OPINION: Fortnite and School Shootings



On Wednesday night at 2:40pm (EST) a gunman open fired in a high school in Parkland, Florida. This has been the worst mass school shooting in U.S history since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. The gunman has been identified as Nikolas Cruz, 19 who killed 17 people and injured another 14 people. This has been the fifth school shooting with a gun being fired and people getting injured, but it’s also the eighteenth incident that a gun has been fired on a school campus. After once again another deadly school shooting we ask the same question, why does this keep happening?

I personally believe that it isn’t a gun control problem we have, it’s a people control problem. All these shooters have several mental disorders and/or disciplinary issues that are not closely monitored during the purchase of guns. I grew up in a house that had guns in our basement strictly for protection and hunting and never were they ever fired at another human being.

Rachel Flick, the wife of Deputy Flick who was killed in the line of duty, explains this “people problem” perfectly. “This isn’t a gun control issue, this is a heart problem. Our hearts, our beliefs, and our culture is the reason.” We don’t value life in this day and age and I think part of the reason is the information we receive through video games. 14 shooters since 2011 have been linked to playing violent video games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.

In the past 3 months, many people have been obsessed with the new game called Fortnite. You can play either by yourself (solo), with another person (duo), or 4 other people (squad). 100 people fly over an island and drop in towns to search for loot (guns and health items) and kill other players in order to be the last player or group alive. This game has taken over teen culture and most everyone is playing it religiously, including me. As much as I love playing this game I can see how it can lead to anger issues as well as disciplinary actions in teens.

I’m not saying that video games are the reason shootings happen because it’s not. Many shooters haven’t been avid video game player, they just have mental disorders. Many of us will sit behind our screens and say things like “Pray for Douglas” “We need to reevaluate our gun control laws” “This is tragic,” which is a great form of national unity, but it does nothing to help the situation. There will continue to be several shootings a year until someone stands up and makes a change. No matter what you believe in or what you want in the world, we need to be the change in the world that you want to see. Stand up and speak for what you believe in, we are only as good as our weakest link.