In the aftermath of a major paintball shooting, there’s always some kind of lingering trauma.
For those involved in paintballing, that trauma is often personal, or it could be a result of professional violence.
In the case of one local paintballer, his life was changed forever.
On July 1, 2016, an 18-year-old man, Chris Bader, was killed during a paintball match in the city of Orlando, Florida.
Bader’s death was not in the hands of a random passerby, but instead was the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
After the shooting, Bader was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Baders family has been fighting to get justice for their loved one for years, as has his partner, Matt Smith, who was also shot in the leg.
While Bader had no criminal history or record, it wasn’t until after the shooting that authorities and police began to investigate the case.
According to a press release from the Orlando Police Department, detectives from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office conducted a “complete review of all available information.”
In the wake of the shooting of Chris Bades death, it was clear to Bader and Smith that something was seriously wrong.
The two men were soon joined by a coalition of others who were also affected by the shooting.
Their collective story was shared on social media and became a rallying cry for the community of Orlando to come together and demand answers.
The outpouring of support that was gathered by the community was overwhelming.
The response from the community has been remarkable, especially after the tragedy happened.
In just the first week of July, the hashtag #PaintballPrayers was created by a group of Orlando paintballers.
It is clear that Orlando’s paintball community is strong and resilient, and they will not be silenced.
To those who’ve been impacted by the incident, and those who have fought for justice, I offer my deepest condolences.
It was clear that Chris Baders death was a result solely of an individual’s choice to do the wrong thing.
We have the right to be angry and frustrated.
The paintball game should be fun.
It shouldn’t be a sport where people are expected to be safe and responsible.
It should be a way for people to share their love of the game, their passion, and their joy in the sport.
This tragedy has shown that the paintball and the sport have a lot of love in common, but we need to take action to stop violence.
I believe that in the face of these tragedies, people need to remember that the people they love are not always willing to accept them, or understand them.
It’s important to remember this lesson when confronting our communities.
In 2017, paintball has seen a resurgence in popularity, thanks to the popularity of competitive sports like Ultimate Frisbee, which has helped draw more people into the sport as well.
In 2018, there were a total of 6,000 tournaments in the United States, and this number will increase significantly over the coming years.
For many, it will also bring out the best in them.
We must work to support and educate our communities to make them better places to play and live.
I can’t wait to see what this next phase of the paint ball story will bring.