The Airsoft community has shown its strength this week after a news channel broadcast an article which linked airsoft to terrorism.
Presenters on Belgian news channel VTM introduced a piece earlier this week which linked airsoft to terrorist training camps, without justifying the link or even showing any proof that known terrorists had taken part in Airsoft milsims as part of a “terrorist training program”.
The piece promoted an angry response in the community, and a Belgian Airsoft team called Lucid Mind called for airsofters all over the world to send pictures of themselves to VTM along with the text “we are not terrorists”.
The call got such a good response the VTM inbox was inundated with emails and it has now issued an apology and correction on its website.
Lucid Mind team member Christophe Lefebvre has also been in to meet VTM journalists and is set to feature on a future bulletin.
He said: “The news crew at VTM was simply flooded by thousands of mails and they were forced to sit down with us in order to listen to our point of view.
“The news crew listened to our arguments and placed an apology online.
“I want to thank everyone who helped us because the massive reaction meant for the first time a major news station wanted to sit down with us and have a positive discussion about airsoft guns.”
The apology came from VTM’s general editor Kris Hoflack.
He said: “Our broadcast said Verviers faced a seemingly extremist threat and showed pictures of an airsoft milsim to support this. We said the event was a “training camp” for “future jihadists”.
“However, members of the airsoft community have brought it to our attention that these claims were mistakenly made and that they felt wrongly targeted by the report.
“Although we do have reason to believe extremists have been active in the area and purchased airsoft pistols we realise it is unfair to link this to the general airsoft community and we understand the community wants to distance itself from any kind of abuse of their sport by extremists.
“We understand their concern for their sport and apologise for the misunderstanding.”