Even though this is my first post, and I may not be "reliable" I am a quiet frequent paintball player. I play on a team even though I'm 13. Which is why I don't want an age restriction. A class, maybe. However, take a look at what guns are being shot out there. You dont see an autococker or angels. You see some brass eagle that the kid got a wal mart. Now, as per law, you need to be 18 to get anything paintball related (trust me, I know, I have to find some random dude to buy me some paintballs...) so this kid had to have his mom with him. Go to the source, the parents. Its not paintball alone, its some parenting issues. Simply because the paintball marker was the "weapon" of choice doesnt mean its bad. If you think that paintball should be more regulated, look at hand guns. The you can buy anything from the internet these days.
Also, A paintball marker isnt a firearm,
According to dictionary.com a firearm is:
"A weapon, especially a pistol or rifle, capable of firing a projectile and using an explosive charge as a propellant."
Paintball markers use compressed gas or CO2 to project the paint pellet. There is no burning of gunpowder involved anywhere. Some people say that paintball isnt safe, but take a look at paintballs record,
Paintball has a 0.31 per 1000 accident rate
Bowling has a 0.50 per 1000 accident rate
Golf has a 1.13 per 1000 accident rate
Baseball has a 27.67 per 1000 accident rate
(PaintCheck Magazine, June 1989, page 38)
And if I look harder I can show you that ballet is more dangerous then paintball.
Also, for the people who say paintball is one of the most integreity-driven sports, its not. Airsoft is. Simply because airsoft doesnt leave a mark and yet there is hardly ever an arugument about who shot who and if their shot. Now look at paintball, ask the pro's why they play, fun usually wont be on the top of the list. Players these days are offered some good sized signing bonuses. If paintball is all integrity why do we have refs? I am a refferee myself and when I have to ref the guys who think their gun can ramp dwell and BPS, I hate them. I've taken them to the techshop and made the airsmith take a look at the board to see if it was a ramping board. Its a pain, especially when they start wiping. Those JT gloves with the wiper blade on it is incredibly ridiculous. I can see why some Americans give the sport a bad rap, we do it to ourselves. Before everyone goes out saying how trustworthy everyone is we have to clean up our act. Paintball was very safe but now is getting less-safe. It still is one of the safest sports around but with people who have boards that ramp dwell (that means that instead of shooting 280 feet per second, it jumps to 320 or whatver) and ramping boards (instead of shooting what you can pull, the board enhances the pulls, like your pulling it 5 times in a second and its shooting 20 times a second, legal in some places now) What has the sport come to?