Once again, these Pokémon GO stories continue to practically write themselves, further questioning if we as a society are ready to go out into our own neighborhoods and throw magical balls as adorable monsters.
This time, as cited by The Orlando Sentinel, a 37 year-old man open fired on two young men who were in his neighborhood, looking for Pokémon at 1:30AM. He says he believed the two were burglars ransacking houses when they began asking each other “Did you get anything?”
As they got in their car, the man approached them with a gun drawn and told them not to move. However, the two teenagers sped off, and the man open fire. Luckily, nobody was injured in the shooting, however, the man, who has not been identified, cited Florida’s 2005 “stand your ground” statute which grants citizens the right to deadly force “to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.”
Of course, catching a Tauros and Marowak is in no way a deadly crime or a “forcible felony,” but the man claimed that the two tried “to strike him with the car,” the very same one that he voluntarily leaped in front of.
The boys did not report the shooting, thinking it was just someone trying to scare them. Their mother reported it in the morning when she found bullet-holes in their bumper and a flat tire.
To think that if these two had been tragically killed, Pokémon GO could have found itself at the center of the great American gun debate. That just shows how far and long the reach of this game has gotten, and it makes me wonder if we are able to handle it yet. Please, be extra special careful when playing this game, and don’t trespass.
And to those who choose to put themselves in a situation that forces them to “stand their ground,” remember, 911 is a perfectly legitimate, not to mention preferred, way to deal with such a situation.