Toy nerf guns — the weapon of choice for students participating in Missouri State University’s semi-annual “Humans vs. Zombies” live-action game — may be the latest casualty of irrational anti-gun hysteria at American universities.
Humans vs. Zombies, a once-per-semester tradition at the Springfield campus, involves students using toy nerf guns to shoot foam bullets at each other. Almost 500 students played the most recent iteration of the game last month.
“I get really excited for it,” said Chad Holmes, a faculty advisor for Live Action Society, the group that hosts the game, in a statement to Ozarks First. “It’s my favorite game we play.”
Unfortunately, it involves guns. Toy guns that are incapable of harming anyone, and are enjoyed by small children around the country, but guns nonetheless.
Don Clark, director of public safety at MSU, told a public radio station that the nerf guns are a serious disruption, because other students seem them and report them.
“We cannot tell people that ‘if you see someone with a gun, it might be a Nerf gun, so just disregard it,’” said Clark.
But since the event is announced to campus officials ahead of time, organizers said public safety personnel could do just that.
“They know if they get people running around with Nerf guns calls about that, it is us,” said Holmes.
The nerf guns used in the event are even inspected ahead of time to make sure that none resemble real guns.
Still, the university is weighing a nerf ban.
The student government recently polled students about whether they would support a ban. In fact, most would not.
“It is overwhelming that students don’t feel they pose a safety risk and that even considering banning them is an infringement on students’ ability to enjoy the college experience and express themselves,” said Brittany Donnellen, vice president of the student government, in a statement.
The university did not immediately respond to a request for comment.