Makes me want to cry

Jordan, Jesse, Go!, a Canadian comedy podcast (correct me if I am wrong, I never heard of them before), launched a IndieGoGo (Kickstarter-like site) project to raise funds to buy Canadian Pentathlon competitor Donna Vakalis a laser gun for the 2012 Olympic games. In about 24 hours they managed to raised the $2900 required.

I am pleased for Donna Vakalis, but it saddens me that one of the last modern martial sports in the Olympic games is being turned into a laser tag match. I wonder how many athletes are not going to be able to compete because they cannot afford to buy a $2,900 laser gun, when a sub-$1000 .22 LR handgun or .177 air pistol would have sufficed.

[ Many thanks to Christian for emailing us the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • John

    And worse, this is undoubtedly the beginning of an international ban of all firearms in sports/competition shooting. This will mean that the only way for citizens to legally own a handgun in many parts of the world (like here in Sweden) will be taken away, as handguns are usually not allowed for hunting (and much less for self defense).

  • Nater

    So what martial sports are left in the Olympics? Judo, boxing, freestyle, and Greco-Roman wrestling? That is all that I can think of.

    • Blackhawk2001

      Don’t forget fencing.

      • Chase

        Fencing has been almost completely gamed out, and now it resembles boxing more than anything else. I learned “historical” fencing in my university, and the goal was to exit the fight alive. In “classical” fencing like they do in the Olympics and just about everywhere else, the goal is to score points. The routes to these goals diverge much faster than you’d think. 🙁

    • Sian

      The olympic shotgun sports still exist, last I checked.

      Fencing (not that it much resembles any martial activity anymore)
      Biathlon (based on mountain troop training! Though I hear it’s on the outs)

      does hockey count?

    • None of those utilize what I would call 19th-century-or-later martial skills (firearms).

  • Giolli Joker

    I don’t understand…
    Here: they say that the decision of switching to a laser game has been vetoed… and they even say that laser guns are actually cheaper than normal pellet guns.

    BTW, there should others shooting sports (both target and clay shooting) untouched by these changes in the Olympic Games…

    • Gidge

      The event would have been cheaper to run as safety issues such as noise, ricochet’s and firearms being discharged in unsafe directions, would no longer be a factor. This sais nothing about the cost of the pistols to the competitors.

      Britain’s attitude to handguns (almost completely banned) is likely to have been a factor.

      However, recoil control is a fundamental component of marksmanship. It’s also an integral part of the sport.

      • 6677

        WE’re allowed black powder pistols, thats it. Joy to the world

  • Ben

    This is pretty ridiculous, lasers in no way should represent actual shooting sports, it removes most of the challenge and I’m guessijg that there’s going to be a few more bugs using computers than with targets and real lead down range…

  • D

    I don’t understand why everyone wouldn’t have the *same* gun. I’d not even have individual competitors bring their own guns.

    It’s a shooting competition, not a “who can afford the best gunsmith and finest accurizing” competition. That the amount of money the competitor had would even enter the equation is a little messed up.

    • higgs

      I shot “Olympic Style” Air Rifle in High school, and i can tell you that for rifles, 2900 is nothing. Though i could easily out shoot a kid with a 3000 dollar gun with my 800 dollar gun. all that fancy shit you said helps, once you mastered the system. As my shooting coach used to say, the most important part of the rifle is the Screw behind the butt plate.”

  • JC

    If the sport is going to be reduced to holding laser pistols, why not just cut out the cost altogether and have the athletes just hold out their hands. The one who is the steadiest wins the gold!


    • higgs

      This. We used laser devices to demonstrate the effects with breeathing, trigger pull, and small tthings like heart beat. Coompeeteing with lasers sounds stupid aand will change subtle things, like the factt you can move the barrrel between trigger pull and the shot leaving the muzzle.

  • Anton

    This is why I hate competition in sport. Competitions generally start because they’re fun. Then people put money on it. It looses meaning because of that.

  • noob

    i’d only support this if the specific power output on that laser was rated in the gigawatt range.

    • PeterB

      What about “phased plasma rifles in the forty watt range”?

      • Holdfast

        1.21 Gigawatts!

      • Beefalo

        Hey, what you see is what we got, pal!

  • Zach

    Any country that won’t allow each and every sport to be conducted in its normal manner should not be eligible to host the Olympics.

    • PeterB

      Agreed. I’m English, but I still agree. If we can’t sort this out to allow competitors to have licenses then we don’t deserve the games.

      • Chris

        What would be the point of even bothering to license them?

        First it is not like licensing prevents crime, those that are wont to commit a crime dont care that they may have to break other laws in the process…

        Secondly since competitors are not the kind of people that would use a real gun to harm someone or to commit a crime, the ONLY purposes for requiring them to be licensed would be to either raise revenue, harassing them or giving some petty bureaucrat a power trip.

      • JonMac

        This was nothing to do with London hosting the games, despite our depressingly anti-gun ways, and would have happened anyway. The other shooting sports are still using true firearms or airweapons.

      • David/Sharpie

        Chris, out of all the bullshit I have to go through to get my PAL, and registering handguns etc, getting the PAL (Firearms license) is about the only thing I support, it shows you have the training to handle a firearm safely, now I do agree it likely won’t prevent crime (Except for mentally disturbed persons if they catch them before they shoot others) but it does at least introduce citizens to safe handling and use.

        I do not support registration, I support carry, I do not support the mag restrictions, but the one thing I do support is the license.

  • Reverend Clint

    Why not have them play COD at this point

  • pokes

    phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range

  • crosswiredmind

    That isn’t shooting, it’s pointing.

  • WhatsHisFace

    I can’t wait for the introduction of laser skeet to the olympics. I wonder which optic choke would be used.

  • Germanian

    Wait what? actual lasers guns exist? why the hell haven’t I heard of this?!?


    • JC

      Full Fresnel lens, of course! 🙂

      • JC

        Ah! Wrong comment. My Firearm Blog Fu is broken. 😉

    • JC

      That’s an excellent way to introduce some competitiveness to it. Make them say PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!

      Sir, I think there is a spot on the Olympic committee for you. 😀

  • JC

    Hilariously off topic, but I just noticed that the Related Posts are:

    – Man shoots himself in both legs with Taurus Judge while driving
    – Man accidentally shoots his penis


    Another related post might be: “Olympic Committee Neuters shooting Competitors”

  • Mike M.

    Follow the money. The whole laser gimcrack idea has a lot of people infuriated. I’m betting that the people pushing this garbage are being paid off under the table.

    Modern Pentahlon used to involve shooting .22 pistols. Then they went to air pistol. Now…a toy.

    But a word of correction – you will NOT find an Olympic-grade target pistol (cartridge or air) for much under $2K.

    • David/Sharpie

      My dad has 2 Vostock MCM pistols (Designed for the ’54 Olympics) that I think he bought for about $300 each.

      Yes you can.

      • David/Sharpie

        PS, I’m Canadian, and I think this is absolute BS.

      • matt

        They were $300 each for the same reason Mosin Nagants can be had for about $100.

      • DC

        $300 in 1954 is $2,500 today.

        Also, technology has advanced in the last 60 years. A ’54 olympic-grade firearm != a 2012 olympic-grade firearm.

  • matt

    If youre from a first world nation and can’t come up with $3k to compete in the Olympics, should you really be going? How do you on plan on getting there? Hitch hiking? Being a stow-away on a boat? My handgun cost $2k and my rifle was $4k, I didnt have to beg the internet to get either. Its not like modern Olympic grade target pistols are cheap either, Pardini pistols on gun broker go for $1,500 used.

  • Bob Z Moose

    Is this real life? WTF, Britain? You won’t allow people representing other countries, with a ton of security and armed police outside/inside the arena, to have a small caliber/air pistol in a highly controlled, secure environment? I’ve lost all faith in England.

    • Zermoid

      You had faith in England to start with?
      The jerks we in America fought (and won) a war with when they tried to take our guns away more than 200 years ago?.
      That we had to save during WW1 and WW2?
      THAT England?

      • JonMac

        You, sir, are a buffoon.

        As for the cries of ‘oh England’, whilst we have a generally pathetic attitude toward firearms, there are in fact various events that still use chemical firearms or air weapons;

        Trap shooting
        Skeet shooting
        Rifle shooting
        Air rifle shooting
        Sport pistol
        Rapid fire pistol
        Air pistol

        Then there’s Biathlon, which (AFAIK) still uses .22 rifles.

        The only one, so far as I know, that’s gone ‘laser’ is Modern Pentathlon, in which the ‘shooting’ is only one aspect.

        Also, the decision to go laser has nothing to do with British hosting of the 2012 games.

        So can we please get a sense of perspective here?

      • Nicks87

        JonMac, you have absolutely no clue do you?

        This is just another example of how left wing slime-balls are winning the war against firearms ownership by individual citizens.

        The anti-gun people do their wickedness in small increments so people like you, who are not awake and aware of tyranny, just let it go by unnoticed or try to justify it and act like its no big deal.

  • Doug

    I think timing had something to do with the decision. Parlament had a bill on the table that would’ve allowed Olympic competitors to use real pistols and they chose not to pass it. Not exactly sure how the introduction of bills work there, but they’ve had a year or two SINCE that decision to put forth more legislation that would’ve led to allowing air pistols for the Olympics, yet here we stand with competitors asking for money to buy laser pistols.

    Perhaps to make a statement, or set precident. The UN arms treaty begins drafting talks this month. Both the EU and UN have been anti-gun for a while.

  • This is a joke, right?

  • Zappy

    I vote for flintlocks.

  • Matthew Hopkins

    The UK has had a modern history of trying to disarm the population, often on the back of kneejerk legislation pushed through by centralist politicians using media outcry to manipulate the situation.

    We are not all the same. But it becomes harder to keep sports going when youngsters are prevented from taking it up. The Olympics is a good case in point. One of the aims was to leave a legacy of sport, yet the shooting venue is the only truly temporary one. Despite there being plenty of ranges that could have used the investment, they preferred to throw the money away on something they could dismantle and forget about asap.

    It is not logical either, so although we can no lonegr legally shoot pistol or automatic weapons and shotguns are limited to 3 round mags strangely enough we can still legally hold modeerators for rifles and shotguns without too much trouble

  • Nicks87


    “Of course, the pesants can never be trusted with real firearms. What if they decide to rob someone on the way to the competition OR even worse they might try to assassinate a public official OR god forbid, someone of royal blood.”

    What a joke. Wake up you fools this crap is coming to America soon.

    • JC

      Nah, don’t sweat it. We’re good to go.

    • Nicks87

      Oh, we are?

      Please explain.

      Because everday I seen gun owners being attacked for supporting the 2nd amendment.

      You are lucky there are people who stand up for the constitution so you can go on owning and enjoying your shooting hobbies.

      • Seamus

        Nicks you watch too many youtube conspiracy videos buddy