September 25, 2018
Video games: A lovely escape, until that escape becomes a nightmare. For participants of the Madden 19 Tournament, a day of fun virtual competition became just that when David Katz, a 24-year-old native of Baltimore, Maryland, opened fire on participants of the tournament.
According to a CNN article from August 28th, Katz went to the Madden 19 tournament in Jacksonville, Florida and attacked members of the tournament. Katz was listed by EA Sports as the champion of the 2017 Madden Tournament. He went by the gamer names Bread and Ravenschamp. After his win at the 2017 Madden Tournament, Katz went back to the University of Maryland, at which he had been enrolled since 2014 where he majored in Environmental Science and Technology there.
Katz had been suffering from severe mental health issues since the age of twelve according to CNN. He had seen numerous therapists and was prescribed multiple medications, including an antipsychotic. In his lifetime, there were twenty-six domestic calls made to the police about him. Despite all of this, Katz was able to legally obtain a nine millimeter handgun due to mental health records being considered personal and kept confidential. This remains true during the process of purchasing a firearm.
When Katz lost a game at the Madden 19 tournament, he got upset and opened fire on the people there. He injured ten people and killed three people, including himself. The FBI searched his home after the event.
Gaming is meant to be a fun hobby, yet, these events beg the question, What if… ? Could this happen to you, or a friend? What if I had been in that tournament? You might ask yourself, “What might happen if a gun is given to someone who has real potential to harm others with it again?”