Given that it is realistic looking enough to pass itself as a real gun, can an Airsoft weapons system be used for assassination purposes?
By: Ringo Bones
Just recently covered by the BBC, the Czech Republic president, Vaclav Klaus, just emerged unscathed after an “assassination attempt” via a replica Airsoft pistol. The would be assassin, a young Czech man dressed in woodland pattern camouflage BDU, managed to get close enough to President Klaus to unload 7 shots of 0.2 gram 6-mm plastic pellets at point-blank range. Whether the incident is due to a security failure of his bodyguards, the Czech president only made a nonchalant glance of renunciation at his security detail for this incident to happen. Though the Czech president was checked out later in a local hospital for mild bruises made by the belligerent point blank shot, can Airsoft weapons systems be used for assassination purposes?
Seasoned Airsoft gamers and enthusiasts already know that anything above 400 feet per second muzzle velocity can already be painful even if those 6-mm BB pellets weigh only 0.2 grams and are made of mineral-filled polypropylene. Given sufficient muzzle velocity and projectile mass increase, a typical Airsoft weapons system could potentially acquire a kinetic energy equivalent of its pellets akin to that of a bona fide firearm, but given that its spherical pellets have a disgraceful ballistic coefficient, its potential as an assassin’s tool is for close range only. Though the Bulgarian exiled dissident named Gyorgy Markov was assassinated via a ricin filled metal pellet fired from a modified umbrella which for all intents and purposes resembles that of a typical Airsoft weapons system.
According to the would be assassin of President Klaus, his shooting of the Czech president with an Airsoft pistol is a statement over the Klaus administration being deaf and blind over the concerns of the Czech citizenry over the issue of government corruption. Though we non-Czech citizens are still woefully ignorant on the extent of the average Czech citizenry’s critique and gripes on how President Vaclav Klaus ran his country, this novel “assassination attempt” via an Airsoft pistol as political statement makes for an interesting story, nonetheless. And more importantly, let’s hope that this unfortunate incident won’t make it illegal for the Czech Airsoft enthusiasts to continue to buy Airsoft guns and play Airsoft military simulation games.