November 16th, 2009

No More Air Pistols for Modern Pentathlon — Politically Correct Lasers Instead

UIPM logo PentathlonThe Modern Pentathlon is a 5-discipline Olympic event that combines Horse Riding, Running, Swimming, Fencing, and Shooting. Whether there will really be any “shooting” anymore is questionable if Pentathlon officials succeed in their plan to replace air pistols with laser devices. That’s right, the Snowflakes in Hell Blog reports that the UIPM, the international governing body for Modern Pentathlon, intends to replace air pistols with laser “pistols”, ostensibly to reduce the environmental impact of lead pellets. We think this is just a “feel-good” move reflecting anti-gun political agendas. Pentathlon air pistols fire tiny 7-grain pellets that are easily captured by bullet traps, so there is virtually no environmental risk.

UIPM logo PentathlonUIPM President, Klaus Schormann, defended the plan to replace air pistols with laser devices, stating: “The decision to introduce non-air pistol shooting was the second big step for the sport following the decision in 2008 to change to the combined run/shoot format. This is a significant development in terms of lowering the environmental impact of the sport.”

Sebastian, creator of the Snowflakes in Hell Blog, observed: “The reasoning of the [UIPM] committee is disturbing. I hope this doesn’t portend bad things to come with other Olympic shooting sports, whose environmental footprint is arguably worse.”

One Blog reader astutely commented: “It would have been trivially easy to mandate lead-free pellets, if the ‘lead poisoning’ argument were the real reason behind this change. Replacing air pistols with lasers instead of a much simpler requirement to use nontoxic shot suggests that it was the ‘gun-ishness’ of the air pistols, and not the environmental impact, that may have been the primary driver here.”

EDITOR’s Comment: One wonders if the UIPM’s next move will be to replace fencing foils and sabres with Wii computer-game controllers — in the interest of safety. And shouldn’t the UIPM replace Pentathletes’ four-legged equine mounts with hobby-horses to reduce solid waste and methane emissions?

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