As we learned from A Christmas Story, you can and will shoot your eye out with a BB gun. The same applies to airsoft guns — those plastic knockoff rifles that fire out small, plastic BBs. The pseudo-weapons are favored by a younger, gun-savvy crowd and, boy, they can hurt like hell.
That brings us to the story of NYU junior Andrew Goal. On Sunday, he was arrested at 80 Lafayette, the location of NYU’s Lafayette dormitory space, for building and selling airsoft guns out of his room. Both of those activities are illegal in New York.
Apparently, maintenance workers tipped off the campus police that they saw a few pistols on Goal’s bed during a service visit. The NYPD soon busted his room and found five rifles stashed away in the 20-year-old Texan’s room; one of which resembled an AK47. It was later discovered that Goal was selling his products online for upwards of $500.
In a email to the student body, NYU’s Vice President for Global Security and Crisis Management (yes, this is a real title), Jules Martin, reflected on the current day and age’s sensitivity to firearms, regardless if they’re real or not:
[I]n this day and age, especially given recent events at Virginia Tech and Newtown, Conn., the University will respond swiftly to protect the safety of our community when there is even a possibility of gun involvement… An arrest was made in this case; we expect the Police Department to finish its investigation soon, and to be able to reopen the room later today.
College is a time spent to prepare oneself for the modern job market, learning all the tricks of the trade that will place you higher up on that steep ladder of social mobility in 2013. Nowadays, that all translates into making the newest app or website, not really running a full-scale operation of fake rifles (or a “factory,” as the Post put it) out of one’s dorm room.
The legal consequences for the NYU junior remain to be seen.