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Editorial: A call to action in wake of Jacksonville shooting

For the umpteenth time this year, news of a mass shooting passed across our TV, smart phone and computer screens saying two or more were killed with twice as many injured. It’s a problem America has yet to solve but not one simply confined to the availability of guns.

David Kratz, 24, killed two people—gamers—and injured 11 others with a firearm this past Sunday, all over a Madden video game tournament.

The first thought that probably comes to mind in the average person is likely gun control. The second is likely more observation and care of those with mental illness. The less likely thought, however, is how harsh gamers can be.

This isn’t to say gun control or mental illness aren’t issues because they are, but we need to take a look at how aggressive language can be within the gamer community.

Take a look here (https://twitter.com/brendandagawd/status/1033857658317623296). It may seem funny at first, but take a step back. You’re listening to a random gamer call you not a fourth, not half but a whole racial slur simply because he’s angry you’re beating him.

Now, though we don’t know if aggressive gaming was a factor in Kratz’s motivation, it’s still an important topic.

Video games are supposed to be fun. They’re supposed to give you the ability to live out a life of fantasy whether that be as a player on our favorite sports team or a simulation of life without society’s confinements. So, why are we attacking those who do the same simply because they’re not good?

Playful ribbing is fine, but going as far as ridiculing and angrily name-calling our competitors is negatively affecting us as a nation.

Stop taking things so seriously. Stop rage-quitting. Don’t let gaming culture become toxic. It’s literally a game. Keep gaming culture as it is: joy-filled, fantasy-filled, positive.

Going into this further, this issue is not limited to gamers but everyday people. We preach peace but teach violence. We say on Twitter to lift each other up, but look at people in person with contempt.

We need to stop saying these things for clout and genuinely want greatness for others. We need to seriously try and solve things with a conversation before resorting to violence.

Yes, guns need more regulation. Yes, those with mental illness need proper treatment, but if we don’t change our attitudes someone is going to end up in the same situation with a different method.

This isn’t victim shaming, but a call for us to become better neighbors and better gamers.

Always remember this: Admonish in private but congratulate in public. It could mean the world in how someone positively views a message.

This editorial was written by a member of the editorial staff and expresses the general opinion of The Spectator.

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