* my flame suit is on *
I don't get paintball or airsoft....
What is the first rule of GUN safety ?
I take it by this statement you also have a problem with MILES gear? I've done both MILES and paintball in the military. Paintball was more recreational, but both were military ran.
I played paintball as a kid. It's many times better than video games for kids growing up. It gets kids and adults alike outside, active, and training a skill that may eventually be useful. Paintball can help by training you to seek cover, recognize cover vs. concealment, recognize ambushes, use teamwork, etc. While there is a massive difference between incoming paint and bullets, you can still learn the basics of force on force tactics. Yeah, it's more lighthearted, but still can be quite educational on a basic level. Same can be said about airsoft.
Just like with a firearm, there are safety rules to be followed. With the correct gear and adherence to rules, there's very little risk. Same with any sport. I've yet to hear paintball blamed for a violent incident.
Of course, I was introduced to real guns (hunting) first. I knew the difference well before I ever touched a paintball gun. Think I was in the minority with the group I played with. Take that for what it's worth. I don't intend this to be flaming, but a look at the positive side of pointing a painball gun at your buddies in a controlled environment. I'll respectfully disagree, but invite you to a game if you're ever in my neck of the woods.