13 Year old boy in Santa Rosa, CA shot to death.
14 year old boy in Tempe, AZ shot to death.
57 Year old man in Suffield, CT shot to death.
What do they have in common? They were shot after brandishing AIR SOFT guns to police.
These are not toys. They are very realistic copies of modern firearms, except they shoot plastic BBs by compressed CO2 cartridges.
This image is an AIRSOFT 1911 model that was used by juveniles at Blish Park last week, at the playscape. The youths were pointing it at each other's heads and other body parts. The other gun in the image is a 1911 .45 caliber pistol, and very deadly. The only difference is the small red/orange nub on the barrel. Same size, same weight and same finish.
Needless to say, several parents at the playscape with their children had an issue with this behavior, even after the youths said it was an "air gun".
Although AIRSOFT can be an activity that can be enjoyed by parent and their children, on their property, or property they have permission to shoot on, parents should not allow their children to take AIRSOFT guns out unsupervised. This is how tragedies occur.
In a split second, police officers need to make a decision to use deadly force based on circumstances presented to them. Often times, particularly at distance, the red/orange nub required on the barrels of these guns can not be seen or identified. Please let's not add any more numbers to this type of tragedy.
Picture below is from the AIRSOFT 1911.