PUBLISHED: 3:27 PM on Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Give us an airsoft field
People are constantly getting mad at my friends and me for having airsoft battles in the Dredge Lake area. Recently, the forest service took Dredge Lake from us, forcing airsoft and paintball players to find new areas. This means that many people will try to find new areas and, most likely, get in trouble for playing in that "field."

Airsoft started in Japan in the mid 1970's due to a law that stated only law enforcement could have firearms.

Airsoft guns gained their popularity in the 1990's and quickly spread through China, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines, mainly because of the firearms law. This game has gained popularity in Asia and is gaining popularity in Juneau. Juneau needs a dedicated Airsoft and paintball field.

First of all, hikers, bikers, and people walking their dogs use the trail at Dredge Lake all the time, and stray rounds can be a very serious issue for these people. The very same people have stopped our games and asked us to leave or wait so they could walk their dog on a trail next to the old field. My friends Nathan Schultz and Chris Hartman have even had the cops called on them because someone thought they had real guns. These problems could be eliminated with an airsoft and paintball field.

Second of all, airsoft teaches sportsmanship. Because airsoft guns shoot small plastic bb's, there is no definite way to tell if you hit the person other than a small noise that only the target can hear. This teaches sportsmanship because if the hit person stays in, then sooner or later someone will spot them cheating. If the person keeps cheating soon no one will play with them. Like all competitive sports it also teaches fairness because you can cheat once, but if you cheat again no one will play with you.

Airsoft is safe and teaches sportsmanship, so give a safe game a safe place to happen.