Events threatening paintball industry in Quebec, Canada.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Recently, news networks in the Quebec province highlighted an article about a 11 years old kid who had a paintball injury. At the end of the last game of the day, the kid took off his mask, because he was unable to see a thing due to the amount of paint he had on his lense. He got shot right in the eye, by a player who did not heard the referee's signal and who did not know the game was over. It was a really close call, but after all he will not loose his eye. Who is to blame? The shooter, or the irresponsible? Not matter who is to blame, its paintball that is gonna pay...
This event has come to the attention of the news network, the kind of attention that makes people act... And now we have doctors, parents, lawyers that want to impose a 16 years old restriction to play paintball, and im afraid wath else will they come up with.
If you ask me who is to blame, i say the irresponsible one. There is already people careless enough to try out a paintball game out in the streets, causing damage to cars, windows, and getting the press attention against paintball. There is even guys who like to make some gangster drive-by paintball shooting against poor old women. She by the way, lost her eye...
Those examples looks like isolated feats of stupidity but they really happened. They did not help the paintball industry. Nor this kid, who simply took off his mask. I find it a little bit annoying to see the medias giving more attention to the kid who's too young to play paintball, than the other kids who shoots innocent bystanders.
Gun laws in Canada already forbids the sale of any gun that can be considered a replica, thus, airsoft gun sale or importation is forbidden, paintball guns that are close replicas are hard to get into the country. Most paintball fields dont accept the .43 caliber and sometimes a player is denied to go in the field with his too realistic gun... Milsim looks really cool in the united state compared to canada....
What more laws can do to paintball?
I dont know what will happens with this little mediatic urge, but if laws emerge from it, i hope it will not only be restrictions... Maybe the possibility of the creation of a provincial paintball association that will regulate paintball in the good way. So that lawyers wont have to hurt the sport when they solve issues.
Large paintball fields owners told the press that kid below 16 years old represent 10% of their customers. The paintball industry in Quebec has just began to grow up, most of the large fields are recording customer increase of 60% from 2006 to 2007. There is, according to the press, about only 10 professional and well organized large terrains in the province.
This regulation will not kill paintball in Quebec, but will still contribute into slowing its evolution.