In the wake of the death of David Katz, the young man known for his actions at a Jacksonville video game convention on August 26, there has been a head of steam building to condemn the young man.
However, this is not the time to condemn Katz, but instead to celebrate his life and all of the good that he did.
Some are quick to jump to the “Katz’s actions lead to death and harm to others” boat and ferry their way onto an island of dark pessimist-types who see Katz only as a “mass shooter.” Instead, we should be thanking him for the life he offered us for years before any such incident occurred.
Take, for example, David’s years of service to the gaming industry. There is every indication that he was a valuable customer in this technology field which serves as an important economic driver. It’s also understood that David was very good at video games — perhaps not the best, but very good — and there is nothing to indicate that regular (wink wink), controlled exposure to onscreen violence (nudge nudge) has any effect on the emotional state or world view of it’s sometimes fragile consumers.
Also, remember his more heroic and better-guided action on August 26 when Katz — a good guy with a gun — used his firearm to end a mass shooting spree in Jacksonville, using masterful marksmanship certainly learned through hours of “Duck Hunt” to kill the shooter with a single shot to the head. There’s no way of knowing how many lives he saved that day.
Are we really that thoughtless, self-centered, and disillusioned as a society? Are we really this sold on the idea that bad news sells better than good?
There will be plenty of time to talk about the alleged harm some of Katz’ other actions might have caused, but for now it is important to remember him as the semi-useful, oxygen-consuming human being his acquaintances remember him being. After all, Mr. Katz had a family whom I am certain loved him before the whole shooting thing occurred, and I am certain that they would appreciate this time to lovingly appreciate the sweet baby boy who once cooed and giggled peacefully in their arms. It wouldn’t be prudent to cause his family any grief in this moment when they so desperately seek solace, and that’s exactly what hate speech about his one indiscretion will prevent.
It’s best to let sleeping dogs lie and let the history books separate the good and the bad way, way in the future. It’s in retrospect that we better view individuals, grasp their values, and judge them for intent and results. If we’re so great at judging others during their lives, nothing bad would ever happen, now would it?