Last Christmas, I bought the Spud an Airsoft rifle. Hey, he wouldn't be shooting it in MY house, so why not? But as with most things fun and good that uncles buy nephews, he wasn't allowed to play with it after I left and it resided in it's box until the day that he was sent here, when it too was mysteriously sent along.
So yesterday, when we were at Walmart, I bought a cheapo Airsoft pistol for myself and last night we went out to do what little boys his age are supposed to do--we ran around in the woods and shot each other silly with the guns.
We had three rules:
1. No deliberate face shots (at least by me)
2. No crying
3. No time-outs unless you had a gun problem...and running out of ammo didn't count--that's on you to remedy, from behind cover if you're smart.
OK, now as one unfamiliar with Airsoft guns, I admit that I was unaware of how hard they hit and how far they can shoot. I also didn't think that the Spud was all that dangerous until the first time that I peered around a tree and he zapped me in the face from about 40 feet away.
DAMN! That STINGS!
Crediting the boy with a "lucky shot" that I was sure that he couldn't repeat, I peered around the other side of the tree and caught another one right on the edge of my lip.
It finally dawned on me that these guns are the real deal, and although I had two stinging welts on my face, I couldn't help but be proud of the boy for making those shots--he was actually aiming and using the skills I'd taught him on the rifle range.
I learned quickly to stay behind cover, because the boy could hit pretty much any part of me that he could see. So I moved back--distance being a good shooter's friend in a gunfight--and used the cover of rocks and trees to slowly outflank the boy every time he went static behind whatever he thought made a good redoubt. After giving him a few pellet welts on his little body every time he failed to stay behind cover for more than a second or two, I paused the game and taught him the concept of "fire and maneuver" and showed him better ways to use rocks and trees as shields. Once the boy learned that it was to his benefit to remain mobile, I could no longer just work my way up behind him and "kill" him. Our gun battles became fluid and we moved back and forth across the wooded hillside behind the Lair, each occasionally scoring on the other. I was nice and let him know when he got me because I didn't give him any free shots and he deserved to know when he'd done it right and whacked me, and of course there was no doubt when I'd get him because everyone for a mile or so would have been able to hear the loud "OWWW!" resonating through the forest. But he never cried or quit and we finally used up all of the airsoft pellets out there in the woods and had to call the game.
We'll get more today though and I've already told him that he can use them to "hunt" the neighbors' many feral cats. And I'm gonna have to find some old Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone videos for the boy.