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Old September 29th, 2011, 09:12   #1
pamelawest
 
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Kitchener/Waterloo

I am the mother of a 14 yr old boy who is bugging me cause he wants to play airsoft and he just can't go outside and start playing in the neighborhood. Flagraiders which is a paintball place has occasionally had an airsoft group get together but can't give me much more info. hopefully someone out there who lives in the KW area will see this and give me some advice for how my son and some of his friends can play. There is a group of them that would like to play. Any advice?? Frustrated Mother!!
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Old September 29th, 2011, 09:33   #2
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Hello Pamela.

Unfortunately for your son, airsoft as a sport is limited to 18+ in Ontario and most of Canada. This has to do with the legal personal liabilities involved with the usage of realistic airsoft guns. The vast majority of the Canadian airsoft community supports this 18+ self-enforced policy. The legal aspect basically states, in a nutshell, that someone who is not 18+ is not wholly legally responsible for his/her actions.

Many of us are not willing to take on those liabilities in the field. The sole exception is that some game moderators may allow a sub-18 person to play, if the parent is also playing (in the field, not from the sidelines). To the best of my knowledge, even with game mod's permission, the cut-off age would still be a general 16+.

Even if you son got an airsoft gun, it wouldn't be from anyone in this community, and we would not likely let him play until he reached 18+.

In the meantime, if he is interested, I would encourage him to come out to those airsoft games to spectate, ask questions about gear & guns, and meet community members. If he asks and is mature, he may be allowed onto the field as a cameraman (with the game mod's permission, of course). Make a strong enough positive impression, and he may be one of the lucky few who is allowed to game at 16+.

Good luck.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 11:20   #3
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Hi Pam,

Thank you for being a great parent and coming on here to ask us about this.

Slink182 has provided you accurate information.

Something else to keep in mind past the legalities of the matter. Since we are 18+ community enforced, there will be those who ignore the community and allow younger players at games and as a parent you might want to question why an adult would ignore the wishes of the larger community they are supposedly apart of.

Adults will talk about adult things and some of those topics you as a parent of a young teen may not be comfortable. Since this is our time away from our own children, we generally will not censor ourselves.

Put it in another way, you have a weekend away from the kids and are out with friends, think of some of the topics, jokes and behavior you and your friends might engage in away from prying young eyes.

That for many of us is an airsoft game.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 12:08   #4
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Adults will talk about adult things and some of those topics you as a parent of a young teen may not be comfortable...
I have no idea as to what you are talking about . . . . .

(insert funny photo here circa 2002 when people had senses of humor)
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Old September 29th, 2011, 16:13   #5
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Thanks for the responses. He already has an airsoft gun that he bought at Walmart. He does all kinds of target practices that he sets up at our cottage and he plays with friends in one of the kids back yards. One of which is younger than him. I was under the impression that Flagraiders once in awhile had a night where kids were \allowed to play with their airsoft gun much like the paintball. As for the language etc he plays on a rep hockey team and I know he has pretty much heard everything on the bench and the ice. I'm not too concerned about that.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 16:15   #6
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ALso he has a group of friends that have airsoft guns so it's not like these 14 and 15 yr old boysaren't getting their hands on them, many of them have the guns.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 16:29   #7
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The airsoft guns used at the FR games are not Walmart guns - we tend to use rifles ranging between $400-800 each, and pistols starting around $200 mark. Many of us have, quite literally, thousands of dollars invested in the sport. The Walmart guns will not keep up in a game.

Having said that, and as stated above already, the organized sport is generally restricted to 18+,. If a young player showns initiative, honesty and maturity, and comes out to meet/greet/talk (but not play), once we know that person, he may (MAY) be allowed to join us, but the minimum age is still 16+. And the boy's parent may be required to hit the field also, again for the legal reasons previously stated.

There has never been an airsoft game at FR, as far as I know, hosted or otherwise, when underagers were invited. I am aware, however, that they do have underage paintball events, but paintball is not airsoft.
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His BB's fly across the country to hit their target.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 17:42   #8
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Originally Posted by pamelawest View Post
ALso he has a group of friends that have airsoft guns so it's not like these 14 and 15 yr old boysaren't getting their hands on them, many of them have the guns.
May I ask who is buying them? Usually 14 and 15 year olds don't have money to be paying for their own hobby.

Parents/guardians ARE responsible for the minors, and have repetitively in the past distanced themselves from the actions of minors with airsoft guns.

The fact that you say '14 and 15 yr old boys' demonstrates the disconnect of responsibility we as a community are trying to fix.

An 18 year old has nobody to blame for misuse/criminal acts.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 17:49   #9
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Due to the commonality of this, someone should be looking into setting up a club for under 18yo players that have parent permission and possibly some other filtering criteria. All air guns are left on site along with any airgun related items. The focus would be on teaching things like gun safety, rules of engagement, field crafts...........OMG WAIT!!!! they do have a club with this stuff!!!!! Army Cadets. You're kid will be able to shoot a real gun and learn how to respect weapons.

Last edited by Drake; September 30th, 2011 at 08:37..
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Old September 29th, 2011, 18:25   #10
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I think this issue may be a little out of the scope (no pun intended) of airsoftcanada (ASC).

if the kids are plaing with walmart/cdn tire guns, hopefully they got them with parental approval and a safety conversation, but thats not guarenteed and is DEFINIELY a sore spot with many members of this site, who pride themselves on realism and very serious levels of military simulations and gun maintenance/part quality.

realistically, airsoft games arnt targeted at the demographic of 14-18yr olds, unlike paintball for example. with all respect to the integrity of this board, the best way for your son and friends to have airsoft matches is to organise it themselves in a local (but somewhat remote/unused) forest while ensuring strict rules on masks and gameplay (such as safe areas where safety catch must be ON)
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Old September 29th, 2011, 18:58   #11
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I have been following this thread and starting to see an area of opportunity for ASC or other clubs to support what I see could be our airsoft future.

Pamela is a responsible parent that has come to us for guidance and support. She has kids that have airsoft guns because she bought and want proper use of them. Although it came from Walmart or Cdn Tire, to the public, it's a gun. Aim a clear gun at the police and they could act back in a lethal way.

Pamela also knows other parents that also have kids with airsoft guns. ASC folks you have the power to reach out and help those that buy from these mass market stores and educate them to educate others.

Also the image of airsoft have been marred in the past by airguns bought from the mass merchants.

What I am saying here is the perfect opportunity to foster and educate a sector of owners that we always poke fun at.

14 year olds can read a lot about airsoft on the forums and get a airsoft gun at Walmart and without guidance, proper use, the parents are blamed. Remember folks, the parents are not airsofters!

Asking Pamela to take their kids to some woods will never educate them better than us doing it. Regardless if we own $500+ guns, their $25 guns can destroy your sport if flashed in public or taken to school.

I am sure we can have a boot camp hour where kids can play against each other under proper supervision and at the same time for them to meet and greet real airsofters 18+.

Also at the boot camp day, kids can pair up with a 18+ so he/she can mentor the kid during the play.

Have a look at this video... all these kids are under 18

http://youtu.be/ATQr211pZBA

Last edited by SuperHog; September 29th, 2011 at 20:27..
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Old September 29th, 2011, 21:32   #12
pamelawest
 
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Wow great response Superhog. You are right I bought the gun for his birthday and he has always worn protective equipment. It was not a $500 gun but was $100. He has played with friends at the cottage where they would play like a team against team type game. I can speak for him and his friends when they do have an opportunity tu use the guns they are transported safely and not used in the community at all. I can say my son would NEVER be stupid enough to take a gun to school. All he wants is an opportunity to play a game with his freinds. At the moment he sets up targets in the garage! If an opportunity ever arose for him to play in a game with friends it obviously isn't going to be at the level of play that the pros engage, I realize that, but their are 14 and 15 yr olds out there who by whatever means own airsoft guns be it 100 or 500 dollars and there is a desire by these boys/girls to play with them.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 23:06   #13
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I hope field operators and the ASC community in every province read this thread and see this as an opportunity to support these new young airsofters and educate them so that they can educate others on their own. If airsoft gets banned from an incident from a mass retail store sale it would be a great lost for a sport which is heavily regulated and monitored.

As for your kids Pamela, if your kids lives the experience on the field, their respect for the sport continues until they are of age. My son is 8, and gets education from me and he understands and respects safety with proper use. He is excited but will have to wait for many years before I take him out to a field.

The difference between a $100 gun and a $1000 gun is the bling that is on it. They all have to shoot at regulation field fps regardless.

Last edited by SuperHog; September 29th, 2011 at 23:21..
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Old September 30th, 2011, 09:04   #14
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Okay, I'm closing this thread: Pamelawest, you came with a question and it's been amply answered.

I also have to say I have some serious misgivings about this thread:

1) pamelawest you initially came seeking advice yet within 2 posts you started defending/promoting the underaged players: you sound more like the 14 y.o kid in question who's created an account in mommy's to try and argue your point favorably with the community. (and I can't help but think "Adam West" / No Username / cantthinkofname)

2) entertaining the possibility your query was legit, the answer was still that pretty much no one will take 14-15 yo kids. Many won't even take 17. That's a fact, deal with it. No amount of arguing done on the forum is going to change it.

3) also understand you see your kids playing with the harmless little Walmart guns (the actual technical term we use for them in the hobby is "underpowered piece of shit") probably shooting .12g BBs: your offspring will not only probably have a bad day because he's severely disadvantaged on the field, you'll also find he'll be getting shot at with guns with shoot a lot faster and a lot harder, using heavier BBs that can carry that energy downrange MUCH more effectively.

If you think the airsoft we play is the same as what your kids play in the yard, you need to do a bit more homework.

4) even the Walmart and CT guns are supposed to be 18+ (store policy, Ontario law and the recommended age written on the box). By your own admission you've bought them for your kids: YOU are part of the problem our community faces. If you really want to have em shooting at each other take them to paintball.
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Old September 30th, 2011, 09:10   #15
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I hope field operators and the ASC community in every province read this thread and see this as an opportunity to support these new young airsofters and educate them so that they can educate others on their own.
By this logic we should hope bar and club owners provide a place for minors to go drinking, since there are many minors who want alcohol (and quite a few manage to get their hands on it). If we get them into bars young enough they'll grow up to be responsible drinkers, right?

Sorry but I don't buy into the newer generations' sense of entitlement to instant gratification.
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