Tragedy has raised its ugly head again in the form of a mass shooting in Jacksonville and, as usual, we are overreacting. This time it was at the Madden Online Gaming tournament there. Do not infer that I am making light of this by any stretch of the imagination. The families and friends of the two people killed and the eleven or so others who were shot by this madman is unfathomable. Also, we're learning that the shooter (who shall remain nameless) had mental issues but somehow managed to buy handguns legally in Maryland. How? Where was the background check that was supposed to catch this? And the usual suspects in the anti-gun world are using this as their latest platform to ban guns. And, unfortunately, the reaction is over the top. Overreacting seems to be in our DNA--look at the hoops of fire we have to jump through now to get on an airplane. We are reaction instead of being pro-action in most cases.
One would think that the video game maker Electronic Arts (EA) would express their sorrow and regrets and announce increased security at future events. Wrong! Electronic Arts has canceled three tournaments left in their Madden NFL 19 football games to, as they put it, "review safety protocols." In a statement from CEO of Electronic Arts, Andrew Wilson, in the aftermath of the shooting the company had cancelled the three remaining qualifying events for the Madden NFL 19 classic, the first of four major competitions of the season for the video game. The cancellations are in order to "run a comprehensive review of safety protocols for competitors and spectators," Wilson said.
It's understandable their concern and it's also quite noble that they want to take every precaution to prevent something like this from ever happening again. But cancelling the three remaining events is overreacting. There are hundreds--if not thousands--of gamers have been making plans to go to these events for months, invested money for reservations for air travel, hotels and perhaps rental cars. Restaurants in those venues have even perhaps put in extra food and beverage orders in anticipation of the increase in customers in conjunction with these events. EA should look at what the organizers of the huge Dragoncon Sci-Fi Fantasy and Pop Culture convention in Atlanta this coming weekend. They sent out a press release saying they are reviewing their security too but they're not cancelling the event. Spokesman Dan Caroll says they are not talking specifics but have already worked with the hotels and local law enforcement to ensure gamers and visitors and spectators safe. THAT'S the way to do it!
Once again the real solution begins with our pathetic mental health program(s) in this country and see to it that people like this past Sunday's shooter gets the help he needs and make sure he can never get a firearm legally. Don't know about you but I'm tired of watching this "movie" over and over again. Time to change the marquee.