Mass shooting claims lives of multiple Madden esports attendees

    
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oh gosh

Two innocent people are dead and nearly a dozen more were injured today as a result of a mass shooting at an esports tournament.

Multiple press, player, and law enforcement sources report that the gunman, a player who’d suffered a loss at the tournament, opened fire on participants at the Madden NFL 19 event in Jacksonville, Florida, killing two and wounding many more before shooting and killing himself. The shooter’s identity has not yet been released.

“We are aware of an incident at a sanctioned Madden Championship Series competition in Jacksonville,” an EA representative told Polygon. “We are working with authorities to gather facts at this stage. This is a horrible situation, and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved.”

Our sincerest condolences to everyone affected.

Please be advised the following stream includes disturbing content.

https://twitter.com/bubbaprog/status/1033782205443661824/

Source: Polygon, LA Times. With thanks to Vunak and Martin and apologies for the late post – picked a bad weekend to go off the grid. This piece has been updated to reflect the final loss of life, as initial reports were four people killed.
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Kevin McCaughey

Wishes and prayers won’t save people in the land of the gung-ho champions. They have to have their people killing machines that they love more than life itself.

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Jack Kerras

I’m only alive because of my people-killing machine.

As soon as you can get folks to stop thinking ‘teach that faggot a lesson’ + baseball bats + friends = acceptable behavior’, I’ll think about abdicating the responsibility for my own protection.

I didn’t have to shoot anyone; they turned tail the moment I drew down on them, and as soon as I wasn’t scared for the imminent end of my life, there was no more reason for violence.

Still: I refuse to be beaten into submission, possibly raped, hospitalized, and possibly killed/maimed/brain-damaged so that people can feel safe (despite giving responsibility for that safety over into the hands of people who are legally not responsible for protecting them).

I’m queer and weird and I’m not shy about it. I will not be shy again. I will not be fucking murdered for being who I am if I can help it, and this pistol helps me help it.

I don’t love guns. I love being alive, and there exists a frightening fucking proportion of people who want everyone like me dead.

They think me and mine cause hurricanes and earthquakes, corrupt their children, turn their people away from truth and righteousness, pervert the Earth so that they and theirs can’t get into Heaven. I understand that they think they’re protecting themselves by hurting me. So I fucking carry, because those beliefs are (insanely, widely) respected, and I have demonstrably needed to carry if I don’t want to leave my life or death up to the spite of people who hate me enough to beat me down in the street.

All I want to do is love who I want to, to be who I want to.

I’m not in the majority of gun owners, but a lot of us out there are gun owners because police are as likely to break our faces as less-uniformed flavors of transphobes (or homophobes, or racists, or whatever), with the added bonus that they are damn near impossible to prosecute.

People like me – or people who are black, or poor, or other flavors of queer, or anything else which is Other – cannot trust police. We have each other, and ourselves. A lot of us are rejected by our families and exiled, so we only have ourselves. I’m lucky in that sense, but many aren’t.

Proselytize how you wish – we are in the minority (trans folks a -vast- minority, even now!), and when it comes down to it, the needs of the many may very well mean that folks like me just need to get torture-murdered with baseball bats for a couple of decades between ‘stop gun violence’ and ‘stop hate violence’.

I sure hope that ain’t so, though. :/

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Kevin McCaughey

I’m gay and have managed to stay alive quite well for 46 years without the need to draw a weapon on anyone. I can sort of understand your use-case scenario but I still think it is crazy. The guns are the problem, which is why there is a MUCH lower murder rate per capita in comparable western democracies.

Oh and not being able to trust the police? Well if they are armed and dangerous I am not surprised.

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Jack Kerras

Fab. You’ve had good luck so far, and I’m really glad you did. I don’t want anyone to have to do that shit, ‘cuz it’s awful.

I’ll also freely admit that I’m a pretty ideal gun-owner situation; I have the training, I held certifications to teach -other- people how to carry concealed, and I taught tons of classes that were -just- women or -just- kinksters while I was running things, since I had enough presence in the community to manage it. It was pretty good, and I used to run training for whole families; the only thing I charged for was help filing the paperwork. Everyone who paid got a license; anyone who -showed up- got taught how to handle a gun safely.

I think there’s a huge training issue, but I appreciate that I have a hammer, so that looks like a nail. I also feel like a giant chunk of our gun crime doesn’t come from regular citizens; like it or not, mass shootings are highly-publicized blips which make up a tiny minority of gun murders (much less gun violence, of which suicide is the number-one cause by a landslide). They are honest-to-goodness tragedies, no doubt about it, but gun murders really come down to two major axes: crimes of passion and drugs.

I think we should legalize basically everything. I think we should make recreational use of any drug perfectly legal, rather than merely decriminalized, and tax them to the point where we can begin to fund community outreach programs and add huge rafts of money to medical research, addiction therapy (which, at present, has literally no set standards and is functionally wall-to-wall bullshit), and ensuring everyone has medical care. I don’t even care if we let illegal immigrants use our hospitals; our costs are only so high because they’re forced to be, and capitalism does not belong anywhere near the universal human struggle to be fucking alive.

We’re maintaining a massive black market and a ton of crime and violence come right down to the war on drugs, which I fully believe we should concede. I’m about letting people fuck themselves up in whatever way they like, and I think that moralizing on the subject is more or less utterly useless. Getting this enormous source of criminal activity and violence out of the way won’t be easy or immediate, but it’s one hundred percent the right thing to do. It’s never been anything more than a war on brown and poor people anyway, and it’s time for us as a whole country to stop victimizing our most vulnerable people and start fucking playing for Team America as a whole.

I honestly think that the way we run our society at this point is a major problem; everyday people put up with huge pressure to do nothing more than stay alive, people (like me!) have lived their whole adult lives with extremely spotty medical coverage, one good injury or small spat with cancer can be a career-stopping problem, we’re taken advantage of at every turn by banks, bosses, the police, and even each other, because we’re trained to be bad to Others of whatever variety.

The USA is drastically anti-authoritarian as a culture; we’re brought up suspicious of the government, and everywhere we look in the world there are riots and powerful ‘leaders’ are dragged out of their palaces by mobs. We tried – and at this moment are failing – to have a government so full of balancing forces and power checks that no one can just grab everything. We’re weird and young and crazy and powerful, a whole nation of people who think ‘Fuck the rules, I’m doing what’s right!’ is the Thing To Do, and losing out on that seems scary to me. This is more true now than it’s ever been, thanks to the fact that our most powerful politician climbed a stairway made of actual fucking hatred to get where he is, not to mention (if Kavanaugh is confirmed) impending reduction of women’s rights and other enormously-important civil issues. Trans folks have already suffered. Queer folks ain’t safe either.

I’m really not prepared to have the ‘we should disarm everyone’ talk in a place where Nazis are getting comfortable grouping up and marching. At this moment, that is ‘on Earth’, which is fucking terrifying in and of itself, but the USA is somehow a place where folks can march under a swastika and still go home with all their teeth.

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Sorenthaz

Honestly this is something I’ve worried would happen for awhile now during both: A. a livestream and B. an esport event. I watched/listened to the clip of when it happened (that was obviously taken off Twitch now) and it was bone chilling.

Hindsight of course is 20/20, and arguments are going to come from every corner over what needs to be blamed/regulated after condolences/wishes/prayers are given to the families/friends of the victims. XYZ factors could have prevented it, ABC factors would have led to the same result, etc.

When someone hits a point where they’re willing to end their life and the lives of others, nothing is really going to stop them from doing what they can to spread misery and suffering to others before they go out. If we could figure out why the heck folks hit these psychological points where they’re willing to plummet into the abyss and commit these travesties, maybe we could actually find better ways to prevent these things from happening, and figure out more meaningful solutions to these issues instead of turning these into just more ammunition for political games.

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Kevin McCaughey

When someone hits a point where they’re willing to end their life and the lives of others, nothing is really going to stop them

Not giving them a gun to do it would help. If they were stuck with a knife a couple of people would have easily disarmed them.

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Geoffrey Smith

When someone hits a point where they’re willing to end their life and the lives of others, nothing is really going to stop them from doing what they can to spread misery and suffering to others before they go out.

I can’t emphasize enough how utterly useless a comment like this is. Ever.

Thanks for stating the obvious. Now maybe serious people can actually do something about endemic gun violence. Thanks.

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donvweel

It is a sad statistic that young men are committing suicide increasingly today and some are deciding to take others with them. We need to work on why this is happening and how to fix it.

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Sorenthaz

Agreed. It typically takes some pretty deep depression/other psychological issues for folks to feel like they should go through with committing suicide, and it takes a level below even that for them to feel compelled to take others out with them.

We should really work on figuring out what’s leading to an increase in depression/suicide rates for young adults and how to combat that if possible.

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Kevin McCaughey

We need to work on why this is happening and how to fix it.

We need to not give them a gun so they can take other people with them.

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Robert Mann

I guess we should bar them from cars, gasoline, chemicals like household cleaners, knives, bats, fire extinguishers, umbrellas, chairs, pants, bowling, writing, music, food (eating and cooking), having a prosthetic, games from chess to computers, shoes, and using the restroom.

All of the above are weapons which have been used in murder. If somebody has the will, they will find a way. In fact, cars are the fastest increasing method of suicide, by driving the wrong way at high speeds. The problem has been growing since the early 2000s, despite efforts to stop it.

But keep saying that guns are the problem, because I suppose that’s easier than taking on the issues with infamy, suicide, and deciding to take out others along the way.

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Bruno Brito

Sigh…rest in peace, all the victims.

“…I’m cofident tho, that by looking at the abyss, by staring at it and seeing it for what it is…we still won’t do jack shit.” – Jon Stewart.

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NeoWolf

I have fairly strong feelings on the subject of gun control in the U.S But I am choosing not to air them here even though they have relevance, because this article is simply making note of a tragic loss of life within the gaming community and not making a statement on the wider issues surrounding it.

so with that in mind this is another instance of tragic, pointless waste of life and my heart goes out to the families.

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Castagere Shaikura

So sick and tired of when this happens people start fighting about gun control then a week later everyone forgets about it. The U.S. has a sickness and its people and guns period and they will never do anything about it. Look at the comments right here as proof. The U.S. is a gun loving sick country period. People will keep dying and nothing will ever change.

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Bruno Brito

People will keep dying and nothing will ever change.

Yeah. Making “peace” with this fact is the hardest part.

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Sorenthaz

Agreed that there’s a sickness, but you’re being rather shortsighted. Depression/suicide rates have been on the rise in the US with young adults. That’s the real sickness that needs to be investigated and treated in a meaningful way. Trying to turn this into a rally for gun control is the same as folks who’ll see this case and think video games are to blame.

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rafael12104

Alright… everybody calm down. Arguing gun control, where both sides are so entrenched, doesn’t help. I think we have proven that. So, let’s level set.

1. Comparisons to the EU or “other civilized” countries just doesn’t matter. Whether you like guns or not the US is a different beast. What works in the US doesn’t work everywhere and vice versa. Hell, you can even say that about our economy.

2. Saying that no gun control is required is like saying traffic laws aren’t required. Restricting freedom so that others may have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is the finest tradition of our Constitution. The Constitution establishes this power in our branches of government. That doesn’t contradict the Bill of Rights.

So, let us get down to it. We need to come up with a method that restricts guns more securely and protects the second amendment. It is not impossible. But we need to quit arguing and come to the middle.

One more note. In reading about the incident, several news agencies tried to describe Esports, Twitch, and the allure. Sheezus, they failed miserably. Don’t be surprised if some politicians bring this back full circle and blame games and gaming culture.

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Bryan Correll

Filthy moderate! I demand you take an extremist position!

Don’t be surprised if some politicians bring this back full circle and blame games and gaming culture.

If this had been a Fortnite or Overwatch tournament that would already be happening. But this was a ‘Merican Football video game which is a whole different thing.

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Utakata

Didin’t you know that Jacksonville, Florida is part of the EU now? And has been since they had a serious high profile gun violence issue to which is demonstratively indefensible over the weekend. So yeah, they don’t count anymore on the US has gun control issues department! They where never really American to begin with… #AlternativeFacts

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Alex Willis
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Mr_Fester

So far that is 9,500+ Gun Deaths in America in 2018, and we still have 4 months left in the year. That is more than the Iraq and Gulf Wars combine.

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Alex Willis

Since 1968, the number of gun deaths in the U.S. exceeds the number of deaths in all wars in American history and among U.S. military personnel in conflicts abroad. What’s the expression? “America is at war with itself.” And yet this is a country that, in the regular throes of paranoia, suspects other countries of looking to do it harm.

This is a country that is deeply, deeply unwell.

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Ket Viliano

This happens to every empire, in all of history. Our political elite wanted an empire, and they got one, and now the task before us is how to get rid of it, while maintaining prosperity and restoring liberty, and one does not restore liberty, nor create prosperity, by taking away the means of self, and community defense, nor by promulgation of new laws and restrictions.

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camren_rooke

I’m always leery of folks who want to protect or restore my liberty, they usually just want to allow me to be taken advantage of by someone else.

As I have gotten older I have begun to suspect true ‘liberty’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

freedom.jpg
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Geoffrey Smith

Literally nothing in this comment is true.

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Bryan Correll

This from the guy who broke that ant farm.

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Geoffrey Smith

I have a good supply of Inanimate Carbon Rods.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

In Rod We Trust!

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Alex Willis

one does not restore liberty, nor create prosperity, by taking away the means of self, and community defense, nor by promulgation of new laws and restrictions

k lemme know how that works out

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Utakata

Boy, the argument makes these guys sound like anarchists…when they couldn’t be any further from that ideology if they tried. It’s like going to a punk concert expecting to be a whole lot of peeps in mohawks, piercings and ripped Misfits shirts, but it ends up just being bunch of good ole boys in cowboy hats doing line dances instead. o.O

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Armsbend

It is a thirst for violence – the entire country abandoned what was good with the rise of the Baby Boomers. When they are gone we can start the long road to healing hopefully.

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Toy Clown

It saddens me in ways that are hard to explain to see senseless acts of violence like this. My thoughts go out to the people whose lives are affected by this loss.

And maybe “the powers behind gaming” will start taking toxicity in PvP environments seriously now. If that was my child that was killed, and knowing what I know about online gaming environments, I’d be all over the court, and national systems pushing for change.

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Gingen | Guildmarm

Incredibly tragic, however, THANK YOU MASSIVELYOP for not releasing the name and photo of the shooter. I respect that you guys choose not to do that. Killers like this do not deserve to be immortalized in the public eye.