Last week, a South Dakota teenager killed his mother with a sword, injured three others, and was killed by police officers responding to the call. (One of the officers was among the injured parties.)
I first heard about this in an Associated Press story forwarded to me by Jack Thompson with the subject heading "Gamer, obviously." The Associated Press story makes no reference to gaming at all, but does say the teen apparently collected swords.
That e-mail was followed up shortly by another one from Thompson, this one a copy of something he apparently sent to the police investigating the matter. As he has done in other cases of teen violence, Thompson told the police to look for violent games in the teen's home, citing them as a likely trigger for violent behavior. And as with almost all of his missives, Thompson managed to not-so-casually mention his numerous TV appearances in which he talked about violent games.
The deaths are obviously tragic, and Thompson's attempt to predispose the police investigation to a particular finding is both unsettling and unfair to the victims and their families.
However, the reason I'm writing this blog post is not to gripe about Thompson and his tactics. I'm not even writing it to mock him for referring to Mortal Kombat and Diablo as "knife-killing games" in his letter to the chief of police. This excerpt from the letter is the reason I'm writing this:
"Re: Sword Killings
Dear Chief Schmitt:
I am an expert in the above type of attack, as I appeared on 60 Minutes and roughly 80 other national television programs as to such incidents."
That's right. Jack Thompson is a sword killing expert. Do you think he puts that on his business cards?