Originally Posted by whisper_kill
No offense, but it ain't gonna happen. You can wrap the sport up in any soft and fuzzy wrapping you like... but the moment a 'minor' shows his/her mom/dad a realistic looking weapon, with their kid dressed up in realistic equipment you will be right back to square one. There is a very real reason why this sport is kept on the down low. In today's political climate, and with the media covering every single gun crime... you get the idea.
As for charities, that idea has been done before in the past. The problem now is, the unfortunate reality that waivers are not enough to cover the hosts asses from litigious folks and therefore incorporation and insurance become a necessity and as you are probably more than well aware, these items cost lots of money. Add in covering off expenses, field fees and it leaves you very little, if anything to give to a charity. These are the current economics of our small underground sport.
I have been playing paintball for the better half of 20 yr's and have watched it grow from the so called "outlaw sport" into the socially accepted sport it is today. Which includes watching soccer moms go to the local pro shop and buy their 13 yr old kid a complete milisim set up with tactical vest, swat styled helmet, BT Delta and the whole nine yards. I can say the the BT Delta along with a few other paintball guns look pretty realistic to say the least. So I would argue the "Back to square one" theory you have put up any day of the week, it's simply not true. There will always be those that are against it but until steps are taken to put the sport in a more positive light it will always be thought of as a no no hush hush sport. Change has to start somewhere just like it did in paintball. CAPS is a prime example of ways to make change to put a more positive light on the sport. The change will come sooner or later... it's just a matter of time.
As a field owner I can tell you that waivers work just fine and I am speaking from experience. Unlike our American counter parts our justice system puts more than "Its just a piece of paper" mentality behind a signed waiver when challenged in court. Insurance is there for those occasions that if something does go wrong that organizers and or field owners have a back up to them loosing their shirt or not being able to pay. The insurance is there to ensure the customer and operators well being in the event that something does go wrong outside of normal circumstances. Myself in charities I have donated to, gate fee's, raffle funds etc. are given to the charity. Bare operating costs are kept back with the majority going toward the charity itself. Bare operating costs being paying the staff or for specialized equipment needed for the event. I have never had any problems in that dept. with getting a sizable amount for the charity we were giving a donation to. I rely on my regular business to cover the routine operating costs on charity events. So I will have to disagree with your summation of the charity issue.
Cheers & Happy New Year