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Roleplayers Seek Removal of Nerf Gun Ban 547

An anonymous reader writes "LARP fans at Bowling Green State University may have to contend with a crippled game of Humans vs. Zombies after the University banned Nerf guns on campus. In the live-action game, players are either humans or zombies. The goal of the game is to change all the humans into zombies, or for the humans to evade capture by zombies for a certain amount of time. To defend themselves against zombies, humans may use Nerf guns. Players (most likely the human ones) are petitioning the University to lift the ban. The game had troubles back in 2006, when participating students were arrested. That issue has since been cleared up."
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Roleplayers Seek Removal of Nerf Gun Ban

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  • When do we want 'em? BRRRRAAAAIIIINNNSSSSS!!!!

    Here at UMass Amherst we're currently in the opening days of our second game of Humans vs. Zombies. The first was played beginning last Halloween. I'm currently a zombie.

    To all those telling us to get lives: we have them. Humans often get tagged because they tried to continue normal campus life during the game. It's not a LARPing thing: nobody dresses up; we just wear a band around our arm or head to indicate team status. Games usually last a couple of weeks, and consist of normal play coupled with "missions" that reward either human or zombie for accomplishing objectives as a team. One of those missions is always a food drive for the poor. Sure, we have to hide our Nerf guns during room inspections, but even the RAs really don't give a damn (like they apparently do at Bowling Green. To top it off, HvZ players are usually some of the coolest, most interesting people on campus (including numerous attractive women).

    It's good clean fun for college kids that doesn't necessarily involve getting wasted (though you can, and we do, play wasted here at UMass). What's not to like?
  • by aztektum ( 170569 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:29AM (#22878630)
    Wait, wait, wait.... You mean Urban Dead the online game?? How the *hell* is that any better than people, oh I dunno GETTING OUT OF THEIR PARENTS BASEMENTS.

    Glad to know there are bigger nerds than me who have little chance of diluting the gene pool.
  • by Dun Malg ( 230075 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:36AM (#22878656) Homepage

    No, they aren't afraid of somebody getting hurt [directly] by a Nerf gun. They're concerned about the consequences when somebody sees a bunch of people running around carrying weapons - and calls 911. Or decides to tackle the 'weapon wielder'. Or raises a vigilante posse to go after the 'weapon wielder'. Etc... Etc...
    seriously, have you never seen a nerf gun [adorablekidsdressup.com]? No one would EVER mistake one of those oversized cartoon-color toys for any sort of real weapon. This is done on purpose. They're nerf guns, fer cripes sake!
  • Sigh..... (Score:5, Informative)

    by IHC Navistar ( 967161 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:15AM (#22879054)
    If I was the Judge that had to deal with these citations, I would give each and every issuing officer a good 'ol fashioned judicial beat-down.

    Nerf guns are just like firearms and just as dangerous:

    Nerf Guns:

    Brightly colorful.
    Use compressed air.
    Don't resemble, even remotely, real guns.
    Shoot big yellow sponges.
    Sponge "bullets" bounce off of their target and usually make the target laugh.
    Make funny noises when fired.
    The target either never falls down, or gets right back up immediately, provided he or she didn't fall of a cliff.
    Can be bought at any Toy's 'R' Us by a 10 year old.
    Cost as cheap as $10.

    Real guns:

    Black or chrome plated.
    Use smokeless powder.
    Resemble reals guns because they are real guns.
    Shoot lead or copper-jacketed bullets.
    Lead bullets penetrate the target and usually make the target scream in pain.
    Makes a loud bang when fired.
    The person who was shot doesn't usually get up.
    Can only be bought by someone who is 21 or older at licensed dealerships, plus State and Federal background checks.
    Usually cost between $500-$2999 (hardly milk money)

    So, yeah, I can understand how the police became easily confused between the two. Someone should give Barney Fife and his fellow deputies a public commendation for protecting safe fun-loving people from themselves.

    I was looking through my college's regulations to see if they had rules prohibiting Nerf Guns and came across the following:

    "Weapons and Explosives
    1. Possession, use, or sale of any incendiary, explosive, firearm, or destructive device is not permitted. At no time will live ammunition of any type be permitted in or on university premises.
    2. Any weapon including, but not limited to guns (i.e., air soft guns, BB/pellet guns, paintball guns, potato guns, pistols, revolvers, firearms, etc.), knives, and any items that are a reasonable facsimile of such weapons are prohibited.
    3. Ammunition or explosives (including fireworks) of any kind are prohibited.
    4. Failure to report to campus security and/or residence hall personnel the presence of an unlawful weapon, explosive or incendiary device, when the presence of such weapon or device is known or reasonably suspected is a violation of the rules and regulations of the University.
    5. Reporting the false presence of an unlawful weapon, explosive or incendiary device with the intent to mislead or deceive is prohibited."

    It doesn't list Nerf guns, but states that guns "that are a "resonable facsimile of such weapons are prohibited". This allows anybody with half a brain to successfully argue that Nerf guns are not a "resonable facsimile".

    Interestingly enough, the preceeding section is of the following:

    1. Throwing, dropping, or projecting objects from any residence structure, including but not limited to self, keys, bodily fluids, and trash is strictly prohibited. In addition, throwing objects or playing sports in community courtyards is not permitted without permission from the Community Director of that area. Individuals and/or residential communities may be held financially responsible for repairing damages, painting costs, and general maintenance related to projectiles."

    So, technically, that means it is against the rules to play flag football, catch, pickle, or Frisbee without getting permission. Man, we didn't even have to ask the Yard Duty for permission to do these things in Elementary school. I guess I should pack up my lawn darts.
  • by MrNaz ( 730548 ) * on Thursday March 27, 2008 @04:46AM (#22879388) Homepage
    Perhaps this will interest you:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/grigg/grigg-w10.html [lewrockwell.com]
    It kind of highlights what you say nicely.
  • by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @06:57AM (#22879866)
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by bcattwoo ( 737354 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @08:23AM (#22880292)

    they don't accidentally kill innocent bystanders blocks away.
    ... i run at him with a knife, you jump in the way and get stabbed and die.
    That's a hell of a jump.
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Informative)

    by westlake ( 615356 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @09:47AM (#22881074)
    From the very moment his child is able to not go around swallowing small objects, he should sit down with him and start presenting him the gun
    Unmount it, clean it, teach the child to do both things, teach him to shot cans, show him what happens to a chicken when it's shot
    a good opportunity to teach the children what is that "death" thing she had heard about

    I can't imagine anything worse.

    Three to Six Years

    Child's Perception: Child thinks death is reversible; temporary, like going to sleep or when a parent goes to work; believes that people who die will come back

    1. "Magical thinking"; believes their thoughts, actions, word caused the death; or can bring deceased back; death is punishment for bad behavior
    2. Still greatly impacted by parent's emotional state
    3. Has difficulty handling abstract concepts such as heaven
    4. Regressive behaviors; bed wetting, security blanket, thumb sucking, etc.
    5. Difficulty verbalizing therefore acts out feelings
    6. Increased aggression - more irritable, aggressive play
    7. Will ask the same questions repeatedly in efforts to begin making sense of loss
    8. Only capable of showing sadness for short periods of time
    9. Escapes into play
    10. Somatic symptoms
    11. Hungers for affection and physical contact, even from strangers
    12. Connects events that don't belong connected
    13. May exhibit little anxiety due to belief that deceased is coming back

    Children's Understanding of Death [hospicenet.org]

  • by alexgieg ( 948359 ) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Thursday March 27, 2008 @11:20AM (#22882172) Homepage

    Have you ever thought about the reason why USA is the country with more killings compared to ALL the other countries in the world? Easy answer...guns are so common and so easy to retrieve!
    Wrong, and wrong. I live in Brazil, and while we have roughly half the population of USA, we have twice the number of deaths by firearms, actually nearing the numbers you see on news about Iraq, and that without an actual war going on. And do you know what's the most interesting thing about this? It's that, here, gun ownership is outlawed exactly in the way you think it should be on USA:

    Guns should be owned only by police and military forces and in very special cases by people who really need em, that have a very well certified ability to use em, with certified mental stability tests and that are risking their life everyday (to justify the owning of a gun).
    So, why do you think we have that much deaths by firearms here? If you don't mind, I'll answer: it's because that old adage, that when guns are outlawed only the outlaws have guns, is literally true. This is exactly what happens here. Every year Brazilian criminals become more and more violent. And why? Because they know that no matter who they target, that person will be an unarmed, easy prey. That any house they enter will be an unarmed, easy to rob house. That any person they kidnap, or any woman they rape, will be an unarmed, hopeless victim.

    As for myself, I walk around armed with the deadliest small army knife I managed to find. Thanks God knives still aren't forbidden, and thus I have some small prospect of getting away alive if (when) attacked by a criminal intent on killing me no matter what. But, alas, our Congress is already looking into ways to forbid knife-carrying too. Once that law is approved I guess I'll have to start walking around with a telescopic baton. Or, once those are forbidden, a wood stick...

    So, do you want to know what USA will become one guns are outlawed? Come see for yourself. And take care with your luggage.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

    by esocid ( 946821 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @11:27AM (#22882252) Journal
    The difference was a societal issue. 150 years ago women didn't really have opportunities, not to mention many people were subsistence farmers and education was for the wealthy. You pretty much had to learn how to survive on your own by the age of 10. Technology and education has reduced the need for that.
    I do have to agree with you that many people have no clue how to clean up after themselves or cook and clean. I saw the same thing when I was in college, but I learned how to do all of that stuff while still in middle/high school. Some people's parents just didn't teach them responsibility. That may be the key to all of this, being responsible. But I think I made my point about the comparison of guns and cars. Why let kids handle real guns instead of letting them ease into it with toys, pellet guns, and bb guns before just letting them handle a pistol. It will let them gain confidence and awareness of its capabilities, and also has room for "safer" accidents that they can avoid if they do use a real gun.
    I'll also agree with you about 16 year olds who have never driven anything before, but I still manage to see grown people who somehow have no idea how to drive a car.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rostin ( 691447 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @11:36AM (#22882382)
    It is correct that Charles Whitman shot people in Texas.


    1) He didn't shoot from a water tower. It was from the observation deck of the University of Texas at Austin administration building.
    2) Many students and professors did fight back by firing up at him with hunting rifles.

    Happily, your previous point about concealed carry laws is perhaps correct. According to Wikipedia:

    "Ramiro Martinez, an officer credited with neutralizing Whitman, later stated in his book that the civilian shooters should be credited, as they made it difficult for Whitman to take careful aim without being hit."

  • Re:Not really (Score:2, Informative)

    by retzkek ( 1002769 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:08PM (#22883446)

    Way I read it, it says that a militia (well regulated, no less!) is necessary for defense. You know, in case the British attacked you from the north again... Whatever else those founding fathers might have had in mind, they sure didn't write that...
    ... in the Constitution (in any case, your interpretation of the Second Amendment as written is by no means an authoritative one, and flies in the face of established jurisprudence). There is a large body of text that exists from that period, written by the very people who wrote, debated, and ratified the Constitution, that gives valuable insight into their thinking. The error in your thinking is that you assume that a country (read: the people) only need defend itself against foreign threats. The Second Amendment was introduced because the Constitution allows Congress to form a standing army, which many people were concerned would be used to pacify and control the people.

    What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.
    (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [ I Annals of Congress at 750 {August 17, 1789}])

    Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States
    (Noah Webster in 'An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution', 1787, a pamphlet aimed at swaying Pennsylvania toward ratification, in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States, at 56(New York, 1888))

    That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of The United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms...
    (Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (Peirce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850))

    For now, let's just say: learn what that constitutions and those amendments actually say, before waving them around.
    And then, learn what they actually mean.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan