Neal said, quoting the message in one of their videos, that they want people to “lay down the guns and get the Airsoft.”
Last week, two people were killed and another was wounded by bullets; a 3-year-old girl was also injured after being hit by bullet shrapnel.
Nolan, who spoke to the Journal-News on October 25, later told the Journal-News in response to a shooting that night, who was on the street where she and her husband live, thinks that this airsoft outdoor arena project will help “stop this nonsense as soon as possible.” People are dying every day and we need to talk about it.
Nolan said many young people, as well as adults, sit around the house and play “Call of Duty,” the first-person military simulation video game with nearly two dozen versions since its release in 2003. She said their hope is that if more people bond over an outdoor activity, “it gives them some kind of connection, some kind of community to get involved in,” and they can” realizing that “these people aren’t that bad”.
Neal said support appears to be on their side, as videos on their Facebook page promoting the project have received thousands of views from a dozen cities. Although they have invested their own money, they need outside investors to join them.
“At the moment we are in the first phase (of the project),” Neal said. “We had identified a location, but at the moment it is not feasible enough for what we want to do, so we are looking at other land and properties at this time.
There are other paintball-oriented outdoor arenas, but this is not paintball, they said. It would be aimed at young people and adults who play military simulation video games. Every weekend there would be Airsoft events, like team versus team matches as well as missions for tactical skills.
Additionally, they want to bring in guest speakers, either community leaders or military veterans, to deliver messages that can help unite people.
“It’s a big project for this community, for this county,” Neal said. “We have a lot of people who really want that in this area.”
To learn more about this project or how to get more involved, visit the Butler County Airsoft Outdoor Arena on Facebook.