Parents: Do you know where your children are?And what they’re doing?Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

I frequently get calls from lawyers wanting expert advice on the lethality of airguns. Sometimes, these questions are even about airsoft guns. As difficult as it is to imagine in this paranoid age of zero tolerance, there are still children who take airsoft guns and low-powered BB or pellet guns to school or brandish them in public. When they are caught, the consequences are dire.

The latest call came from an incident that happened last year. A teenaged boy was caught on a school bus in possession of a PPK/S. The lawyer is very tight-lipped about whether it was a BB gun or an airsoft gun, but he wants an opinion on the lethality of the “weapon.”

There ARE dumb questions after all!
I was wrong to say there are no dumb questions. Because whenever a DEFENSE lawyer uses the emotionally loaded term “weapon” when referring to his client, he is setting up the case to lose (e.g., When did you stop beating your wife?).

AN AIRGUN IS NOT A WEAPON! Airguns are not recognized as self-defense weapons, except for a very limited range of less-lethal weapons. Law enforcement does not include airguns in their list of offensive weapons. Yes, there are specific uses for airguns in both law enforcement and the military (rubber bullet launchers, tasers and pepper ball launchers, for example), but they do not include using the airgun as an offensive WEAPON. Calling an airgun a weapon is as dumb as calling a firearm a “real gun.” Especially when your defense attorney does it!

Lethality is not the issue!
I don’t know where the term “lethal” entered into the conversation, either, but it has nothing to do with the case, unless the shool makes a distinction between lethal and non-lethal guns. That’s hard to believe. The real problem is the school’s policy. If their policy prohibits bringing guns of any kind onto school property (the school bus is school property), then that is the only issue on which to focus.

Time for REAL parenting!
Enough of this incident. The core issue lies with families and how society relates to them today. Fifty years ago, all adults looked after all children, more or less. Any adult could scold any child doing something wrong in public and, unless the situation was very bizarre, the parents of the child would accept the correction. Children had no “rights,” because they were dependent minors.

That situation has changed dramatically. Today, an adult who corrects a child other than his own risks a lawsuit. And, in some circumstances, they also risk legal action even when correcting their own children. I am not judging whether this is bad or good; it’s just the way things are. So, parents have to educate their children more than ever before on the pitfalls of society, because they are now treated as almost fully franchised citizens. Even with that, there isn’t complete protection.

I will finish this discussion tomorrow.

27 thoughts on “Parents: Do you know where your children are?And what they’re doing?Part 1”

  1. Hear Hear.
    I could go on on this one BB. But you said it fine.

    OK, a thought for a post for you…I was on my std board post rounds today and came across a post asking for the deffinition of “trigger creep”…well as you’ve poited out in the past there is some wonderfull information and missinformation out there on the web.
    But I was amazed at the differences in oppinion on this from some sources I’d thought were relyable in the past.

    How about considering the topic of single vs double satge triggers and some basic deffinitions of common trigger terms and problems.

  2. Turtle,

    I did a pretty inclusive blog on triggers back in September of 2006


    Although the title doesn’t mention single and two-stage triggers, they are covered in that posting. They have to be, because many people mistake a two-stage trigger for one with creep.

    I will do another post if there is enough interest, but I’d like to get into something a little different, if possible.


  3. Good morning B.B.,
    Very good post. Yes, the responsibility rests with all of us adults by setting good examples and being good parents. 50 years ago, the US population was 160 million and we got our info from the newspaper. Now it is 301 million, and we get our news intsantly, and right in our face. Somethings are better for it (like this blog), and some are worse (cell phone cams of me picking my nose in public.) Change is inevitable.

    Off subject a bit, transfer ports. Your Wiscombe JW75 has changeable transfer ports and I remember your comments about how one of the cheap Chinese air guns had a transfer port that was way too big. I know its all interrelated and complex, but how does the port diameter work with pellet weight, velocity, piston displacement, spring strength, barrel length, and all the other variables.

  4. Schools are a wierd thing. They say no firearms, but if you were to take a little plastic toy you would be thrown out in a heartbeat. The best idea at places like that is just to not bring anything that resembles a gun. And if you do, (have something in the trunk of your car or something like that) just don’t tell anybody. There are so many people that get expelled that wouldn’t have gotten in trouble if they just wouldn’t have shown their buddy “look what I have”

    Just my .2 cents.

  5. pestbgone,

    I haven’t done exhaustive testing, but the little I have done indicates that caliber is the most important variable. That’s why some guns are grwat in one caliber and duds in another, I think.

    The things you mention are all probably factors, but can you imagine the amount of testing that would need to be done to figurte all that out?

    I think this is true – no spring rifle manufacturer has done more than a little cursory testing to determine optimum transfer port sizes.


  6. B.B.,
    Thanks for the response about transfer ports. Guess I was looking for a simple answer to a complex question. Sounds like experimenting with just one gun would be a project in itself.


  7. B.B. wrote… “The core issue lies with families and how society relates to them today.”

    Unfortunately, in my opinion (IMO), that’s an issue which is long on emotional reactions and short on rational responses. Might just as well phrase the issue as the flip side… ‘The core issue lies with society and how family relates to them today.’ Either way it’s a great big can of worms!

    IMO, loaded terms like “lethal,” “firearm,” and “weapon” will always show up in such cases at some point or another. Once an incident reaches the legal stage it doesn’t matter if the case involves a water/squirt gun, or a hand carved non-firing wooden replica if that object is a reasonable facsimile of a PPK/S pistol.

    This is an important topic and I’m looking forward to reading tomorrow’s blog!


  8. Warning: Pedantic legal theory ahead!

    Our legal system often takes into account the “fear of the victim”, especially when determining sentencing; hence, often a mugger who robs somebody at night will get a tougher sentence than one who robs during the day, because ostensibly the victim is more fearful at night. This is the primary reason (the other being deterrence) that criminals that commit crimes with replica airguns (bank robberies for example) often get the same sentence as somebody who uses an actual gun. The bank teller is equally fearful whether or not it’s a firearm. However, this is a much more coherent argument when applied to a student who actually brandishes or threatens other students with an airgun, and less so when we’re talking about some kid who foolishly had it in his backpack and benignly allowed somebody else to see it. But essentially, the “possible” or perceived threat of violence is often treated like the actual threat (e.g., someone actually carrying a firearm). Of course, this fails to take into account whether anyone is actually in danger.

    I understand WHY schools/policemen do it, (treating airguns as firearms) but I think most of the posters here will agree that failure to take into account the actual danger (or lack thereof) means that schools are only listening to half the argument. If it weren’t for the “fear factor”, and the risk of actual bodily danger were taken into account, then banning airsoft guns and airguns could lead to banning of other “dangerous” items like rubber bands.

    For what it’s worth, I also agree with BB and the other posters that children today need to be better parented and better supervised, as the old “boys will be boys” attitude is much less common these days. And of course, whether or not one agrees with a “no airguns” rule in schools, the key is to NOT BREAK THE RULE. THIS is what we need to be teaching children.

    There. I’m done rambling. I hope my apologies to everyone will be accepted. Keep up the good work, BB! Interesting topic, can’t wait for tomorrow’s exciting conclusion.

    Phil from AZ

  9. huh interesting
    on the thought of pepper pellet guns your probly aware but boston has dicided to stop using them folloing the death of a student after being shot in the eye. i think the police needed to be better trained with these pellet guns and could have avoided this situation. just thought id throw it out there.

    Field Targetier

  10. In my opinion, I feel that in our day and times. And the fact that the school system has to much power taken away from the parent these days. That it would be better to follow all the rules and not be stupid enough to take any “gun”, pellet or not, or “knife” be it, small 2inch blade or Bowie. I had a cousin take a 9mm to school back in the early 90’s. With pretty bad intentions, plans wrote out at his house to take out a few teachers. But he wanted to show it off before hand and the gun went off in the classroom hit the floor and ended up in a bookcase. I think my cousin and his few friends involved all got off to easy since they were not 18 yet. “STUPID IS, STUPID DOES!”

  11. field targetier,

    I fear thatthe postureing of removing the airguns from the police is simply a prelude to illegalization of airguns with a “see how dangerous they are” rational….ugh.

  12. BB,
    Can you help me find one of your posts on where in you said “The best .22 airuns under $200.00” such as rifle is 392, pistol is HB22 and etc……as a friend of mine is unto airguns for the first time and I want him to read for himself and also decide by himself on the subject. Thank you very much.

  13. i feel the exact same way! nearly all military air-powered TOOLS are classified as non-lethal. yet, with the gross exaggeration and editing in news today, often guns MEANT for shooting at one another are shunned and regarded as highly dangerous weapons of mass destruction. yet, the public turns a blind eye to all the drives bys in teh ghettos. no, shooting at a child with a .32acp raises less uproar than shooting at paper. i know the reason. the public can do nothing about the real crime that happens everyday-the drive-bys mentioned, robberies, breakign and entering. make a law, criminals will not follow. but airgunners are nto criminals; if a law is made, we have to follow. we abide. and thus, we are vulnerable. therein, i believe, is the reason why the ignorant anti-gun crowd feverently pursues our harmless hobby and sport. they can actually do something to harm us, as a group. by taking away our tools, they gain a milestone of sorts. the real crime is a lost cause that we can only lessen with our members of law enforcement. we, the general public, are always harmed as a direct action of the law, which inturn is caused by teh actions criminals take. often, these laws grasp at our community. i’m aware the u.s. differentiates airguns from powderburners; no such thign in canada. all projectile launchers are regarded as firearms. some, like STRAWS, are abnned outright. you can only shoot your STRAW at a range, and it cannot leave taht range. the u.s. has alot of freedom, which is why i watch all the actions that occur there with a very mindful eye. i cannot do anything in canada, where any sense of freedom is expressed in forms. the u.s. is the only real place for freedom, and i would cry if they lost the battle. its the only hope left. i also appreciate the NRA’s attempt to integrate themselves into canada. rejected due to a powerful uproar of soccer moms, drowning out the tiny sound of canadian shooters. i feel very stongly about this, and look forward to the discussion. i have seen both sides oft the argument, and the side against us is completely absurd.

  14. Schools want a “no weapons” policy ? Then no items sharp or pointy AT ALL ! Imagine a school without pencils and pens, let alone chairs and other small furniture and anything else of light-enuf weight that someone, be they child or adult, 275-lb. grandmotherly cafeteria worker or 165-lb buff and athletic school “resource” officer (who has a nice assortment of stuff on HIS belt !) can be used to strike another person or be thrown. I hate half-steppers ! Do it all the way or not at all ! A school bus can be a weapon too, just like a pimped-out lowrider, if the driver has the frame of mind to use it as such. Guess the kids will have to get up earlier to walk 5 miles each way uphill against the wind without shoes in 6 feet of snow in a blizzard or be counted “absent”.

  15. Thats right. I know some schools around here have banned compasses (the tool used to make a perfect circle) that have a metal point. Says their too dangerous. I still don’t see why you couldn’t just stab someone in the throat with a mechanical pencil. Just bring a nice sturdy object and use it as an impact weapon. There are so many tools people can use to kill each other. If someone really wants someone else dead, it’s not very hard to do it. The only way to prevent people from being able to hurt or kill someone elsee, is let that someone else have the weapon. If they have it, they stand a fair chance against the person meaning to harm them.

  16. This question is for “Anonymous”

    But BB, if you are reading this, then you might be amused to know that the Twinmaster Trainer manual which I downloaded from the website of a vendor that sells those air guns repeatedly refers to the pistol as “The Weapon”.
    Anyway, in the last blog (Gamo) I had asked about the Twinmaster Trainer and “Anonymous” posted a response that he has the “Allrounder” model by Rohm. This pistol seems very similar internally to the Trainer model, at least so far as the trigger mechanism and drum magazine are concerned. I notice, however that it seems to have the capability to use BOTH CO2 and pressurized air. Anonymous, I am not “set up” for pressurizing air guns (no scuba tank, no compressor), so CO2 seems more convenient to me. I AM set up for bulk filling CO2, however. So, in that regard, it seems like the Drulov DU-10 would be a plus to me. Also, the Twinmaster pistols are basically revolvers and I do not see how their triggers can equal a dedicated single action trigger in a good quality target-type of pistol. Am I wrong?
    One more thing: the Twinmaster manual for the Trainer (and I believe that the “allrounder” is the same in this regard) says the following:
    “use your free hand to pull back the cock until it engages”

    What part of the pistol are they referring to here?

    BB: I hope you don’t mind these questions addressed to “Anonymous”, since I do not have his email address in order to email him off forum. Thanks to both of you.


  17. ALSO:

    I just wanted to add this small addendum to my previous post;

    I have noticed that for the PCP air pistols that I have contemplated buying (like those shown on the Pyramid Air site), and here I am referring to the target shooting variety, not the odd semi-hunting variety like the Falcon pistols, the velocity for the guns in feet per second seems to be about the same as for the CO2 powered pistols. I don’t see an advantage there, except for the fact that, if you are shooting in competition, then you will not have to “gas up” as frfequently as with the CO2 versions, and of course there is the temperature/dependancy/sensitivity issue. But for me, shooting in my basement which is generally in the 68 degree fahrenheit range for most of the year, the temp dependancy issue is not that relevant. CO2 works for me for the purpose of target practice as a substitute for range time when I cannot make it there with my 22 rimfire pistols (which is much of the time). Also, I do not compete in formal shooting competition of any kind.



  18. Curtis,

    Yes, the Twinmaster and Allrounder use the same action.

    I don’t see that the SAME GUN uses both CO2 and air. I see that there are models that use EITHER air OR CO2. Have I missed something?

    When they say pull back the cock they refer to a winged part that stick out of both sides of the receiuver.

    Curtis, these are semiauto pistols, so they are single action. The triggers are very nice.


  19. Curtis,

    Glad you found the Twinmaster owners manual, but remember this is a German product and the resulting vagaries of language translation.

    Unfortunately the manual does not show an exposed view of the hammer, which is located under an easily removed dustcover. Check the webpage where you found the manual download and look at the Sport model to see the hammer location.

    Twinmasters are DA/SA revolver mechanisms. They are not semi auto pistols. The swing out single loading cylinder has nothing to do with cocking the gun. In practice, operation is identical to any Ruger, Colt, or Smith DA/SA firearm revolver. Pull the trigger for a long DA stroke, or cock the hammer by hand and then pull the trigger for a light SA stroke. A dry fire capability that allows sear release but blocks hammer fall is included.

    The Allrounder may be had in either PCP or CO2 versions. Purchase of the appropriate adapter kit allows both power sources for the same gun. I believe the Trainer is limited to 12g CO2 only.

    I have no knowledge of the Drulov, and so don’t want to steer you away from it if it seems to be your best choice because of bulk CO2.

  20. “The only way to prevent people from being able to hurt or kill someone elsee[sic], is let that someone else have the weapon. If they have it, they stand a fair chance against the person meaning to harm them.” mr-lama

    the difference between banning guns in school (i mean, cmon mr-lama, is that really so wrong to you?) and banning compasses (which IS ridiculous) is that guns dont serve any other purpose than in killing or harming another human being (yes, i know, target practice as well), unlike pencils or pens or compasses, which actually have a proper use in schools

  21. The really ironic thing about all this is that the ONLY people who will follow the laws and not own guns are just the opposite of those that will ignore the laws and get the guns. That is the definition of lawbreaker. Ed

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