The idea of a course (especially a 4-hour course) is kindof over the top and totally unnecessary. Pretty much everyone who plays airsoft never had any kind of "course" and they play just fine. Many newbies who pick up a halfbreed come out and play and fit right in.
The issue is that, a year ago, for Joe Somebody to get an airsoft gun they had to jump through hoops, get AV'd (which meant if the AVer felt the dude was a schmuck he could refuse to verify), then order on the classifieds and wait anywhere from a few weeks to several months before they had an AEG. This had the effect of weeding out the very casual player that has no desire to participate properly.
Now, as someone mentioned it (I think it was Crunch) the AV status really means fuck all. Any dumbass can get an airsoft gun. This has result in more dumbasses with airsoft guns. Of course, we've said time and time before, Age Verifacation is only an ASC policy and isn't for policing airsoft.
What's needed is game players with the balls to report stuipidness and hosts with the balls to do something about it. If someone is being a fucktard, take them aside, explain things to them, and if they are still
being a fucktard, kick them off the field. Post their names on ASC for public ridicule. They'll shape up pretty quick after that -and if they don't, they'll run out of places to play real quick. The airsoft community in Canada is still pleanty small enough to accomplish that.
Second, reinstate a minimum equipment requirement for games (I say "reinstate" because this used to be done but it seems noone does it anymore). You want to play a game? Show up with some BDU's and no n00b-caps. $250 will get you two sets of BDU's and a bunch of magazines (well.. usually
). "Oh but I can't afford it!" Tough shit. Airsoft is an expensive hobby. We stopped telling people the "set aside $1,000 to get into it" because every time we did a few people who managed to get good deals on stuff would come in and be like "No you can do it for less blablabla you don't need that much blablabla." Fuck that. Hobbies are expensive. EVERY hobby has a minimum level of equipment required -whether it be model building, Radio Control Planes/Cars/Boats/Tanks, Biking, whatever- why the hell should airsoft be any different?
Third, have "newbie days" where new and aspiring players can come out and talk to those of us who have been playing for a long time, where they can ask their questions. It's also where we can EXPLAIN all this shit to them and tell them that "Yes, this IS a hobby, and there ARE expected standards."
Honestly, we can't blame newbies and halfbreeds for all of this.. we've let our own standards drop considerably. A lot of shit that goes on now would never have been tolerated a few years ago.
Oh and one more thing: If playing with a black gun, proper BDU's, and a proper LBV make me an elitist, good. I didn't get into airsoft to run around in civies with a clear gun.