Most BB gun manufacturers today put their best efforts into making guns that look like the real deal. And, if you take a look at the guns that can be bought online, you’ll notice that many succeeded in their efforts.
High-end BB replicas are heavy and feel in the hand almost like a real weapon would. Most come with metal inner workings so the sound is as close to the real experience as possible, and some even implement a full metal body. The details are carefully crafted into the body so the replica would mimic the real deal and even the markings resemble the originals.
This is why, from a distance, many airsoft replicas can’t be differentiated from the real weapon unless they have the orange tip. Of course, at a closer examination, one can easily tell the difference, but this is not what a police officer will see.
So are BB guns becoming too real for our own safety?
The ones who are most at risk here are the children. We already have several cases of children shot by the police because they were holding a replica gun and, without proper education, these situations won’t stop.
In the cases mentioned above, the kids brought the air guns to school, presumably to protect against bullies. The parents weren’t aware of this and some didn’t even know their kids had them. After all, it’s extremely easy to go online and buy a BB gun – you just need the money.
So what can we do to protect our children?
The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen again is education. Kids need to know about the risk of bringing an airsoft weapon (even a cheap one) in a public location. Below I listed some of the topics you need to cover with your kid, even if you think he or she doesn’t know about air guns:
- Talk about the orange tip – Sadly, the tip is not mandatory for BB guns, but some producers still like to add it. It’s a safe way of showing you’re holding a replica of a real gun that shoots air pellets. However, some kids like to remove the tip so the gun will look more realistic, which is why it’s important they know its meaning.
- Where it’s safe to use a BB gun – advanced products are not considered toys and they shouldn’t be used in public locations like parks or schools. Besides the fact that it will scare people around, the gun can inflict injuries. BB guns should only be used in secure locations, specially organized for airsoft.
- Protective gear – everyone owning an airsoft weapon should know about protection! Goggles and full-face masks are required on the field because the BBs are shot at high speeds and can injure sensitive parts like the eyes, ears, face, and even the teeth.
- Never use a BB gun against someone who doesn’t wear protection! Some of the kids who brought air guns to school did it so they can protect against bullies. This is an extreme gesture and shouldn’t be encouraged under any circumstances.
In the end, we can only say that yes, BB guns do look too real for our own good. But, when handled properly and in the right locations, they can be a lot of fun for both kids and adults.