BB and especially Airsoft has increasingly become a viable method of reinforcing good training habits gun handling and safety. Due to movies or more importantly the abundance of information available to the average citizen on the internet, people are more into gun awareness. Additionally, there is a lot of news these days about the battle between conservatives and liberals on gun advocacy. Unfortunately, there have been increasingly more incidents of gun violence in the United States; however, that contention is also hotly contested.
There are many out there that claim that incidents of gun violence aren’t statistically higher than previously. It’s just that the media, especially social media sites on the internet, simply create a lot more hype and attention when something does happen. In actuality they argue, there’s no more than other times.
Regardless of the truth, people continue to be fascinated with gun culture. Whether it’s because they’re controversial or taboo, or if it’s just a matter of practicality — the amount of dissent in the US seems to be rising, and we continue to see a backlash of protests, marches, and just plain civil unrest in various communities.
Anger and frustration is directed toward authoritative entities, namely local as well as federal governments. Citizens are beginning to feel more and more disenfranchised. Events such as Ferguson (Michael Brown shooting), as well as other occasions of police violence and alleged abuse of power/suppression of civil rights/etc, as resulted in more people riding the edge.
Out of all this, gun advocates and gun awareness in general seems to have exploded. 2nd Amendment advocates are all over the so-called assault rifle (commonly referred to as the AR-15) and ammunition ban. Some zealots even started hoarding ammo when President Barack Obama was re-elected during the last election cycle, predicting all sorts of extreme measures that the government and POTUS Obama were going to take.
Of course, this didn’t actually happen, and those folks were called out for being zealots who were screaming that the sky was falling. Metaphorically of course!
Where Airsoft Comes In
With all the current events happening in this atmosphere, people have turned to guns as a backup. Whether motivated by patriotism, ideology, or some other notion of liberty, their cause seems to be growing in numbers. One of the most efficient ways to train gun handling, safety, and overall awareness is to practice with BB or Airsoft guns.
If one looks at YouTube, you’ll see myriad number of people reviewing or talking about their Airsoft guns. Many are reviews of the different products, while others are simply talking about the hobby/sport in general.
Airsoft guns in particular are so realistic looking these days, that some gun industy manufacturers are actually producing items that are specifically geared towards the Airsoft crowd.
Magpul, for example, is a huge name in the gun world. They produce not only some of the best-selling and most popular accessories for the highly modular AR-15 rifle (such as magazines, slings, stocks, grips), the Remington 870 shotgun (one of the most popular shotguns in the world), but they also put out a number of instructional videos. And in those videos, the techniques that are taught by the Magpul instructors have been widely adopted as “correct” by a large number of the gun crowd.
But I digress, the point I was SLOWLY trying to make is that even a company like Magpul is creating products that while not suitable for actual live-fire weapons, they are targeted towards Airsoft gun owners.
My prediction? Is that this industry will only grow bigger over the next few years as companies seek to take advantage of a larger market share in this burgeoning industry. The only reason that they would hope that this sort of progress ceases or slows down is because of any sort of backlash to done safety and the awareness surrounding gun related violence these days. Either way you’re going to see more and more people start taking up the hobby or if you would like to call it a sport, of airsoft guns.
As mentioned they are so realistic looking some of them even function in a realistic manner with moving parts and very detailed construction as well as adornment. Again going back to YouTube, you’ll see that there are many younger and younger people taking up the sport sometimes with wrong motives as they are romanticizing gun play. While this can be a problem, the bigger benefit of airsoft and BB guns or that they actually do allow people to train, handle, and just become more familiar with guns. This should help increase gun safety and hopefully reduce gun related violent instances in the future.
As airsoft becomes more and more popular, I do expect people to take up the hobby in greater numbers, and making events out of it. This is similar to how people go out in large groups to have a day of fun playing paintball. This could involve large groups taking a party bus or even renting a limo (like we did from these guys) and making it a weekend party, if you will. Whatever direction the sport is headed, seemingly the number of participants are going up and the increased popularity will only be reflected in the more frequent activities you see and information that is online about the sport.