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An Open Letter to All Irish Airsofters *mod warning in post 2 and 143, please read*

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,200 ✭✭✭J.D.R


    Puding wrote: »
    little point it is not for me or other players to justify why these changes should not take place. but for us to be convince by others why we should vote for these changes

    Unanswered questions seems to be a 2 way street on this thread. The only alternative that has been raised so far is for the comercial entities to form their own association and let the IAA fall.

    From my reading, there has not been one alternative put forward, apart from "Get the players on the committee"...without anyone actually putting themselves forward.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,261 ✭✭✭Puding


    J.D.R wrote: »
    Unanswered questions seems to be a 2 way street on this thread. The only alternative that has been raised so far is for the comercial entities to form their own association and let the IAA fall.

    From my reading, there has not been one alternative put forward, apart from "Get the players on the committee"...without anyone actually putting themselves forward.

    alternative has been put forward, commercial interests create there own body, the IAA stands on its own , if that means its folds it folds, but knee jerk reactions to keep the name going to not the answer

    as mentioned in my previous post
    given that why have none of these motivated individuals set up there own body by this point then, as the idea of a commercial body has been out there and as many people have posted promoted by the iaa for years, why do nothing untill this point, i assume by your remarks the iaa approached the retailers then or did the retailer come to the iaa with this idea rather than a separate body#?

    this has been my point of view for a long time, even when i was involved from a commercial point of view, commercial interests have had 3 years to make their own body but the reality is they have an inability to be professional towards each other

    im saying the same thing, other are saying the same thing, we're not going to move on our views, this back and forth is unproductive for the community so i will withdraw from this discussion as i would like to see if other who have not said anything want to post rather than this being dominated by a vocal few


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,021 ✭✭✭Hivemind187


    In Puddings defence the burden of proof isnt on him, its on the proposers of this ammendment. Instead of badgering him about "bad vibes" or whatever disingenous rubbish passes for argument lately perhaps try to prove your case in favor of ammending the constitution?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,207 ✭✭✭hightower1


    Hey all, I dont really subscribe to the internal "politics" that seems to be present here so can someone nutshell the issue for me?

    Why exactly would one be opposed to IAA board memebers being shop / site owners?

    Sorry if its a very greenhorn question :o but while I may not understand the internal issues I can grasp the weight of the argument thus far a least.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,169 ✭✭✭Zomg Okay


    hightower1 wrote: »
    Why exactly would one be opposed to IAA board memebers being shop / site owners?

    As I understand it, the fear is that an IAA committee made up of all retailers would put our hobby in a direction that benefits their business more than it would benefit the airsofters who don't own a site/shop.


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  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 2,606 Mod ✭✭✭✭horgan_p


    Long story short.

    1) the IAA dont have any players who want to be nominated to the committee for the coming year.

    2) Some (not all I noticed) of the commercial interests in airsoft (sites and shops) would either like to be or would like to be represented on the committee.

    3) This would require a change to the constitution.

    Its actually the change to the constitution is what the discussion (such as it is) is about.
    Some people would like to see the commercial bodies on the committee others would prefer it if the IAA was kept purely as a players organisation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,200 ✭✭✭J.D.R


    In Puddings defence the burden of proof isnt on him, its on the proposers of this ammendment. Instead of badgering him about "bad vibes" or whatever disingenous rubbish passes for argument lately perhaps try to prove your case in favor of ammending the constitution?

    From a players best interest in heart.
    • Current constitution, no players putting themselves forward, no committee elected, IAA folds.
    • Commercial Bodies from IACA, draw up their own rules/regulations for internal governance
    • Uses financial and political clout to become recognised body of Irish Airsoft
    • Individual players have no say, in short/long term.

    Or, the consitituion can be slightly ratified to allow the commercial side on the committee operating previously drawn up guidelines, the IAA stays alive, and maybe next year individuals will find the time to put themselves forward.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,207 ✭✭✭hightower1


    Zomg Okay wrote: »
    As I understand it, the fear is that an IAA committee made up of all retailers would put our hobby in a direction that benefits their business more than it would benefit the airsofters who don't own a site/shop.


    Would you have any examples of how this could be the case?
    The only one I can think of at the top of my head would be the import ban which as far as I can see is in legislation regrdless, just not being enforced? The worst that a retailer led IAA could do would be to ask the DOJ to enforce the legislation which would in turn force players to buy Irish?

    As it is anyone buying from outside IRL without a retailer license is breaking the law anyway but the gardai / customs just arent enforcing it? In theory if customs destroyed an under 1j rif a player could do nothing about it now anyways.

    Thats the only exmaple I could think of that a retailer led IAA would effect players but are there more?


  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 2,606 Mod ✭✭✭✭horgan_p


    /suspend reality for a second.

    something happens that the only people who can sell RIFs are licensed vendors.
    2nd hand market vanishes overnight as a side effect.


  • Registered Users Posts: 981 ✭✭✭se conman


    Suspend reality for another while ,
    A member of the public gets injured by a RIF or one is used illegally (robbery)
    No IAA , No voice , No airsoft anymore.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,088 ✭✭✭BioHazRd


    horgan_p wrote: »
    /suspend reality for a second.

    something happens that the only people who can sell RIFs are licensed vendors.
    2nd hand market vanishes overnight as a side effect.

    I'm sorry Paul but that's baseless scaremongering.
    It's written in legislation that anyone selling airsoft devices by way of business (or some similar term) must be licensed. When the IAA was dealing with the DOJ the issue of second hand sales was addressed and clarified. That information was posted both here and on the IAA forum indicating that second hand sales Would be unaffected.
    No body such as the IAA or whatever has the power to change the law

    Also, for matters of clarification, the IAA committee did not approach the retailers about this. I did. And I haven't been a member of the IAA committee for approx 6 months now, so they had no involvement. I did it as I could see the writing on the wall and did not want to have a situation whe the IAA folded and a new body would be set up where there was no player oversight. The IAA already has a constitution and structure that favours the player, that will not change.
    this is not a coup, but merely an opportunity for those best placed to help the association to get more involved. They still have to get voted in by the membership, so your democratic rights are still intact.
    From speaking with some of the site owners and retailers, I firmly believe that they don't want Ukara or anything like it. There will be no requirement to be a member in order to play. The way the constitution os structured, everything is still player focused, and that will not change


  • Registered Users Posts: 426 ✭✭dinko4gr


    BioHazRd wrote: »
    I'm sorry Paul but that's baseless scaremongering.
    It's written in legislation that anyone selling airsoft devices by way of business (or some similar term) must be licensed. When the IAA was dealing with the DOJ the issue of second hand sales was addressed and clarified. That information was posted both here and on the IAA forum indicating that second hand sales Would be unaffected.
    No body such as the IAA or whatever has the power to change the law

    baseless scaremongering ? it might sound far fetched ... but consider how many players buy second hand or from abroad to get better prices. now scrap that and substitute with only been able to buy from an irish retailer at monopoly driven profit margins . add vat on top and pitch it to the government with a lil bit of lobbying on top.


  • Registered Users Posts: 981 ✭✭✭se conman


    And there-in is one of the main problems with the IAA as it stands , lack of communication , Richard has not been on the committee for 6 months yet he is still listed as PRO and (maybe I am wrong) there was nothing to say that he left.


  • Registered Users Posts: 345 ✭✭hellfireie


    Myself and all the paid up Whiskey Delta Lads will be there, Looking forward to it !!


  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 2,606 Mod ✭✭✭✭horgan_p


    so the IAA has been run by 2 people and someone who hasn't even logged into the IAA website since Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:01 am for the last 6 months ?
    I have got that right , haven't I ?
    Tell me again why the whole thing shouldn't be wrapped up ?
    Or even tell us all why you didn't announce your resignation properly.

    Off topic I know.

    And Richard - in my post I did say suspend reality.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,088 ✭✭✭BioHazRd


    se conman wrote: »
    And there-in is one of the main problems with the IAA as it stands , lack of communication , Richard has not been on the committee for 6 months yet he is still listed as PRO and (maybe I am wrong) there was nothing to say that he left.

    There was no mention of it at the time at my request. There were some very sensitive issues going on then and any public announcement of my stepping down may have impacted negatively on the work of the association at that time.


  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 2,606 Mod ✭✭✭✭horgan_p


    " The quorum at Executive Committee meetings shall be four (4)."

    Lads , wrap this up. ye've made a balls of it. It's embarrassing now.All credibility is gone.
    Sorry , I'll be at the AGM ,but I'm done with this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,088 ✭✭✭BioHazRd


    horgan_p wrote: »
    " The quorum at Executive Committee meetings shall be four (4)."

    Lads , wrap this up. ye've made a balls of it. It's embarrassing now.
    Sorry , I'll be at the AGM ,but I'm done with this.

    Previous committees have been inquorate and have had their actions retrospectively ratified at the agm. This is accepted procedure in this circumstance.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,763 ✭✭✭Airsoft Reloded


    dinko4gr wrote: »
    baseless scaremongering ? it might sound far fetched ... but consider how many players buy second hand or from abroad to get better prices. now scrap that and substitute with only been able to buy from an irish retailer at monopoly driven profit margins . add vat on top and pitch it to the government with a lil bit of lobbying on top.

    Richard just addressed that, you just said exactly what Paul said. Lads none of you have any answers except (why not let the IAA fold up) or (don't let commercial interests be involved). At least we are all trying to find ways forward, put yourself forward for a position on the IAA or don't but don't get involved if you don't care enough to do anything about it (bar bitching).

    I don't mean you Puding, I see you have valid concerns but again try to put forward at least one suggestion mate.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,623 ✭✭✭scanlant


    If the committee is inquorate (any number less than 4 committee members), the association can run and make decisions, however these decisions need to be ratified by the members at the AGM. This has happened before in the IAA, it is not the "ZOMG, dey dun no haz powah" that seems to be made of it.

    Since there are zero nominations for any committee position (notice was given via the forums, twitter, Boards.ie and a number of other forums), the IAA will fold up. That is something that most would agree is unacceptable, especially those that formed the association and those that saw the sport of airsoft through the CJA 2009 into full legal legitimacy.

    This proposal is the only alternative available and should be considered, like any other proposal. However, I share the concerns that Puding and others have with regards to policing. We would need robust policies to be put into place by this amendment, something that may need a legal position on.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,088 ✭✭✭BioHazRd


    I am glad this thread has generated some debate, but in order to really move it along a few points of clarification are needed.

    The open letter outlines how things stand at the moment and a possible solution as perceived by those who have put their name to it.

    It does not constitute a coup by commercial interests - they still need to get voted in by the membership if the amendment gets passed

    The committee will always be subject to the laws of Ireland with respect to competition law, and the data protection act. This can not change

    The people who put their names to the letter are not on the IAA committee, nor will all ( or possibly any ) of them put their names forward for election to the committee.

    Any incoming committee can not change the laws regarding airsoft in Ireland. Yes, they potentially could have a lobbying role, but to be honest, the chances of the government changing anything in the CJA regarding airsoft are slim to none.

    The issue of cartels is a non runner - there are laws in Ireland to address this, so it cannot happen. The same goes for anti competitive practices.

    If the IAA is wound down, there will be no representation of airsoft from a unified stance regarding government or sports bodies. Yes, a new organisation could start, but it will take a long time to achieve the status of the IAA and none of the information held by the IAA can be passed over due to data protection laws.

    The suggestion was made that the committee be made up of a 50% mix. I would support this, however the reality is, no player having put themselves forward for election, gives us 50% of nothing which is nothing.

    If any other clarifications are needed, I will be happy to provide them


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,148 ✭✭✭✭Lemming


    Tommyboy71 wrote: »
    There is one big question here and it is "what if it becomes Ukara 2.0" .
    fayer wrote: »
    UKARA requires the VCRA (UK Violent Crime reduction act),

    I haven't read past page four yet, but I'd like to say something now. I have said this oft times before, but it never seems to sink in for folks.

    UKARA IS THE SIDE-EFFECT, NOT THE CAUSE.

    Now that I perhaps have people's attention, I will explain the nuances of the above. What people incorrectly claim is "UKARA" or "UKARA 2.0", is in fact the VCRA (Violent Crime Reduction Act, Oct 1st, 2006), which provides a 'skirmisher defence' for airsofters. It is not a blanket cover, it is a defence which means the onus is on you to prove that you may avail of it.

    UKARA is the UK's commercial representative body for airsoft, covering sites & retailers and it operates a scheme that allows airsofters register with them to match their own criteria for sales of RIFs. That scheme is to cover retailers first and foremost, but also allows airsofters prove to UK government bodies/agencies that they may avail of the skirmisher defence within the VCRA.

    Now for the other important bit:

    YOU DO NOT NEED UKARA MEMBERSHIP TO AVAIL OF THE SKIRMISHER DEFENCE
    .

    Granted, it makes life easier, but it is by no means a requirement, other than to purchase RIF's from shops who insist upon providing your UKARA number.

    Whilst the VCRA gives plinkers & collectors a raw deal, the VCRA originally had airsoft written out of the equation entirely except for re-enactors & film production. So considering what was the intended original outcome, the skirmisher defence is a necessary evil and one that took an awful lot of legwork to get written into legislation.

    Personally speaking, the UKARA scheme is not such a big deal. It's a pain in the ass if you are impulsive and/or don't want to wait to play three games in two months. Otherwise, meh, it's the path of least resistance with official sorts & shops where proof of eligibility regarding the VCRA is concerned.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,363 ✭✭✭gerrowadat


    The 'suspend reality for a second' argument speaks volumes :-/ Some blatant scaremongering on here, which is disappointing. I've yet to see any problem someone has with commercial interests being on a mixed committee that would't apply to a fully player committee. Paul, I've a lot of respect for you and what you've done for Airsoft in your area, but it's nonsense like this that makes me almost glad you pulled out of running if this is the paranoid and defeatist attitude being taken. If you don't want to be bothered, then don't be involved.

    As for the IAA with commercial representation being equivalent to IASRA - I nearly shot tea out my nose. IASRA was a bad joke, and a disaster waiting to happen. Their committee members were answerable to one person at all times, publically accused the DoJ of being incompetent and lying to them, and had a constitution copied and pasted from a shooting club, with no player or retailer guidelines whatsoever. Don't make me laugh.


  • Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭_ricochet_


    I had a look on the IAA website but couldn't find an answer so taught I would ask it here.

    Can the changes to the rules be implemented straight away to allow these people on the committee, I would have taught the meeting would have to end before the changes would come into affect.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,363 ✭✭✭gerrowadat


    _ricochet_ wrote: »
    I had a look on the IAA website but couldn't find an answer so taught I would ask it here.

    Can the changes to the rules be implemented straight away to allow these people on the committee, I would have taught the meeting would have to end before the changes would come into affect.

    What will probably have to happen is that the changes are voted on on the 28th, and an EGM happens some time after that to elect people newly eligible, since there are notice periods mandatory for this sort of thing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭_ricochet_


    Thanks, that is what I was thinking.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,148 ✭✭✭✭Lemming


    Having had time to think about all of this, I am amazed quite frankly that this is being entertained in the manner put forward.

    First of all, I am of the opinion that it was highly inappropriate behaviour from Richard Smith to approach retailers/sites with this idea despite his claims of not being a member of the IAA committee any more, for all of six months. He has inside and in-depth knowledge of the IAA committee that is recent & current, and as such whilst his claim may be technically true, it is dishonest and tbh, I find it unethical.

    Ok, enough of that. That's my personal view made on that before getting to the meat of what I wanted to say. If I have picked up who did what wrong, than I shall retract that last paragraph immediately with apologies.

    The notion of allowing commercial interests sit on the committee in executive (i.e. voting) positions is simply put; a very bad idea. I'm not sure how else to phrase that other than to re-iterate that it is a very bad idea. Made with the best of intentions I'm sure, but the path to hell was paved with good intentions.

    Why do I consider it a bad idea?

    As others have said plainly - and accurately - a business will place its future survival first and foremost. That means it may - and probably will - come into direct conflict with whatever matter requires dealt with and move in its own best interest, not the best interests of the community. That is cold, hard, and oft played-out fact the world over. Case in point ironically enough; the UKARA membership scheme.

    Given my previous post, I'll explain that one better. Among those who fought hard for the skirmisher defence were representatives from UKARA. Of course, the VCRA never sets out how one avails of the skirmisher defence, and if you ask HMRC they'll mumble, be vague, and probably point you towards the UKARA scheme. On its own merits, it would appear to serve both retailers & community. But it was first & foremost (as far as I am aware & can recall) meant to protect retailers from prosecution by showing that the person buying RIFs was eligible for the defence. That it also benefited the players was a side effect.

    How intertwined the skirmisher defence & the UKARA membership scheme was when conceived I don't know. Maybe it was separate, maybe not, I'm not going to claim underhand dealings and I will give those involved the benefit of the doubt & respect for the work that they carried out with respects UK government bodies, but I do want to show just how easy it would be for a commercial entity in a position of power to swing the markets to their advantage at the expense of the larger community.

    I am quite perplexed as to why there also seems to be an about-face among IAA members concerning permitting commercially vested entities wield executive power. For years, there debates about this, and then the tooth & nails fight against the beast that was IASRA. I fail to see what has changed now to suddenly make it "all right" now. Perceived necessity does not make for calm, rational decisions; quite the opposite.

    What would make more sense, is allowing for non-executive 'representative' positions on the IAA committee for retailers and sites (or both combined into one seat), to allow commercial interests to express their views.

    I am also somewhat disappointed to see nobody putting their names forward other than commercial interests, although I have my suspicions as to why but that's a whole other kettle of fish and not for this particular topic for discussion. At the end of the day it's your game, it's your community, and I'll comment that seeing so many commercial entities names signed should be making alarm bells ring inside your heads. There ye go; a load of commercial interests all chomping at the bit for the prospect of executive positions. This brings me back to the path to hell being paved with good intentions. This may seem like scare-mongering to some, but it's not; it's a reality check as to the nature of the beast that is capitalism.

    I firmly believe that on this matter, the Irish airsoft community is perhaps too close. In itself, it is a credit, but on this matter it would appear to be blurring the lines for people. Yes, that retailer or site owner may be a mate of yours, but they also run a business; perhaps even a liveli-hood. As a rather crude but apt expresion goes; "Money talks, bulls**t walks".


  • Registered Users Posts: 981 ✭✭✭se conman


    This is from the IAA constitution "4. Nomination of candidates will be made at the AGM and shall be seconded by at least one other IAA Individual Member who is not already appointed to the Committee."

    This is from the IAA forum "Election of officers for the 2012 committee will take place at the end of the meeting. Nominations for committee positions must be proposed and seconded in writing (AGM Forum, email, or letter) by 5PM on Sunday the 18th of Decemberber. All positions are open and we encourage as many people to stand as possible."
    Am I mistaken in thinking that a member can still be nominated at the AGM as per the constitution and that the second quote is against the constitution.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭CORaven


    It may be an odd question, but why have people not put their names forward as committee candidates? What are members of the committee expected to do, and what is the work load like? Is it some thing that can be done by any oneeven if they are working full time out in the country, or do they have to be in the heart of Dublin and take it on as a full time job?
    I think it is odd with the amount of sites in the country that there is not a representative from each.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 869 ✭✭✭hrta


    Tommyboy71 wrote: »
    There is one big question here and it is "what if it becomes Ukara 2.0" . There is a very simple answer. The retailers and sites could wait until the IAA folds and set up their own organisation where the ordinary Joe Soap does not get a look in. That will prevent players,collectors or plinkers from having a voice.

    They haven't. They are willing to step up and put themselves forward to keep the IAA going. The players still have a part to play and this is where the checks and balances comes in to play. The chairmans position is non commercial. This is something that the commercial side looked for. They are not looking to take over and run it with all commercial bodies on the committe. Players still have the option to run the association and hold any of the positions. If all of the positions get filled by players then there will be no issue from the commercial side. If there are any dodgy dealings going on, if the members or indeed any of the comittie don't like what's going on they can look for an EGM to be called. Players wont have that if the commercial side set up their own association.

    An EGM never happened last year with the previous committee about the defamatory comments and accusations which flew around the IAA forum last year.
    Accusations which where never proven or even proven to have been investigated, maybe thats why there's no support for the organization any more.


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