How many 16yr olds do you see with airsoft guns?
Most of us are very focused on maturity, and because theres no import laws for or against airsoft we have to be significantly more careful about what we do. Whereas some kid goes walking around downtown with a paintball gun and everyone goes "hey look, its a kid with a paintball gun", same kid is walking downtown with an airsoft gun, even with an orange tip, and the situation becomes "little Timmy Retard got shot by police officers yesterday...".
As for the lack of recoil and sound, you could always buy a gas airsoft gun, and gas pistols function exactly like the real steel.
As for the honesty rule, if they're not calling their hits consistently, it just means they want to get shot in the ear. And the same goes for paintball, I've heard from my friend quite a few times people don't call their hits if the paintball doesnt break when it hits them.