After I read all the posts (yeah it's true...it now is 1:00 am and have to go work in 5 hours)...
After having been flamed myself for asking questions...
Here is my opinion:
I believe that respect is the most important thing. Regardless of your age or maturity. I think the we should respond to the new guys showing up the same way we would if they were 16 or 35. Yes they can be immature. Yes they probably will want to play before being 18. And no they won't always have read the FAQs and Stickies.
Here is what I would have said in this specific case.
First read a lot. Look for infos on the guns, find one or two that fits you. Check reviews, some are better guns to start with. Go to some public games, just to have the feel of it. Talk to people, you will then be able to place a face on the names here on the forums. Most of the time, players will let you hold their guns and maybe fire them. You will get a very important first hand experience. Some games also need Non-combatant players, so you could participate in such events.
Then start saving if you have not already. If you are not 18, you can start by buying gears. It is as important, if not more to have the right equipement than to have a good gun. Hell I played the 3 first games this winter with only my Blowback handgun, and a single mag. Since you start, it does not have to be brand-new. It will help not to be discouraged by the cost or the sport.
Since you are playing paintball, you already know the basics of security. It's about the same in airsoft, but you don't need a full-face mask, some good balistic googles are fine. You can use the ones for paintball, just remove the mask. Airsoft pellets are a lot lighter than painballs, so even if your airsoft gun shoots a lot further and have a higher muzzle velocity, the energy in the projectile is far less. That is why it does not hurt that much, and why you don't need a mask. Sure you still can use one if you want.
When you have enought money for the gun you have spotted, look for places where you can get one. Don't try to get it from across the border, because the current laws make it very hard and stressfull. It might cost a bit more, but it is a lot easier to get a gun from a canadian retailer. Look at top of the page for some. For a first gun, you might want to buy a new one instead of a used one. That way you don't buy the problems of the used gun.
*An important thing is how you handle your gun. Would you run around in town with your hunting rifle? Well the answer is the same for airsoft. Act exactly the same way as if it was a real gun. Don't wave it around to show off... it's the best way to have it seized, and to forget about playing airsoft.
If you still are under 18, chances are that you won't be able to order the gun directly. If you really feel serious about it, you can talk with your parents to have them buy the gun and come assist at the events, or even maybe play with you. It can be a good father-son activity.
If you are over 18 by then, there won't be any problems. But still don't rush it. There is no need to upgrade your gun as soon as you get it. First because it is a pain to do it yourself (did my first gun not even a month ago...took 5 hours to have everything perfect), and because upgraded guns wear down a lot faster.
Then try to attend at as much games as you can. And talk again to new players. If it is the first time you play in a field, go ask some guys that play there often. There might be some tricky places or hot spots to know. Make yourself a good name. It will be easier to go to private games, but it also is a lot more fun that way!
Here it is! You are an airsoft player. Try to act the same way to other players, new or vets. Even if it's only a short time you play, you still can help others.
So here is a resume of my opnion. I will try to contact the guy and tell him this. He might come back and be a good airsoft player...who knows?
It is my opinion. Take-it of flame-it. I don't care. But if you want to talk to me, about anything, not only airsoft, PM me!! I like to talk with ppl!!!