Experiance has taught us that no publicity is good publicity. It's just better to stay off the radar of soccer moms all together then to be popular like paintball. In the past couple years I've only witnessed ONE positive reference to airsoft in the media and even then it's something that could trigger pleanty of soccor moms to march and demand that airsoft be banned to prevent their kids from doing bad things...
Airsoft isn't big enough to go to the burocratic licensing crap. It's either the way it is now or if the gvt has to step in then it's shut down outright. The way it is now (difficult to buy) is probably what is saving us from being outright shut down.