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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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  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:37AM (#22878320)
    We're banning nerf guns now? Why?

    What are we now, "Land of the fee, home of the scared?"
  • parents complaining? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by joyfeather ( 1167073 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:47AM (#22878408)
    I'm not sure if the college administration was making up the part about parents "complaining" or not. I still haven't figured out why parents want to treat college students like they are still in middle school, and why colleges are willing to go along with it!
  • by Nova Express ( 100383 ) <> on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:48AM (#22878414) Homepage Journal
    A friend of mine had one of these in college. We were running around zapping each other in a restaurant parking lot when a cop pulled up, lights flashing, and informed my friend he was about two second away from being shot before the cop realized it was a water gun. He was Not Amused.

    Nerf should be fine as long as it's obvious that it IS a Nerf weapon. If not, or if it's taking place at night. be sure you play in a place where everyone knows you're in a game, or be prepared for some Very Bad Consequences if you're not careful.

  • by M. Baranczak ( 726671 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:58AM (#22878468)
    Anybody remember Silly String? Do they even still make that stuff?

    A few years ago (can't remember when exactly) some dumb kid in Boston shot at another dumb kid with Silly String. The kid with Silly String all over him then took out a real gun, and shot the first kid dead. Mayor Menino's response to this was a proposal to ban Silly String within city limits.

    This isn't exactly the same situation, but the political logic seems strangely reminiscent.
  • by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:01AM (#22878476) Homepage Journal

    ...when they're afraid of people getting hurt with a FREAKING *NERF* GUN!
    My little cousin got a nerf bow at a birthday, first thing his big brother did when he got his hands on it was to stick a pointy toothpick in the foam arrow and to shoot at balloons next to the parents chatting in a corner.
    My cousin can make ANYTHING a hazard. It's a gift (from the devil).

    But this isn't about that, this is about appearances: Can't have people playing guns on a university campus! Think of the children!
  • by wal9001 ( 1041058 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:02AM (#22878494)
    Penn State's spring semester game is just getting underway (stealth zombies period ends at noon tomorrow), and it's fucking awesome, just like last semester's was. Yes, they let us use nerf guns, and nobody's been injured except for one guy who broke his foot while falling down some stairs last game. That's why we make people sign waivers.

    It's the best game ever. Hope they get the issues cleared up, as nerf guns and the associated modifications (yeah, I'm an engineering student) are a really fun aspect of it. If your college doesn't play, go get it started. I recommend talking it over w/ the campus cops first though, just to make sure you won't have problems like this.
  • by Cadallin ( 863437 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:41AM (#22878942)
    Far too many Cops in the USA have a very Cowboy attitude. And even more unfortunately, it seems the people in the USA have very little interest in doing anything about it. There is exactly zero chance of any kind of disciplinary action being taken against officers for dangerously aggressive behavior, up until the point that they shoot an innocent person. Even then, in my experience of cases I know about in detail, it is very, very iffy. If the victim is black, there's no hope at all, unless it is caught on tape. Hispanic victims are about the same. The only things I know that tend to get a reaction are if the victim is rich and white, OR if the cop blows up and shoots a brother officer in anger (which happens more often than ANYBODY realizes. Why? It often doesn't get prosecuted and is hushed up by the local media). That's about the only thing I know that will actually get a cop fired PDQ.

    There are WAY too many dangerously unhinged individuals with the attitude of "I AM THE LAW!" running around in uniform.

  • So... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mrmeval ( 662166 ) < minus math_god> on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:55AM (#22878998) Journal
    Is it the same penelty to carry NERF as it is to carry Colt?

  • by ISurfTooMuch ( 1010305 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:06AM (#22879024)
    It's money, my friend. Parents are insisting that colleges protect little Junior from any exposure to that scary thing called the real world, and administrators, eager to lure in the parents' dollars, are willing to oblige. Of course, Mom and Dad don't know or choose to ignore the fact that little Junior is doing shots of whatever alcoholic beverage he can find, then chasing them with a six pack or three, right before he gets behind the wheel to drive down to his frat house, where his brothers have assembled a swap with all the sorority chicks they can find, girls whose parents think they're off in the library studying.

    It's all about the money, and the school that can most effectively provide the illusion that the kids are safe and secure, reality be damned, gets a big chunk of it.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by modecx ( 130548 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:11AM (#22879038)
    I tell you, some people are crazy, fun-sucking assholes. My cousin'(s) mother wouldn't ever let anything capable of launching a projectile anywhere near her children. I tried to play some NERF wars with him back when he was about 10 and my family got chewed out because she's some kind of anti gun nazi, you know because a 9mm Glock and a tube that launches foam spheres are apparently really very much alike. Now, he's a sad shell of an uncreative, pasty, frumpy and lethargic ~16.5 year old, and currently his chances of ever even being touched by an unrelated female are somewhat worse than the average /.er's chance of scoring with something bi-pedal.

    Seriously, Stephen King's Carrie was allowed more opportunities for fun. If fanatically obsessive parents could be called "helicopter parents", she's the AH-64 gunship parent. Someone similar to her was undoubtedly responsible for this anti-nerf hullabaloo. If the quantity of pirates in the world is inversely related to global warming, I contend that this is possible: the number of school shootings could be proportional to the quantity of obsessive and dominating parents.
  • by Clovis42 ( 1229086 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @07:58AM (#22880134)

    Anybody remember Silly String? Do they even still make that stuff?

    The army does. I read several years ago that silly string was being used in Iraq. The lightweight strings, and the propulsion device, are ideal for detecting tripwires.
  • Re:Help me out here (Score:3, Interesting)

    by microTodd ( 240390 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @08:49AM (#22880472) Homepage Journal
    Let me tell you a quick story from my U.S. university days, and maybe it will help you understand.

    When I was 18, and visiting a university campus getting ready to start, my father came along with me. Along with the group were several other 18-year-olds and their parents. During the tour, the guide mentioned that report cards were sent to the students' addresses (not the parents), and also that the students' cafeteria account was not accessible by the parents. Several of the parents expressed concern and surprise that they would not be able to monitor their childrens' grades or spending. The tour guide said, "Well, they are 18 and adults after all." I remember one or two parents actually getting angry that they would have to ASK THEIR CHILDREN to see their report cards.

    My father chuckled at this, and later on he said to me, "Son, you're 18 now, so this is YOUR life. Your report grades, your money, your responsibility. Don't screw it up and then come whining to me."

    Obviously, my father's attitude is in the minority nowadays.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bkr1_2k ( 237627 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @10:21AM (#22881474)
    That's a ridiculous reach. Children have been shooting guns since there have been guns. They've been responsible for using them to get food, protect their family/land/what have you, and we as a society have gotten along just fine until the last 40 years or so. That's what, 400 years of "hand-held" guns and 40-50 years (being generous here) of a "problem" with accidents? Yeah, you can say there were accidents before, we just don't know about them. That's most likely true, but accidents happen with adults too.

    To say that it's obscene to teach a child about guns, or let them fire them, is a real stretch though. Guns serve a purpose. Perhaps that purpose has eroded into something less than it once was, but it's still there at least in part. Many people still use guns to get their food. Some people legitimately use them for safety, not from other people, but from large animals. (If you've ever been to Alaska, you'll know most of the population there carry weapons for scaring off bears etc.)

    I'm not a big gun proponent, I gave all of mine to my brother a few years after my first child was born because I simply wasn't shooting them enough to bother keeping them and her mom didn't want them around her. Not a big issue to me, but I still have access to every one of my weapons should I ever feel the need.

    I grew up shooting guns. The first time I remember shooting, I was 5 years old and the gun was longer than I was tall. It was a 22 caliber rifle used for hunting rabbits and small game to have food. We're not all lucky enough to have enough money to buy all our food.

    What would be obscene would be allowing your children to go hungry because you never taught them how to take care of themselves. What would be obscene is pretending that guns don't exist and being irresponsible enough not to teach your children about how to treat guns with respect and safety.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chatsubo ( 807023 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @11:41AM (#22882456)
    "The safest thing a gun-carrying father of a 6 year old can do is thus to make it absolutely sure said gun isn't something new and strange."

    Amen. As kids we got sat down and explained exactly what the two 9mm pistols in the house were, what it did, how to handle ammo, how to load it, how to check that the chamber IS empty, and how not to. They were hardly ever locked up, and I could easily get to one were my parents not home. Much like any child. (Kids know how locks work and where the keys are anyway). But it didn't intrigue me, because now I knew exactly what it was, I'd held it, unlocked it, etc. So, no more mystery, it was just a pistol, big deal.

    Much like how I was taught to deal with alcohol. It was never "kept" from me and my brother, and we were allowed to drink small amounts of alcohol early on and more as we got older. When university hit, we weren't out binging, because it had been discovered, been done, nothing new to see here, move along..... From that perspective, students who had finally "slipped the bonds" and were out partying hard, looked pretty silly.
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zehaeva ( 1136559 ) <> on Thursday March 27, 2008 @11:46AM (#22882508)

    Thank You, I feel quite vindicated.

    I would like to make then the statement that strict gun control laws allow situations like Virgina Tech to happen with greater ease than would otherwise be possible. there now i shall be modded into hell.

    My Apologies to Rostin for using his fact finding to make an argument for the 2nd Amendment advocating individual rights being a Good Thing(TM) (which I advocate, call me crazy)

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bkr1_2k ( 237627 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:10PM (#22882814)
    I live in the United States. I live perfectly without guns because I have a good education, a good job, and I was given opportunities and made decisions that allow me to live without guns. My brother, on the other hand, still hunts for food because he dropped out of high school and never really got an education and works very hard for very little money. Sure, he can afford food, but it's not as good as the food he gets hunting, and doesn't last as long (a very small 60 pound dressed dear can feed a family for a long time on the cost of 1 bullet compared to buying meat every week) and if he buys his food he can't buy other things, like new shoes for his children or books to help them get an education that allows them a better life than he's providing for them now.

    It's not all about "you have enough money for food if you have enough money for bullets", it's about making choices on how to spend your money. He reloads his bullets (actually usually shotgun shells) so the cost is almost zero compared to what he gains from being able to hunt for his food. Look at your grocery bill sometime and figure out how much you spend on meat every month. My brother can feed his family meat every day for 6 months for about 15 cents in bullets and another $50 in his gas and time spent hunting with his sons. I'm guessing you can't do that. Spending his money on things other than meat also allows his family to get a more balanced diet of meat and vegetables and not eat "popcorn for dinner" like he had to do for several years so his children could eat real food.

    Yes, guns are always dangerous; that was the point of my post. Pretending they're not dangerous or "nonexistent" is far more dangerous to children than teaching them about the real dangers. Just because we don't all need them, however doesn't mean they're not needed, no matter how much you yell about it.

  • by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:22PM (#22883614) Homepage Journal
    In the US the gun lobby has managed to convince a majority that having a gun is a right.

    In Switzerland owning a gun is a duty, a duty for which you bear entire responsibility.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by r_jensen11 ( 598210 ) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @08:06PM (#22888406)

    Gun control only keeps guns out of the "right hands". "Wrong hands" will find access to guns, regardless of the law.
    Gun control helps keep guns out of the hands of people who are incompitent when it somes to handling guns. I'm not for banning all guns; I have great respect for people who go hunting, whether they use rifles or bow & arrow. I've never understood the idea of hunting with a pistol, but if somebody can intelligently explain the purpose of hunting with a pistol vs a rifle or a shotgun, then I'm sure I'll respect that too.

    What I don't respect are people who live in cities their whole lives and buy a gun by claiming to protect themselves. Out in the country? Yes; if an animal charges you, you may need a gun. In the city? I think the odds of person A being "mentally unstable" (to be P.C. Or we could just say "fucked up") enough to go in to a store and fire a gun at someone because they did nothing more than brush shoulders without apologizing, than it is for a person to:

    A) Have the pistol they purchased legally on them
    B) Be aware of a specific threat
    C) Be able to withdraw said legal gun safely
    D) Neutralize the threat without damage to anyone/anything around the threat

    I say this because if the person is aware of the specific threat, odds are that they're probably being mugged or held up in some other fashion. In this event, the person who is the assaulter would be able to see the victim reach for a weapon and neutralize the victim before being attacked.

    I also say the above because a very large number of victims of gun violence are innocent bystanders. Them packing a gun is not going to make them any safer, either.

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley