Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

March 28, 2009 -

A Colorado police officer has suggested that a troubled 22-year old man who went on a random shooting spree last October may have been influenced by violent video games.

The Denver Post reports that the police investigator made the comment in regard to Stefan Martin-Urban (left), who killed two people and wounded two others before turning his gun on himself:

When Stefan Martin-Urban... pulled a pistol from behind his back and methodically shot strangers, his behavior was eerily similar to characters in the video games he played obsessively.

Those games, authorities said Friday... are the closest police and FBI investigators can come to an explanation for Martin-Urban's actions that killed two and injured two.

"It could be that he was simply acting out a part in a video game. Maybe he had interjected himself into a game in his mind," Grand Junction police Sgt. Tony Clayton said.

 

Like the thugs in "Grand Theft Auto" and warlocks in "World of Warcraft," Martin-Urban showed no emotion...

Sgt. Clayton's remarks notwithstanding, there are indications that the killer was, like so many other random shooters, a mentally disturbed person who gained access to a gun. From the story:

He had no criminal record and had not exhibited any psychotic behavior. But unbeknown to anyone who might have been alarmed, Martin-Urban had purchased a 9mm semiautomatic Ruger...

The only other clue that something wasn't right was his computer log: He spent an inordinate amount of time playing games where the object is to kill and steal.

He played the games as many as 12 hours a day during the last few months of his life. He holed up in a hotel room in Europe during a family vacation last summer and played the games while his mother and sister went sightseeing.

"In the last year, he had no friends. No boyfriend. No girlfriend. No pets. He was consumed with the video games. He spent an enormous amount of time playing them," Clayton said...

Martin-Urban lived mostly in isolation...  after enrolling in a state college... He stopped going to classes within two weeks.

His father had committed suicide in Alaska four days before the previous Christmas...

He had a profile on YouTube where he wrote that he lived in a world "that some people choose to call 'reality.' " His favorite videos included a prophecy that a 2,000- mile-long spaceship containing cosmic beings was going to appear in the Earth's atmosphere three days after the shooting.

In regard to the YouTube video, a local TV station speculated that Martin-Urban may have been part of a cult which predicted that the world would end within days of his rampage.

The Denver Post report also notes that Martin-Urban was a Grand Theft Auto player and even theorizes a link between his GTA play and the fact that most of his victims were getting into a BMW at the time of the shooting:

One of the fanciful cars in the game — the silver Blista — has taillights that resemble a BMW's.

The Rocky Mountain News reported last October that Martin-Urban's aunt worried that he may have been suicidal.

GP: Martin-Urban's self-imposed isolation, his retreat into obsessive gaming, his dropping out of school, the trauma of his father's suicide, and his apparent fascination with the bizarre cult video would seem to be red flags that Martin-Urban was a deeply troubled young man.


Comments

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

So no one figured out that he was going down this track? Absolute submersion in an alternate reality is a SYMPTOM of what he had going on.

Suicide bombers are trained by absolute isolation and submersion into their beliefs. Unfortunately, some games can be used the same way. However, this is the difference between using fireworks for brilliant displays, and collecting black powder from them to make a bomb.

A cult would explain this pretty well, actually.

I will not buy securom games. http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/message1.jpg and http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/message2.jpg

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Why does everyone blame video games?

I am 27 years old, I played game for 22 years, which include violent name like Unreal Tournament, Man Hunt, Gears of Wars and Rainbow Six, and I am not a violent man. On the contrary, I am a successful student, a great family man, I got lots of friend and I go to work every week. If we follow the logic that game influence people to become violent, I should be the most violent man on the face of the Earth since I can play up to 25 to 40 hours per weeks.

I think that the real problem is not the game, but the people who need help. Don't get me wrong, I do not tolerate this kind of violence and I am not defending then. I only say that in 2009 everyone think that it's normal for people to be cut off from society. It's not. In this case, the young Stefan lost is father when he killed himself. The poor kid isolated himself and no one took a moment to help him go thru the pain.

I firmly think that the blame should not go to the violent video game, but to the close relative that didn't do a thing to prevent this incident. This is a other case of "I didn't do a damn thing about it and I blame the first thing that doesn't involve myself". Unfortunately this kind of scenario is more and more present in our modern society. Human being cannot live cut off from the society and measures should be placed to prevent it. North America is not the only place with that kind of problem, in Japan, a similar case called "Hikikomori" is also a problem. Yes, a video game can be a great temporary exit from your problem, but it doesn't solve them.

Don't blame the game, blame the individualist society who doesn't care about is neighbour.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Oh yes you had soemone that did not like people or society in general, had mental issues of high stress and self loath(that's me and 1/3rd of the nation so far) and whats picked out and paraded around as the cause media......

Humanity is the only creature that's stupid enough to blame imaginary things for tragedies ban them and then after a few years of hard repression under fascist rule figure out that if you ban/restrict everything that might be(Media,games,music,film,knifes,bats,cars,guns,power tools,2X4's,led pipes,rocks,bricks,manure,gas,fertilizer,sex toys,asthma inhalers,cold medicine, bwains, feel to to add to the list) you create a bland and hard society that can only implode under its own weight.

The only thing or person to blame is the person who went nuts, we as a society can have better programs to teach ourselves basic mental health stuff(which will help de stigmatize / mysticize), allow law enforcement to get a warrant and take people to be checked out mentally if they do not comply with dealing with their mental shit(it sucks but there is little alternative) which means we are going to ahve to reinstate mental wards and prisons or group homes to house these peopel who are unable to cope with life and that may break.

Banning things only leads to banning more things when ever certain(as in will happen)  random tragedies happen, we either see the cause as uncertain human nature or blame objects,story's, music and conversation.  

 


Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


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Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

 This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 3/29/2009, at The Unreligious Right

 

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Since when has "3 dead, 2 wounded" been considered a "rampage?"  I thought all you needed to do was down some nuclear material, turn into a giant lizard, and consume the local townsfolk to be considered on a "Rampage."

"HEY! LISTEN!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Yeah.. everyone knows that in the original GTA, you had to kill like 60+ ppl in about 1 minute witha flamethrower to complete the kill frenzy.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Or 10+ people within 4 seconds of each other in Halo 3.

Yeah, we're totally not desensitized to violence.  ^^;

"HEY! LISTEN!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Considering my brother is a cop in Denver CO I can honestly tell you that about 98% of the police on the case believe that the violent video game accusation is bullshit. Blaming the situation on violent video games is nothing more than a couple of idiot jackasses who can't find the real reason for the shooting just start picking and choosing what the easiest target they can find and say blame that.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

So only 2% of the police on the case might be stupid? Certainly beats my country's rating: about 1/6 of its adults say they would vote for the xenophobic political party if there were elections now.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

"In the last year, he had no friends. No boyfriend. No girlfriend. No pets. He was consumed with the video games. He spent an enormous amount of time playing them," Clayton said...
 

That does not necessarily indicate causation.  All of these things may have been symptoms; saying that the videogames caused Stefan's lack of social interaction is a serious leap.  Instead, it may have been that he withdrew first, and then dove deeper into an already-existing habit (playing videogames) in order to compensate.

Withdrawl from social interaction is enough to make anyone loopy.  It could have been anything, not just videogames, that was the replacement in his life; he probably would have gone crazy and done something like this no matter his opiate.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Has there been a study to see if troubled people play violent games differently then non-troubled?  It would be crazy if a game could report the player because they will go on a rampage with how they are playing then game ^^

 

 

-- Currently doing a research project on the short-short term effects SWBF:2 has on peoples abilities to focus.

-- Currently doing a research project on the short-short term effects SWBF:2 has on peoples abilities to focus.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

"Like the thugs in "Grand Theft Auto" and warlocks in "World of Warcraft," Martin-Urban showed no emotion..."

I take offense at that. My Warlock laughs gleefully when he kills.

______________
Ben "Scorp" Stanton

______________
Ben "Scorp" Stanton

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

yes blame the warlocks.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Godamn rogues get off scott free? wtf?! Trevor Gray ganjookie@yahoo.com

Trevor Gray
ganjookie@yahoo.com

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

What else is new? We keep hearing this "blame the games" crap again and again.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

That was a helluva waste of an investigation then. Several months and they simply conclude: "Them video games made him do it."

I think they need to hire a new Sergeant.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

"One of the fanciful cars in the game — the silver Blista — has taillights that resemble a BMW's."

Well duh. Rockstar tends to use reals cars and modify them or combine them together to create the cars in their games. It's to avoid havign to pay huge amounts to the auto companies.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

"Those games, authorities said Friday... are the closest police and FBI investigators can come to an explanation for Martin-Urban's actions".

Yeah, it appears they missed the "self-imposed isolation, his retreat into obsessive gaming, his dropping out of school, the trauma of his father's suicide, and his apparent fascination with the bizarre cult video". 

If looking into all of this they can only come up with 'it was the games', then we need new investigators.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

At least someone else blamed games before Jack could. Although he's full of bullshit as our favorite ex-attorney.

When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Hmm, and showing no emotion. If I remember right, in both WoW and GTA, at least recent ones, you hear grunts of pain. It's pain an emotion?

And at least from Vice City on in GTA you hear your character scream at your opponents as you fight, that's emotion too.

You can't tell a story without emotion, and both games do have a lot of story, even if in WoW many people don't read the quests. Basically what the cop is saying ,is that all these games do is drop you into a world and let you start killing right away, with all weapons, unlimited ammo/mana, and unlimited health. ANd that would actually be boring.

I'd say yank his badge if he's not even going to investigate.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Pain isn't really a full emotion. It would fall into the sort of emotion catagory, along with tired, hungry, and boner.

--------------------------------------------------------

Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Yeah, boner isn't an emotion either.  Arousal would be more appropriate.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

"Like the thugs in "Grand Theft Auto" and warlocks in "World of Warcraft," Martin-Urban showed no emotion..."

Hmmm.  Since when has any murderer anywhere ever shown emotion when murdering people?  Heck, if murderers were capable of that level of empathy they wouldn't be murderers, now would they.

Jeez!  Sometimes it seems like we're surrounded by a world full of fricken idiots!

Also, this guy was 22.  No videogame law that attempted to ban adults from playing videogames would ever pass into law.  It just wouldn't.  The constitution prevents that sort of thing unless the games were PROVEN to be harmful, and that just isn't going to happen, because in the vast majority of cases, videogame players live normal, healthy lives.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

"Like the thugs in "Grand Theft Auto" and warlocks in "World of Warcraft," Martin-Urban showed no emotion..."

 

um.. like ANY video game character. They arent real. They dont feel emotion. NO AI that exists truly feel emotion. What kind of statement is that?.

 

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Well there was that anime about a guy who cries after he kills people. Perhaps they want killers to start sobbing after each shot is fired?

- Stand back! I have an opinion, and I'm not afraid to use it.

- Stand back! I have an opinion, and I'm not afraid to use it.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

"When Stefan Martin-Urban... pulled a pistol from behind his back and methodically shot strangers, his behavior was eerily similar to characters in the video games he played obsessively."

How the hell is he supposed to do it? Do they expect him to chat with his victims, maybe invite them out to lunch before shooting them?

--------------------------------------------------------

Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Maybe he was incapable of turning his head independantly of his body?

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Are they jsut seeing how many games they can attach to massacres now?

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

"He had a profile on YouTube where he wrote that he lived in a world "that some people choose to call 'reality.' " His favorite videos included a prophecy that a 2,000- mile-long spaceship containing cosmic beings was going to appear in the Earth's atmosphere three days after the shooting."

So once again, the guy was a crazy. What else is new?

"One of the fanciful cars in the game — the silver Blista — has taillights that resemble a BMW's."

....are they honestly assuming that if the victims got into an F-150 or something, he'd ignore them?

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

It's time to take a stand!  We need to rid ourselves of video games where you shoot several random people then blow your head off.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Hey, I liked Postal!

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Oh yeah, you can commit suicide in Postal 2.  I totally forgot about that.  Still, if I'm remembering correctly, you don't shoot yourself in the head.  You swallow an explosive or something.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

You did in the original.  Postal Dude says, "I regret nothing," and shoots himself.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Just for the record, should I ever go on a rampage, while my collection includeds entries in both the Halo and GTA series, I've also got Viva Pinatas, and Sudoku on Live. Just so it can be kept in perspective.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

In regard to the YouTube video, a local TV station speculated that Martin-Urban may have been part of a cult which predicted that the world would end within days of his rampage.

¿LOLQUÉ? They are really desperated to blame games.

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

If the lack of common sense in this doesn't deserve a facepalm, I don't know what does...

Get on it!

______________________________ Because I have NO Life... :P I introduce the following. PSN User ID: FirebirdXR (Yes, I use that moniker often) Xbox Live ID: FirebirdLR (Don't bother, It's a Silver Membership) *Limited Time Only* I put both because I

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

He had no friends and it seems like he was distancing himself from his own family, they say he did not show any behavior but how would anyone KNOW what behavior he was expressing

They say he exhibited no psycotic behavior and yet he basically put himself into self-imposed isolation for no reason. Ok, really now, that is NOT normal behavior... Not sure about other people but the last time i knew someone who stopped going to classes, and started spending all day in his room doing nothing but playing video games it turned out that he was suffering from clinical depression.

And this isn't even considering the possible cult connection

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

"eerily similar to characters in the video games he played obsessively."

Wait?! What?! I don't remember the mission where you shoot yourself at the end.

You know what is eerily similar? The stuff we see in the news. We should ban the news. I bet you that if we stop reporting this kind of stuff, school shootings would slowly go down to a point that it's rare. Like we are going to see that.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Can't they just say he was crazy?  Seems to me that reason has been skirted recently for agenda blame.

Don't blame the fact that he was in a cult.

Don't blame the fact that his dad committed suicide a year ago and he didn't get any counsuling.

Don't blame the fact that he completely sheltered himself from outside life.

It has to be the games because that's what's hot right now.

These people make me sick

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

To quote Chris Rock:

"Whatever happened to crazy?"

 

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Politicians want to look good to the people around them. They want to look like they care about us, and they're protecting us. So they find something normal, make it look scary, and tell us to stand back while they take care of it. They never tell us, "He was a troubled man", because they can't protect us from random acts of crazy. They can at least blame games and attempt to have games banned though, which looks like they're doing something.

Then everyone else becomes concerned once it becomes a threat to the children. Police, the media, random people on the street. All become afraid of 'the video games' because they hurt the children. People need to think of the children.

- Stand back! I have an opinion, and I'm not afraid to use it.

- Stand back! I have an opinion, and I'm not afraid to use it.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

 

Oh, boy.  Jack Thompson providing with his "video game made him do it" for the news in 3...2...1

 

"In regard to the YouTube video, a local TV station speculated that Martin-Urban may have been part of a cult which predicted that the world would end within days of his rampage."

 

Why is video game being blamed if his involvment with the cult made him do it.  I don't remember GTA had any "end of the world" ideology.  Did we blame video game for Son of Sam Killing (David Berkowitz was said to be involved with the cult also)?

"Like the thugs in "Grand Theft Auto" and warlocks in "World of Warcraft," Martin-Urban showed no emotion..."

He showed no emotion, huh.  I bet the team from Criminal Minds would say video game was not behind this.  He had emotional problem not video game.  This emotional problem would make somebody shoot up the school.  

"The only other clue that something wasn't right was his computer log: He spent an inordinate amount of time playing games where the object is to kill and steal."
 

Right, and I bet all serial killers played video game, which included Ted Bundy, Albert Desalvo (The Boston Strangler), Ed Gein, and Charles Manson.  I bet they all played video game and they became serial killers. 

"In the last year, he had no friends. No boyfriend. No girlfriend. No pets. He was consumed with the video games. He spent an enormous amount of time playing them"

Just because he play video game and had no life doesn't mean video game made him kill people.  

 

Just a quick question: How come every school shooting, they blame it on video game while some school shooting they didn't.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duane_Morrison

How come the Platte Canyon school shooting. They didn't blame video game for this, is it because he's 54 years old, and not considered a gamer.  That's just great if he's older then 30 video game is not involved.  That's just great, we blame video game on school shooting when this one we don't.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Dennis posted a theory on this as to why.

He concluded that if the perpetrator is over 30, then they rule video games out. However if you're 29 or under, they will want to link video games to it.

I'm not sure of the highest age, but I think the one in Montreal (26) was the highest I can remember at this time.

 

If you dig in the archives you can find more interesting tidbits. Dennis made a good call on that.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

 

That would probably change.  I met some people over 30's and 40's playing video game like M-rated video game.  There are even 50's years old that play video game (even M-rated one).

 

Ok, let say another school shooting happen.  It was committed by a 50 years old man.  When the guy shot himself and the investigation is on.  They go to the shooter's house, they found video game, and the shooter does not have any children.  I think the police will change their opinion and say any shooter reagardless of their age and have video game.  They'll still blame it on video game.  Dennis's theory is very nice.  But until a 50 year old school shooter's house have video game, it will happen sometime in the future.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

another crisis another blame to videogames.

 

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Damn it, NOT AGAIN.

Wait a second, World of Warcraft had something to do with this? That's new.

Steam ID: canadakiller

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Here we all go again.

Blaming videogames as a scapegoat while missing other more important points about society.

Sadly people don't have time to do proper investigation and only are lazy to just blame Violent Videogames.

I wonder where the words GTA and World of Warcraft came from?

Ever gone inside his computer and accturley LOOKED at what games he has played?

I wonder if Sonic the Hedgehog could have been the only game he might have played and not those other games mentioned, like the college shooting in V-Tech.

Sad thing is, when journalists sell newspapers based on this, they don't even bother checking their facts.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Angry and abusive drunks are not enough to inspire another call for prohibition. Nor drunk driving, that slays innocents in a much more thoughtless way.

As a amateur writer, I have dreams of becoming a author. Though, within that is the fear that something I write will be used in a detrimental way. In the end though, anything can be used as a tool for someone who has lost grips of reality.

Insane person kills people. This is fear - as there is no reasoning for it, there is no cause for it, and many people would walk the streets in terror of their fellow man. It is the reason I suppose no one acknowledges each others existences in big cities.

The more specific the writing, the more at ease people can feel. Offering them something tangible to strike out against. It was video games. It was cults. These in the end are just tools - a means to a horrible end.

Grand Theft Auto sells 4+ copies every major iteration - there are not 4+ million new murderers on the streets. Even martial arts will tell you "Anything can be used as weapon"

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

One of the greatest television/film writers of all time, Rod Serling, experienced something of what you are worried about.  He wrote this movie The Doomsday Flight that was basically Speed on a plane.  After it aired, people started calling in bomb threats to the major airlines of the day.  Serling remarked that he wished he had never written it and that he had never been born.

After a period of depression, he came to the conclusion that he is "reponsible to the public, but not for the public".

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: Video Games Get the Blame in Colorado Shooting Spree

Even Eminem rapped about that stuff. One of his songs is basically about how young influential teens pick up his music and lyrics and apply it towards violence. He did it in a very tongue in cheek manner, though.

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