft AEG blowback handguns look pretty neat too.
Bear in mind too that a spring airsoft gun will need to be cocked for every single shot whereas the gas and airsoft AEG models offer fully automatic fire rates. The spring pistols will be cheaper but are a little bit more clumsy to use. The gas blowback models really mimic the real thing – especially when the topslide flies backwards after each shot.
One thing you won’t need to worry about when buying an airsoft handgun is finding your favourite weapon. The choice is truly staggering with all the popular brands making an appearance – Glock,Beretta and the Desert Eagle being amongst the most popular. For the true airsoft nut you can even get the Robocop M93R handgun – although these are getting tough to find nowadays.
Just like the real thing your airsoft handgun needs to be loaded before firing so you’ll need to fill the clip with bbs before you can start target practice. The bbs themselves are available in a variety of colors and styles – including paintball and glow-in-the-dark; so there’s a bb to suit everyones taste.
Indoor or outdoor airsoft handguns offer a fun and entertaining hobby that can be enjoyed safely by just about the entire family. As always these airsoft guns are not really toys and should not be used by children unattended.
Also please do check local laws in relation to owning an airsoft handgun – they are banned in some countries. Check your local, state and national laws to ensure that possessing an airsoft pistol isn’t against the law. There have been several cases of airosft guns being mistaken for real weapons by police forces worldwide – sometimes with tragic consequences.