Any takers on the over/under for irate (and possibly threatening) communication? It's gotta be in hours, right?
Are you wondering how I could even ask such a question? Am I kidding? Just trying to be provocative? (Well, yes. Partly.) But in fact if you take certain assumptions as a given it's undeniable.
The argument that crazy high ROF guns in the hands of tournament ballers is ruining the game and driving away other players is pretty much the conventional wisdom these days.
Another item of conventional wisdom is that tourney ballers are but a fraction of all paintballers, the tail wagging the dog--and a nub of a tail at that--what I've taken to calling the One Percenters.
Leaving aside the total number of high end markers sold compared to the total number of competitive players--those sorts of stats probably don't exist--a visit to virtually any rec field in the country will demonstrate that not all those guns are in the hands of tourney players. That means part of the original argument begins to break down. We still have the high ROF guns but they aren't exclusive to tournament players.
Perhaps we can modify the argument and claim the problem is high end high ROF guns in the hands of tournament ballers and emulators of tournament ballers. But if we're going to go down that road I'd like to have some idea how many high end high ROF guns are out there compared to the total of all paintball markers and players because it seems to me that if the "problem" can be that easily isolated to some small percent of players and guns it should really be easy to fix. Just quarantine that group and the problem is solved. So why hasn't it happened? Is everybody involved in paintball so dumb the obvious eludes them? Or is it something else?
For starters there are loads of non-high end high ROF guns in the marketplace, added to on a daily basis--by Tippmann, among many others. Some are tourney-type markers, many are not. A brief review of the Tippmann product line reveals 5 basic markers (discounting the pistol) all of which either come with or can be accessorized with an e-grip or reactive trigger mod advertised by Tippmann as capable of up to 15 bps. The same or something similar go for Kingman/Spyder and BT to name a couple other high volume brands. High ROF markers are ubiquitous--they are everywhere at virtually every price point.
Of course, it isn't just Tippmann. It's pretty much everybody. I only used them because they don't make competition markers and everyone routinely associates them with the recreational market, the entry market and newbie rentals. Paintball's problem, assuming there is a problem, isn't out of control tourney ballers shooting mysterious, magical super expensive high ROF markers at unsuspecting newbs. If there is a problem with high ROF markers it's PBIndustry's problem because everybody is making high ROF guns in every possible guise and selling them as fast as they can ship them out their doors. And if there is too much paint being flung too fast across fields around the country the vast majority of it is from guns and players that have nothing to do with competitive paintball.
So what's next? Either the industry is killing itself--or it isn't. If it is then blaming the the smallest segment of players won't solve it, only absolve those truly responsible.