Originally Posted by jacobean
I myself know nothing about airsoft guns and had never heard of them until a few days ago so just wanted to get feedback from experts who are familiar with them. After researching them on the Internet and finding this site, my gut feel is my nephew owning or using one of these devices is a disaster waiting to happen – for him and for others. I just wanted to know if I was over reacting and being unreasonable or if it is commonly accepted practice for 12 years to own/use these. Thanks for your responses so far!!
I think your gut feeling is correct on this. The good people who moderate and run this forum expend a non-trivial portion of their time and effort in protecting airsoft from disasters like the one you fear. The non-lethality of airsoft guns seems to suggest to many parents that these are toys and appropriate for kids. The respect for their status as firearms is therefore lacking, and this isn't limited to kids -- many of us adults who got into this stuff late assumed they were toys when we first discovered them. I know I did. A bit of bad luck could have led to some serious misunderstandings had I not done some research.