Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Should Political Extremists Be Banned From Airsoft Clubs?

Given that most law-enforcement and local government entities regard Airsoft clubs as de facto gun clubs, should anyone harboring extremist political views be barred from joining?

By: Vanessa Uy

Many consider me as a political extremist in more ways than one. Though I can manage to play on both sides of the proverbial political net, but like what Robert Frost said about the Japanese, I too have a disdain of playing “political tennis” without a net demarcating between the left and right of the political spectrum. If one loses sight of this “net” they could become one of those “hated people” who never understands responsible gun ownership. Thus turning themselves into the proverbial whipping boys often featured in pro-gun ownership magazines like Guns and Ammo or Soldier of Fortune.

While the Second Amendment of the US Constitution is more often than not mistaken as a “universal value”, although in reality tyranny is deemed more universal in our contemporary globalized world in comparison to an individual’s right to defend him or herself. The issue had never emerged during discussions by member nations of the UN Security Council as they conveniently overlook the very unflattering aspects of the victor-victimized relationship. But why should we in the Airsoft gaming community care about global macro-politics? Aren’t we too preoccupied with our own “micro-politics – i.e. that who should be allowed or denied entry?

Even though every aspect of our lives is very much politicized since as far back as the 20th Century. From art to spirituality (organized religion – to me – is nothing more than politicized spirituality) all it seems had been deemed political. Our post-9 / 11 world just makes the political contrasts starkly stand out. Simulated war games like Airsoft have always been a 250-paged doctoral thesis on cognitive dissonance that T.S. Eliot could only dream of. I mean do Airsoft players around the world find it just a bit strange that after spending the whole Sunday trying to pretend kill the opposing team, they could at the end of the day come together and enjoy a barbecue and a round of drinks. Given the overall pathos, one’s preoccupation with an over-glorified version of a pellet gun is only half of the story. I for one could only wish how the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche could have viewed such spectacle.

Like all violins and their respective f-holes, everyone has their own political viewpoints. If we start mandating that only such-and-such persons with such-and-such viewpoints can join Airsoft clubs is tantamount to discrimination. After all, facing an opposing team harboring political views wholly different from yours can be very exciting, right? Just remember not to confuse one’s ego with their political viewpoints.