According to reports, a drunk YouTuber’s social experiment at a Disney Resort in Florida sent the place into lockdown recently.
As explained in his arrest affidavit – courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel – one 22-year-old Dillon Burch from Arizona became entirely intoxicated before running up to guests at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando. As he did so, at around midnight that day, he told them they had to evacuate because an active shooter was around.
Apparently, Burch told responding officers that this was all a joke; he wanted to create a fuss and film people for their reactions for a school project or his YouTube channel (although it's unclear if he actually has one or not). Clearly, no one saw the funny side of this, even as he eventually admitted to some of the guests that what he was doing was an experiment of some kind – the resort was placed on lockdown.
Click Orlando reports that security eventually found Burch “hiding in a row of bushes on hotel property” after calling out to the deputies to make contact with him. When he was searched and taken into custody they found beer in his backpack.
It looks like he was rumbled when he told the woman at the front desk of the hotel what he’d been doing. She then informed the on-duty manager, who approached Burch.
As he was being reprimanded, the manager told Burch that deputies were on their way, which is when he walked outside, spotted the police lights, and ran into the parking lot.
Gizmodo notes that the man didn’t contest his charges – disturbing the peace, and disorderly intoxication – and was sentenced to three days in prison. As you’d expect, he’s also not allowed to visit any Walt Disney World properties for the rest of time.
It clearly goes without saying that mass shootings are the very antithesis of a joke. Whether it’s a “prank” or “experiment” like this, or it’s a simulator of a mass shooting at a high school – yes, that existed for a brief period of time – it’s deeply, pervasively inappropriate, utterly witless, and morally repugnant.
America has a unique problem in this regard, and the statistics are never anything but grim. As noted by Vox, America has 16 times as many firearm homicides than Germany. The US population owns nearly half of the civilian-owned guns that exist in the world today. Since 2012’s Sandy Hook tragedy, there have been more than 1,600 mass shootings.
Leaving out the fact that one major solution is blindingly obvious – stronger gun control laws, which research shows the vast majority of Americans support – you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that thinks that joking about a mass shooting, especially in that way, is an acceptable form of behavior.
[H/T: Gizmodo UK]