Monday, December 22, 2008

Airsoft Weapons Systems: WMDs?

After seeing the movie No Country for Old Men, I wonder if an unseemly improvised weapon like the pneumatic air gun used in that movie could be the next WMD threat?

By: Vanessa Uy

Touted by movie buffs as one of the scariest “improvised” or “MacGyver-ized” weapons of mass destruction or WMD of 2007, the “mother-of-all-airsoft-weapons-systems” used in the movie No Country for Old Men. Will that particular weapon be destined to become the most popular improvised unseemly weapons system of choice for budding terrorists?

Folks who lived in the “cattle-belt” region of the United States say that the pneumatic air gun used in that particular movie say that it was “allegedly” built as a “humane” way to kill cattle for the meatpacking industry. If this is true, either industrial efficiency has already divorced itself from widely accepted societal moral norms when it comes to animal cruelty. Or the US meatpacking industry is already starting to acquire a really sick sense of humor as the humane law regulatory body fell asleep at the wheel again. Given that Christmas – together with the American celebration of Thanksgiving – is the major meat consumption season of the Christian West shouldn’t cattle or other meat-producing livestock deserve to be raised ethically and slaughtered humanely?

Even though at “first glance” the movie No Country for Old Men looks like it’s primarily inspired by the long lost art of “MacGyver-ism” due to the pneumatic gun’s prominence in the movie as a murder weapon. In my opinion, the movie – true to the book it is based on – is really about the true meaning of what was the “Old West” – warts and all. Some who are currently doing their doctoral thesis might say that the move – as is the book it is based on – is a critique of the over-glamorized rose tinted – sometimes disrespectfully caricatured - 1950’s Hollywood portrayal of the “Old West”. Given that a Nietzschean leaning perception of the true meaning of “morality” has been largely made anathema by the eight years of the Bush Administration, this aspect of the movie – and the book – is often “overlooked” by a large majority of moviegoers and the book’s readers.

To the airsoft gaming community, the movie is often perceived as an anachronistic perversion of the dueling codes of conduct of the “Old West”. Though I often question the wisdom of viewing the past through the prism of the here-and-now, it is certainly is an inescapable intellectual absurdity. That is why I’m a staunch proponent of historical accuracy and / or historical authenticity when it comes to conducting an airsoft military – or other conflict scenario – simulation games.