By Bryan Gilchrist
Oct 6, 2004, 09:42
Being part owner of a paintball news site, I get exposed to stories about paintball violence on a daily basis. I've wondered to myself, "How could this happen?", "How could anybody be so twisted that they would perpetrate such a crime?". But the real question is "Why isn't the industry doing anything about it?"
Most recently I posted an article on our site regarding a woman in England that was shot in the face with a paintball. I post stories like this on an almost daily basis. Was there one peep from the industry? Did they denounce the actions of the assailants? No. Most of the time, their response is “Why do you post stories like that?” Are we supposed to take no notice of it? Are we supposed to pretend like it doesn’t really happen?
It's disheartening to see that the industry chooses to ignore the fact that paintball related violence occurs. It seems that they are taking the "If we ignore it, it will go away" approach. Well, it's not. And it’s getting worse as the sport itself progresses.
I've even tried to start an organization myself, Paintball Players Against Vandalism and Violence. I got a lot of interest from the players, but no interest at all from within the industry. I also know there are and have been many organizations that have been started for the same reason, but all have we unsuccessful because the industry chose not to get involved.
A simple search of “sport violence” on Google reveals that just about every other activity in America has guides or other ways of dealing with violence in their sport, and most of them have guides to dealing with sports violence with children too. So, why not paintball?
Children, or impressionable teens, make up a major portion of our sport, and if the sport chooses to sit back and do nothing about paintball violence, what message does that send to the children - the future of the sport - that paintball violence is ok?
The industry is the “parent” of the sport, and the players are the “children” and it’s the responsibility of the parent to teach the child right from wrong. So, it’s time the industry started acting like a responsible parent.