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Just earlier today it was announced that the pentathlon would stop using air pistols and start using laser guns. This change will be in effect for the 2012 Olympics.

Now, I am not going to pretend to know a lot about the sport, but I think i have a pretty good grasp on the differences between a laser gun and an air pistol.

I think this is one of those situations where technology has gone too far. When it comes to sports, it’s important to keep the event true to its original design. Now, I will assume that the pentathlon started by using REAL guns instead of air guns.

I understand that people running around shooting live rounds may be considered dangerous if not controlled correctly, but I just can’t wrap my head around people calling air pistols unsafe.


I don’t know about you, but I have been shot with a BB gun. It stings, but it didn’t kill me. I think that’s probably the outcome you would find if someone in a crowd also got shot with the air pistol.

Plus, the people handling these pistols aren’t exactly beginners. They are Olympians! They know how to handle the thing.

Here’s another article about this. It has a video where the pentathlon chief  is explaining how some countries don’t like the air pistols and that’s why they are switching to laser guns.

Now am I just being a “gun loving American” here? Or is this completely nuts?

On top of all of this, I can’t help but think that there would be a difference between an air pistol and a laser gun. Is there a recoil on the laser pistol? Can wind speed effect a laser pistol?

Doesn’t using a laser make this sport quite a bit easier?

What do you think? Does switching from air pistols to laser pistols seem like a bad decision, or am I completely wrong here?


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29 Responses to “Laser guns?”

  1. Lynn says:

    Love your blog when you get around to posting, sorry the subject has little interest for me
    Hugz, Lynn

  2. Rosemary says:

    Sounds to me like thy’ve taken all the competition out of the sport. Is this the first step in taking our guns away completely?

  3. L A Graham says:

    I’ve been hit by a BB as well – in the wrist when in my teens – and it Does sting. If that BB had hit me in the EYE, however, there would be a very different kind of comment posted here – if I could even see to read your blog. So, yes, there definitely would be Some safety concerns, but I have to wonder exactly how lasers might also cause injury – unless there are different kinds of lasers. After all, surgery is done with them, fires are started with them … don’t get me going. Whatever is used, there will always be some risk. I do believe if the participants wore protective facegear I’d prefer they continue using BBs. As you said, it requires much more skill to deal with wind currents, etc.

  4. John Lapitsky says:

    We are turning into a nation of wussies.

    • Virginia says:

      Yeah, well, we will see who’s a wuss when you can see anymore.

      • John Lapitsky says:

        Well Virginia, I have have been handling firearms since before I was in Nam. I am now in my 60′s and still have both my eyes. If you follow all rules and directions everything will be safe. Rules are there for a reason.

        • Harold says:

          Well said John. Far to many people are scared of what they don’t know & understand. Guns are no more dangerous than the people handling them.

  5. Gary says:

    why not just let them point their finger and say bang, that would be safe…. oh, I must have forgotten, that is forbidden in our schools too…

    It is all just too politically correct, I guess what they “really” want to do, is take the shooting sport totally out of the equation.

  6. Papa says:

    More than likely, it will be similar to the Laser Tag type of lasers. Class one lasers, that are not intense enough to damage eyes in short bursts. Overall, though, completely without class.
    They’ll probably use Nerf for the discus next!

  7. Papa says:

    And by the way, air pistols don’t have any recoil.

  8. Papa says:

    The only way wind would affect a laser pistol is if it is strong enough to blow your arm or hand around.

  9. Robert says:

    I agree what is the big deal. I to have been shot by BB and Pelet guns, when I was a youngster we used to have BB guns wars and so on as long as I was in when the street lights lights came on or close to it. And another thing that erks me the so called people who are trying to change our money and the pledge the the flag in school. If enough people stood up and leave our money alone by leaving In God We Trust which our country was founded upon. Anyway everyone have a good day and a great weekend….

  10. Ralph Marshall says:

    The people who made this decision are the same kind of people who decided not to use real guns in the first place.
    These same people want to danger proof the world and it’s not possible.
    As Gary says “these people (Olympians) are not exactly beginners” and know how to handle weapons safely.
    These same type of people would have all civilians unarmed except for the crooks.

  11. Ohio Doug says:

    When this sport was adopted world wide I believe they used 30-06 military type sniper rifles. Then they “sissied it down” to 22lr target rifles. Then one more step down to pellet rifles (air guns). NOW they want to go one more step so anybody that can point their finger is all of a sudden a shooter. Not much skill here as you stated wind speed direction etc. effects a “real” gun of any type.

    So lets all go down to Staples and pick up a laser pointer so we can all become pentathlon competitors.

    As they say “Guns don’t kill people, idiots holding them do.”

    Now on to electric cars… Does it hurt less to be hit by one driven by a drunk than a gas powered auto?
    Makes about as much sense.. LOL

  12. T Man says:

    My eyes, my eyes, I can’t see. You shot me with your ray gun.

  13. Chuck says:

    Do a litle research and you will find there is a difference between Air Guns and B-B guns. Air guns can penetrate the skin due to there having almost 3 times the power of B-B guns. Don’t spout off about something with out doing a little research first. In other words know what you are talking about first.

  14. jerry says:

    if they are doing this for safety reasons, then they need to get rid of the javelin throw, hammer toss, and discus as well. And all the archery events. I agree that this makes the sport a lot easier, unless they have invented a laser that reacts to wind, rain, humidity, etc. just like a regular firearm. But, on the flip side, maybe they just want to save money. They can probably do the shooting using a Wii or something.

    Seriously, the Olympics are just trying to market themselves to a younger generations with all the new events. I think the sportsmanship aspects of the Olympics have been gone for a while, with all the pro’s competing in Olympic hockey, basketball etc. It’s all about making a buck, just like college football.

  15. Dwight says:

    Yeah well , the BB’s that you used when you was a kid all growed up on you . I hunt with an AIR GUN , and can shoot and kill a rabbit at 100 yards . They can shoot a pellet at 1000 fps , and yes , they will go into your skin . Now , with that said , there are a lot of countries who have a lot tougher laws than us , in the U.S. , like England , Canada and , well most of Europe . So , yeah , they are ” Olympian ” and know , well , suppose to know how to handle a gun . But , with the laws and the cost of buying a Match gun , your looking at over 1500 dollars and it’s not even gunsmithed for you yet . So yeah , I can see why they are going to the Laser guns .

  16. Virginia says:

    I too was shot with a bb at age 7, in the back of my leg, even at the distance, it stung and left a bruise. A lazer–even though it doesn’t sting or leave a bruise, or leave a wound; it does, however, ruin your eye sight, I don’t know how long it would take to cause blindness, but eventually you will be wearing “coke bottle” glasses. So if this is going to be a sport, hopefully, there will be some kind of eye wear to protect the eyes.

  17. Ernie says:

    As for the eyes & lazer gun’s it will depend on how strong the lazer gun is! I once got shot with a BB gun just over my left eye. I was hurting a lot.
    If it had been just a little lower it would have went into my eye & I don’t even want to think about that.
    Lazer’s use for medical stuff like your eyes for better site. They also use them for cuting into metal, plastic & a lot of other stuff.
    I am sure that the guns for shooting are not that stong of a lazer & the targets are most like fixed to show a hit or miss useing electronics.
    I am strong in the beliveing that lawful people can use a gun to protech themself & their familys. 48 states allow carrying guns. IL. & WI. are the only 2 that don’t.

  18. Gino says:

    I’m not really into guns that much i do however have two gas pistels & an air rifel just for target practice.All of these guns can be very dangerous.
    The air rifel is a pump i almost put a pellet throuhgt a 55 gallen drum.Point being thay are as strong as a 22.So maybe the lazer is better i dont
    know.Has anyone seen this lazer gun work in sports?

  19. Joe says:

    Ummm laser guns?? What about effect of recoil of a “REAL” gun adjustment for wind etc are we playing a electronic game or is this truly competition? Go back to the real deal duhh this is after all competition next thing you know they’ll be putting rubber suction cups on darts oooops they already have.

  20. alleyrunner says:

    Y’all are missing the POINT. This change is POLITICAL.

  21. GPappy says:

    Personally I think ALL of you Yuppie Scum Bag Bleeding Hearts should just stay inside and keep your mouths shut. If you do go outside be sure to keep looking UP! There are birds in the sky and they just might dodo in your EYE and then you can go back inside and continue to moan and groan in PRIVATE!

  22. CC's Dad says:

    As I recall the shooting part of the pentathlon is done twice during the race..once headed out and once headed back.A contestant using an air gun in this contest has a number of things to deal with including wind,it’s direction and speed.How the heck you adjust for wind speed with a pellet gun is beyond me.If you’ve ever watched these guys shooting you can tell they need to be able to control their breathing and any other movement that might effect the trajectory of the all a laser would do is take the wind parameters out of the mix.They still must line up on the target and squeeze the trigger at the right moment for maximum points.Then it would come down to who was in the best shape and most control.Pentathalon’s have been won and lost at this part of the venue.John X comes in,sights his rifle and fires off marginal hits because he is fighting the wind.Joe Y follows him a few minutes later and fires off all maximum hits because the wind changed or died out for a short period.Won or lost because of a projectile.I think if anything,using a laser helps to even the field.

  23. Paul M says:

    It would only be a good thing if the lasers were capable of cutting the targets in two!

  24. targetedinstlouis says:

    You don’t know even half the story. You ask if you’ve been shoot with a BB guns. Well, have you’ ve been shoot with laser beams.
    I know the response from the audience that’s reads this newsletter will probably be negative. However, I am one of thousands of American citizens who are daily targeted with physical exposure to electromagnetic type directed energy. It’s not clear whether it’s some rogue private contractor with access to a variety of technologies; or a network of extremists hate groups or surveillance by some governmental agency; or some nutty MIT type folks experimenting.

    We are not advancing a conspiracy theory. We are the unwitting, involuntary targets of surveillance so pervasive that we physically are receive directed energy attacks wherever we are: work, at church; at the store; in the car; in bed, and on and on.
    So, when naive Americans beat up on others for expressing their concern about the various uses of this technology. I’m slightly annoyed. Because you have no idea of the “evil minds” of some perverse people.

    Anyway, there are thousands of victims in the U.S. in every state; in Canada, Asia and all over Europe. People are now beginning to speak out and put their fears aside.

  25. IP Camera says:

    I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  26. Norma says:

    Makes sense to me. What’s the point of games when there’s no challenge? I would think that if one doesn’t follow the safety regulations, they’re not likley to be in the games. Aren’t they in a controlled environment? (Being up in years prevents me from participating.) -lol- (I hope I didn’t misinterpret the context of the piece.) I look forward to your articles.

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