I only first read about the Jacksonville shooting last last night.

Early this morning I started to see the Tweets about it.

This one caught my eye.

The one thing I haven’t seen anybody mention is swatting.

Swatting started in online video game culture.  It was a way for a sore loser or disgruntled gamer to hurt another play in real life.

Why Would Someone Call a SWAT Team on a Stranger?
Everything you need to know about Swatting, the dangerous Internet trend that can end in death

In Ventura, California, an online spat between two players on the game Call of Duty escalated over Twitter to threats of SWATing, a popular form of online harassment that involves calling in a fake hostage situation, bomb threat, or shooting to authorities who then deploy a SWAT team to the home of an unsuspecting victim.

Swatting has longstanding roots in the online gaming community
Live video-gamers, especially those with large virtual audiences, have become increasingly susceptible to swatting attempts since the term was first coined by the FBI in 2008. As mentioned in a report by The New York Times, “Those cameras have made them irresistible targets for swatting, as the prank is called, allowing mischief makers to indulge their voyeurism by watching the tense and confusing moments of a police raid.” Twitch, the streaming app of choice for gamers, even changed their terms of service to include a zero-tolerance policy on swatting, carrying indefinite suspension. Regardless, swatting videos litter the web, some accruing more than millions of views.

Earlier this year, a man in Kansas was killed in a swatting incident he wasn’t even a player in.

There is something terribly wrong in the hardcore gamer culture that makes it acceptable to kill, or try to kill, other players* that swatting has particularly associated with.

*Based upon a comment, I agree that “acceptable” was the wrong choice of words.  The NFL is often referred to as the National Felon League.  There is a uniquely high incident rate of crime associated with football players that isn’t found in Hockey or Tennis or Golf.  At the high school and college level, football stars are encouraged to cheat to keep good players in the game despite poor scholastic performance.  There is an argument to be made that the culture of bending the rules for football players in school is what makes them think that they can get away with anything in the NFL.

So even though swatting is a crime and is looked down upon by players and the public alike, what is it about the gamer community that has made swatting a thing?  It’s not like spelling bee kids are swatting each other.

Why would a young man bring a gun to a video game tournament?  Does it have something do to with this culture of swatting?

Of course the internet is screaming for more gun control, like that will actually do anything.

Last weekend I spent Saturday running around with an AR-15, shooting a carbine match.  The weekend before I was shooting USPSA.  Two Saturdays in a row I was shooting silhouette shaped cardboard targets as quickly and accurately as I could.  I didn’t do particularly well (in my defense, I’ve only been shooting USPSA for less than a year) but at no time did I think “if I don’t win, I’m going to shoot everyone else here.”

There is no culture of swatting in USPSA.  Despite the fact that everyone is walking around with guns, dragging wagons full of ammo, I’ve never heard of a mass shooting at a USPSA event.

Clearly, this has nothing to do with guns.  Unfortunately, it’s going to be us gun owners that pay the price.


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By J. Kb

11 thoughts on “Early morning thoughts on Jacksonville – updated”
  1. Calling SWATting a prank is a particularly horrid case of enabling violence.
    The correct description is “attempted murder” and its practitioners need to be charged, convicted, and punished accordingly.

  2. Swatting is old news that did and still does get talked about a ton.

    Nor is this an accepted or acceptable practice in “the hardcore gamer culture”.

    It’s almost like mentally and/or emotionally unstable, stupid, and dangerous people exist everywhere and in every part of society and culture. Gee who would have think it.

    1. Unfortunately, swatting does seem to be an acceptable practice according to the liberal media. What else can you conclude from the fact that they call it a “prank” and dismiss it as nothing to worry about?

      1. I conclude they see it as a potentially useful part of their arsenal against people they consider their enemies.

        People have already been swatted for political reasons; that it continues to be downplayed by the press us all I need to know the press is OK with that.

      2. Acceptable practice to whom? Morally and ethically bankrupt individuals? Sure it could be. The average person who understand consequences and has perspective to see outside of themselves/their small bubble? Probably not.

        RE, the liberal media, they are hardly an authority on any matter, I barley trust them to tell me the correct time.

        RE the word prank. Anything can be a prank, that doesn’t make it acceptable or smart to do. It is like you say, they are trying to trick you into believing the severity of the issue is less.

  3. Gun owners will pay the price right now.

    Unless the country as a whole starts to take a good hard look at itself and makes an honest effort to straighten itself out, we’ll all of us be paying the price in the somewhat longer term. With interest.

  4. While getting my caffeine fix this morning, a coworker mentioned she’s surprised it took this long for something like this to occur, given the amounts of money passing hands at these gaming tournaments. Apparently it is a big deal for “professional” gamers and many millennials make their money this way.
    I guess having a regular job doesn’t allow them to throw a tantrum whenever they please, so they go for this to make a living.

    Been watching some vids on the subject, and wow do these kids flip their wigs in a bad way. “Sore loser” doesn’t even begin to describe their hissy-fits.

    1. One of the side effects of the “Everyone’s a winner, everyone’s special!” culture is the loss of the ability to be good losers.

  5. It’s time we had a serious conversation with the NFL problem in our communities.

    If banning football, and things related to football saves just ONE life…

  6. I’ll just leave this here:

    “The gunman who opened fire on a ‘Madden NFL 19’ tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, on Sunday was hospitalized previously for mental illness, according to court records obtained by The Associated Press.

    Divorce filings from the parents of the 24-year-old gunman of Baltimore showed that as a teenager he was hospitalized twice in psychiatric facilities and was prescribed anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medications, the AP reported Monday.

    The gunman, a competitor at the gaming event, had two handguns and extra ammunition inside the restaurant where the competition was taking police, officials said at a news conference Monday afternoon.”


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