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Old August 6, 2002, 12:22 AM   #1
Long Path
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If someone pulls one of these... The makings of an ambivalent shoot.

One of the officers of my small town P.D. pulled over a local young man, whom he had dealt with before. The stop was for a minor traffic infraction, and the young fellow would normally have simply gotten a warning and been sent on his way, except that:
  • [a] This young man had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for a speeding ticket out of another jurisdiction. (a minor thing, that we often won't bother to confirm on, as we would otherwise be spending all our time getting people to pay other town's tickets)
    [b] This officer had arrested (and released with citation) this young man before for a status offense, and had found an Airsoft replica weapon in the back seat of the boy's vehicle. The officer had told the kid: "Don't drive around with that thing in plain view, kid-- you're going to get yourself hurt."
    [c] The kid still (4 months later) had the Airsoft sitting on the floor of the back seat in plain sight. (Our lieutenant, who was backing the officer up, just about had a fit.)

So the officer confirmed on the warrant, impounded the vehicle (S.O.P. for roadside arrests), and took the "pistol" for safekeeping until the kid got out to pick up his impound slip.

So I come in to relieve the officer, and walk into the P.D., and see this thing sitting on the desk. As I dress out, I'm thinking "Hey! Who got the CZ-75? Nice dark finish on it! Decent choice. But he really shouldn't just leave it sitting out on a desk unattended like that. Bad form." Finally, I pick it up and... if felt wrong. My father, a lifetime LEO and firearms instructor, dropped by the P.D., and he thought it was a real CZ until he picked it up.

When the kid came to pick up his impound slip (he had called first), I cocked the "gun", crammed it down into my holster, and had him sign for the impound slip and provide proof of ownership. I gave him his copy of the impound slip, and said, "Hey! Don't forget this! And quickly unholstered "my weapon", reversed it, and held it out to him. The look on his face was priceless. He couldn't comprehend why an officer would shove a duty weapon into his face. Finally he realized. I asked him what he thought we, as officers, would do if he were to be playing with this toy in public. "Shoot me?" He asked.

"Hopefully not," I answered. "But do you want to bet on the professionalism and cool headedness of EVERY officer out there?"

While these things look like they'd make GREAT training aids for all of us, I just can't stress enough how disconcerting it is to think that there are kids out there playing with these things as toys. Somebody's going to get shot over this. Ban them? No. But worry? Um. Yes.
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Old August 6, 2002, 12:25 AM   #2
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The gun in question.
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Old August 6, 2002, 12:26 AM   #3
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Another view.
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Old August 6, 2002, 12:28 AM   #4
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Outstanding post! Simply outstanding!

It would be a great favor for it to be printed up and distributed with every "real" looking non-gun sold.

Even pulling a wallet can get you ventilated thoroughly (Diallo) much less something that IS a gun until proven differently, which will probably be too late....
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Old August 6, 2002, 12:31 AM   #5
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Dayum... It even has the take down notches.

Kid is asking to get shot playing with that around Cops.
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Old August 6, 2002, 12:38 AM   #6
Long Path
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Every officer here agreed that he would likely shoot any kid who pointed that toy at him or someone else on the street. And every officer shuddered mightily.

FWIW, I agree with the original officer, that the kid (I keep calling him that, but he is actually just an immature 20 year old) was keeping the toy in his car for intimidation factor, should something like a road rage situation develop.

Again, a good way to be perforated.
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Old August 6, 2002, 01:03 AM   #7
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If it wasn't airsoft, it would be a Daisy pellet gun, or even a home-made look-alike (I've seen some pretty good ones). Even a crude wooden gun looks real when flashed, or in low light.

Again, and again, and yet again IT'S THE PERSON, not the object. If dumb 20 year old persists in carrying plastic toys around for intimidation (that's an assumption, but probably correct), then his death or wounding is all-too-deserved. Darwinism at work.

I feel for ya, wouldn't want to pull up on a moron and make the decision "real or fake", but it's not really anything to do with the toy, but the moron wielding it.

I happen to have an airsoft (bought an MP5 full auto for goofing around in the yard with), but I'd never use it for anything but play. I'd also hate the SOB that makes it illegal, impossible to get or afford, or makes me cover it in orange paint.
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Old August 6, 2002, 02:09 AM   #8
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swingset, I agree, almost entirely, with your sentiments. I really don't know what I feel should be the proper agenda. If anything. But I know this: it gives me a creeeeepy feeling to think that there's a lot of kiddos with no thought to the consequences, that will end up playing with these things.

I suppose I would feel better about them if I thought that everyone was taught as I was-- always to practice practicing gun safety, even when carrying a toy gun. I.E., I was taught never to point a realistic toy gun at people nor anything I would not destroy. Really.

I'm likely going to become the local School Resource Officer, and if so, this will be part of my Gun Safety Program. (Which will, BTW, begin as early as I can get them let me. )
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Old August 6, 2002, 03:51 AM   #9
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"Somebody's going to get shot over this"

Just as it has happened in the past.

Laser tag in the burbs at night is also hazardous.

Sam
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Old August 6, 2002, 05:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
I'm likely going to become the local School Resource Officer, and if so, this will be part of my Gun Safety Program.
Good-on-ya! IMNSHO, the whole debate over gun control/gun owner's rights begins and ends with education.
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Old August 6, 2002, 06:31 AM   #11
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Hell, kids have been shot for having "silver" candybar wrappers in their hands, IIRC.
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Old August 6, 2002, 07:32 AM   #12
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I don't own any CZ or Airsoft weapons, but that one in the pic looks enough like a real gun to confuse me.

Hopefully, you made your point with 'punky boy'. If not, Darwin will.
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Old August 6, 2002, 08:40 AM   #13
Oleg Volk
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BTW, what's the best way to paint over that orange top? It seems to be some glossy paint...and doesn't look right on a photo prop.
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Old August 6, 2002, 11:50 AM   #14
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The orange color is probably painted onto a black surface and can be removed with paint thinner. In some cases it's just orange putty. I've had enough experience with these things.

It's the only way I can own a full auto MP5 in KA.
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Old August 6, 2002, 12:13 PM   #15
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Did this kid point the gun at the police, or was it just laying in the back of the car?
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Old August 6, 2002, 12:16 PM   #16
Long Path
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What orange top? This one was real enough, you would pick it up before knowing for certain it was fake.
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Old August 6, 2002, 12:33 PM   #17
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We took an airsoft out of the pants of a known troublemaker on the street one night. Again, everyone agreed that he would've been shot if he'd've pulled it out.

There was an Airsoft dealer (SD something or other) with a booth at an event I participated in over the weekend. I recall that most of the guns had an orange piece of plastic attached to the muzzle end, but a little flat black Krylon would make most of the guns indistinguishable from their centerfire cousins in about 45 seconds. Many of the guns use licensed trademarks to look even more real (such as the Caspian replicas with the easily recognized "C" logo on the slide. In fact, the two MP5's they had featured mouting rails that would accept accessories meant for the real deals, one had a surefire mounted on it.
I was on the range with a real MP5SD 2 weeks ago and until you actually pulled the trigger, there was little difference between them, none to a novice and only a wieght/balance difference after the gun was picked up.

All that said, you might think I worry about these things being on the street.. actually no. I worry about foolish kids who do not have the opportunity for proper gun education and experience. These are the kinds of kids who get there hands on these things and stick them in their pants or under their car seat. They are the same kinds of kids who pull them out on the street and wave them at people. All those situations can lead to tragedies when an observant, well trained officer responds appropriately to what appears to be the threat of lethal attack.
For those who make the "calculated" decision to commit crimes with these things... they are going to get what they deserve eventually, and even if they don't at least they aren't running around with live weapons.

IMHO, It all comes down to education and common sense. As noted above, spinning on a cop and pulling anything out from under a jacket, let alone if you've just been chased down the street, is a bad idea. The only "victim" when a cop shoots someone brandishing a replica is the cop and his family/department.
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Old August 6, 2002, 12:41 PM   #18
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I was at an AMU clinic last year where the instructor had an Airsoft M4 that he used for demonstrations. I thought the damn thing was real. It was that detailed.

Airsoft guns are of incalculable use to serious shooters (force-on-force training) but they can get you killed if you use them in a stupid manner.

- Chris
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Old August 6, 2002, 01:03 PM   #19
Long Path
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lonegunman-- no, he never even touched it, to the best of my knowledge. Please understand that the kid was arrested solely on the basis of his outstanding misdemeanor warrant.

Rob-- I agree that an officer who takes a shot when presented with the very real threat of one of these is in the right and is the victim. I agree that it is the personal responsibility of all who decide to own these to act appropriately.
I agree that education is the issue.

All-- That's why I posted this thread-- Not to educate us in prospective defensive shootings, so much (take no chances)-- but to ask you ALL to become educators among your friends and youth about the very real perils of personal responsibility.
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Old August 6, 2002, 01:05 PM   #20
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That said,

Anybody know where I can buy a 1911 Airsoft, cheap? Online sources? Local sources to Ft. Worth TX?

I agree that these things would make fantastic training aids to the shooter. I want one.
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Old August 6, 2002, 01:19 PM   #21
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Here in St. Louis a while back, a early-teens wannabe banger managed to get capped when he tried to pull one of the Marksman 1911-look-alikes on a cop. There was a great lot of noise about the cop shooting too fast for a while, mostly from people who wouldn't have been crying if it'd been real and the cop had been shot.
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Old August 6, 2002, 02:10 PM   #22
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Long Path:

Cheaper Than Dirt, which I believe runs a retail store in Fort Worth, carries a very select inventory of spring-powered airsoft guns, which must be manually cycled by hand for each shot. The 1911 that you inquired about is listed on their web site: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ctd/p...BMXP8PMF2C1077

Meanwhile, for a gas powered option, Big World Comics (http://www.bigworldcomics.com/) has a selection of lower to moderate quality gas powered airsoft guns that "blow back" to chamber the next BB in the magazine, though the KWC Gas Blow-Back 1911 variant they carry may not be easy to recommend based on build quality. Their locations in Carrollton and Mesquite are listed on the site.


Online resources abound. Many retailers carry the top-of-the-line japanese Western Arms brand guns, which are replicas externally indistinguishable from the real thing in almost every way and go as far as to officially liscense real gun manufactorer's trademarks. Examples are Pietro Beretta, Strayer Voigt, Wilson Combat, and Para-Ordnance.

Domestic retailers of such gas blow-back replicas include: http://www.airsofttoys.com, http://www.generationairsoft.com, and http://www.infinityairsoft.net. Most of the guns sold in the United States are manufactored overseas (with the exception of the Daisy "Airstrike" replica of the Beretta Mod.92, available without a red barrel at about any Walmart), so many individual and bulk/retail orders are made from Hong Kong. A good site for research of the vast scope of items designed for Airsoft can be found at Hong Kong's Wargamer's Club English site: http://www3.wargameclub.com/WGC_Shop/
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Old August 6, 2002, 02:14 PM   #23
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Do not shoot your roommate in the butt with an airsoft MP-5; they know where you sleep.
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Old August 6, 2002, 02:24 PM   #24
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Tamara:

Are you saying from personal experience that payback is "he!!" ? ? ? ? ?

As I found out many years ago...Do Not Shoot sleeping older brother with a Red Ryder......he, too knows where YOU sleep
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Old August 6, 2002, 07:07 PM   #25
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That's right.. Tam has one of those very real looking MP5 jobs....


LP,

I can find out about the company that was at the event over the weekend, they had a full line of various 1911 types as well as long guns. The handguns worked very reliably and were reloaded by magazine (BBs) and gas canisters (for cycling). We had some of these types at my old PD, they were USP replicas and very realistic. Poor PD's simunitions.

let me know through PM.
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