First, I want to express my deep sense of sorrow for all of the families involved in this terrible crime.
The reaction of the German government, as much as we hate it, is only to be expected. We all know that paintball is on the fringe of the sporting world. It can only harm our cause to over-react and do exactly what they think a bunch of gun wielding yahoos would do. Now is the time to remember the example set by Dee Snider of Twisted Sister. When confronted by those who sought to censor music, many rockers freaked out and got loud and caused a lot of trouble. This only furthered the push to censor music. But it was Dee Snider who apeared before the US Senate and elloquently argued for his cause. He was respectful of the views the board held, and at the end of the day earned that same respect.
In any type of activity society views as outside the norm or extreme, it is the vigilant and respectful support of its leaders that protect the right to continue. We must stand strong in our love for our sport, but we must do so with a level of maturity that goes beyond what is expected. Logic and thoughtful debate will show those outside of the sport that paintball is not something to be feared, but rather it is something that builds values like any other competitive activity.
So please be mindful of how you approach those who do not understand this sport. Instead of labeling them as ignorant the same way they label you as extremist and violent, take a moment to listen. Then when you have heard why they so strongly dissapprove do your best to give a logical argument for why you feel differently.
My heart truly goes out to all those in mourning. Be praying for them in what ever fashion you see fit. Above all represent our sport with dignity. Thanks.
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