by Tyrell Rettke
May 11, 2005
Recently, out around mile 14 N. Tongass, I heard of a younger person who used a paintball marker to plaster pink paint across a sidewalk, stop signs, and then, at cars. The youngster was apparently, from what I have been able to gather, caught and turned into the troopers.
To me, this illustrates perfectly the reason to provide a suitable place for kids to play the sport of paintball. There are no controls for the game right now. Anyone can pick up a marker at the store, or online, and go paint the side of a building, or a car, etc. The paintballers are not organized; there is no formalized place for them to play.
Right now, a select few of the people, and it is a very slim number who do things like this, get their markers, and when they get bored, and can't find anyone to play against in a real game, go and do something stupid like this. IF there were a place to play, a field that was legal, and regulated, and had safety built in to the environment, we would see virtually none of these kinds of occurrences, which are already pretty sparse.
This event comes at a very inopportune time for the rest of the paintballers on this island who do obey observe self control, and respect the property of others, because we ARE formalizing. The Ketchikan Hot Shots had the first of its Formation Meetings last night (May 10th). Under the newly formed non profit organization, Ketchikan Youth Initiatives., we are creating a league that will run a paintball field. This event is so damaging to us because none of us condone such things, or would be involved in perpetrating such acts. All of our ranks play on a code of conduct that does not allow for such things as marking in populated areas, or leaving a mess. Contrary to popular belief, most of us leave a site we played at for the better, save for a bit of water soluble paint, which washes away at the first rain.
Please do not misconstrue this act to be that of a paintballer. This was simply an ill-informed, bored individual who got a hold of a paintball marker and used it in a manner than none in our ranks would approve of.
If you would like more information about the league, or KYI, which is committed to helping foster and fund youth lead initiatives, please stop by our Totem To Totem booth on the 14th (at Ketchikan Heating and Dray).
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