Conventions all across the United States generally have a weapons policy. They can range either from ‘common sense’ to ‘EVERYTHING MUST BE TAGGED WITH RAINBOW COLORS’.
So why are the latter policies necessary? Is the convention owner a fan of Rainbow Dash or are there reasons for concern? Some could certainly point the fingers at several recent acts of violence involving guns, but I think that we need to look a little closer at ourselves, the attendees.
This is where “finger off the trigger” comes into play. When handling guns, EVEN fake ones, it is important to know gun safety.
- Finger off the trigger. ( Also known as trigger discipline)
- Don’t EVER point your gun (yes- even if it is fake) at another person.
- Treat any weapon as possibly being real/loaded.
Why the need for the above?
To demonstrate that we as a community can make conventions a safe place to attend. So we can continue to enjoy emulating our favorite genres through accurate costuming and by being granted possibly looser weapon’s policies.
“Oh come on…” someone might say. Let’s put it in perspective. You are a police officer assigned to patrol a convention. You have dealt with serious situations involving criminals shooting at you. You spot several figures dressed in military fatigues, vests, boots, and an assortment of guns. One of them draws a realistic looking pistol, finger on the trigger and raises it to point at another person.
What would be that police officer’s first instinct?
If people are aware of gun safety and refrain from such actions, there would be a lot less misunderstandings in regards to weapons at conventions.BONUS:Effective and safe gun handling makes your photos look more realistic. Example: if you are taking a photo with a gun close to your face, your finger WOULD NOT be on the trigger. You wouldn’t risk blowing your face off.
Speaking of photos, what do you do when you need to pose with your weapon?? Or when people ask to take your photo and your character points it at another individual? You can point your weapon to the SIDE of the person, which actually in most cases makes for better photos. If you HAVE to point your weapon at someone, do so in a safe area, make sure that your posing partner knows that your weapon is fake and check it. Make sure if it is airsoft or nerf that it is not loaded. Double check. You wouldn’t want to get banned from a convention for a mistake.
These principles can apply for swords, bats, etc. By using prop weapons respectfully and safely we can make everyone’s convention experience better.
So finger off the trigger and have some fun!