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April 11, 2024

  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
  • Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg
    Indie bookstore, Gathering Volumes, just hosted poet and (transgender) activist, Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg To celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, Minney read from her poetry book – A Woman in Progress (2024). Her reading depicted emotional and physical transformations especially in the scene of womanhood and queer experiences. Her language is empowering and personally […]
Spring Housing Guide

AirSoft guns teach kids the wrong lessons

Last week police arrested two men on the corner of Wooster and Troup Street for inducing panic.

Ever since, whether I have been in class, at work or in the Union I have heard the commentary on this arrest.

Many students are upset, arguing the men shouldn’t have been arrested, but only warned. Some have made quips about the police force being too uptight.

I have heard many remarking about how they play with AirSoft guns at home. For anyone who missed the fiasco, let me give you the condensed version.

A 9-1-1 call was placed last Tuesday by a woman who saw her neighbors outside with what appeared to be handguns.

Police came and upon seeing a suspect who fit the description from the call, asked the man if he had a gun.

Said suspect said ‘yes’ and proceeded to reach behind his back to get the gun.

An officer pulled his own gun and ordered him down on the ground.

My point, today, is to show students how it’s not the police who were in the wrong in this case.

Students always complain they want to be treated like adults, but then they turn around and pull a stunt like this.

College students are legally adults and should know better than to run around outside with guns.

I know what you’re thinking, “they weren’t real guns; they were toys!”

I have seen AirSoft guns. They look like real guns; they feel like real guns.

In this time of fear, where people have been told they should be constantly afraid of attacks on their lives, I maintain these kids should have been intelligent enough to realize they were causing a panic.

I’m not saying they shouldn’t be allowed to play with their guns, I’m just reminding them they are part of a community. There are places where it would be more appropriate to play than in their downtown front yard.

Go to a less conspicuous friend’s house; find someone with a fenced-in backyard; at the very least, let your neighbors know what is going on.

These kids (as I find is more and more common) seem to think what they do does not affect those around them.

This is more than apathy; it’s pure ignorance. And it’s not just the fault of the kids with the guns. The manufacturer is also to blame.

When I grew up in the early 90s, guns shot water and they were painted in SuperSoaker green and Nerf orange.

The coolest gun I had was a Nerf bazooka that shot baseball sized foam balls across the yard into the back of my brother’s head.

Last summer, my youngest brother got an AirSoft gun for his birthday.

It put a perfectly round hole through my mother’s hummingbird feeder. I had to ask myself” what would that do if he shot one of his buddies in the eye?

“Toy” guns today are made to look and feel as real as possible. But why is this the case?

We buy these because they are the “cool” thing to have, and then we are surprised when local law enforcement evaluates them as a threat.

Manufacturers need to make up their minds. Either something is a toy or it isn’t.

Furthermore, are these guns really the most wholesome thing we can think of to do with our afternoons?

It’s sad when adults (and kids!) are sitting around and cannot find anything they would like to do more than shoot something.

What purpose does a fake gun serve?

These are not the water guns and Nerf guns that can be played with at a first grader’s birthday party.

Nor are they even the BB guns which can be used to teach target practice to kids who are easing into the proper hunting age.

AirSoft guns are nothing more than pointless, dangerous weapons that serve no purpose except to incite panic and teach kids it’s okay to have handguns.

Send comments to Amanda Hoover at [email protected].

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