Point Park Globe

Gaming convention site of massacre

Student takes on yet another shooting, pleads for this to end

Written By Maxwell McAuley

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Sunday, Aug. 26, shots rang out across the gaming community. David Katz, a competitor at a local gaming tournament in Jacksonville, Florida fired a handgun at other competitors, leaving eleven people injured, nine of which were from gunshots. 

I’ve never once had the privilege to attend any sort of gaming event, whether it be some form of competition or just a convention hall filled with gaming companies displaying their latest products. However, I have been to some conventions, and it can be quite a unique experience. Yes, you are surrounded by hundreds of people with similar interests at an event for the hobby that you love or even just enjoy as a pastime, but you’re also surrounded by hundreds of people. More like hundreds of strangers which can be a little nerve wracking to some (myself included). A life threatening experience does not need to be another concern.

Any form of mass gathering of people, especially on the scale of some of these conventions, ought to have some form of security on site. Sure, the venue in Jacksonville isn’t nearly to the scale of some major gaming conventions, but as sure as miracles happen, so do disasters.

That being said, any sort of tragedy of this magnitude has been, and is still, incredibly rare. This isn’t the purge. Nobody has to go to their fallout shelter that everyone made for the zombie apocalypse. It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll ever be in contact with a shooting. 

However, it is possible, and though it may not ever affect you, it’s something to be mindful of. Be careful; especially in large crowds.

This can’t go on forever. Something needs to be done. Changing gun laws seems to be the most apparent solution, but I’m not convinced it’s the only one. 

Katz was said to have multiple instances of mental health problems; that might have been the first clue. Mental health is an issue that has seen increasingly more light in recent years, and events like this are the reason we need to continue to discover more, not only to save innocent lives, but to stop people from thinking that violent acts such as this are their only option. 

This is the type of problem that should unite us rather than divide us. We should seek an answer for the betterment of mankind. We should seek a solution that not only helps protect innocent lives, but helps the mentally ill so that they can feel secure and loved and never have to resort to such a hurtful act. We are all human beings, and just as easily as they can start a mass shooting, you can ask them to lunch and then maybe everything would have turned out differently.

 I’ve never been personally affected by the events of a mass shooting, and I can’t even imagine the amount of grief these families must feel from this senseless act of violence. That being said, my heart goes out to all of those that have been affected by violence such as this, and may we find a solution before more lives are lost.

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