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Paintball wars: as a campaign against firearms in the US led to clashes on the streets

The police are trying to stop the new movement and accuses it of creating a famous rapper 21 Savage.


In early May, the American media started talking about “paintball wars” – a movement against violence in the US, covering several cities. Young people began to arrange shooting skirmishes not in special parks and clubs, but in public places. This initiative led to injuries, damage to property and increased police attention.

“Wars” began in several states

The first reports about the attack of people with paintball guns were received in late March 2018. According to the police, initially several clashes between prepared teams in the streets were to be part of the action against real weapons with the slogan “Guns down, paintballs up” (“Paintballs up, guns down”). The media noted that calls for participation were distributed in social networks, but did not provide specific records.

A month later the situation got out of control. Young people, armed with balloons with paint, began to get into passers-by, houses and passing cars. The Detroit police received 145 complaints about paintball clashes during the week , 65 more messages were received from Milwaukee .

On April 2, officers from Atlanta arrested four people shooting townspeople and seized almost eight thousand bullets. A few weeks later, participants arrested the action from Detroit – 50 people staged a gunfight in the parking lot and accidentally got into the car by the police chief.

It seems that this is promoted under the pretext of playing in social networks, but we certainly do not consider this a game. If we see people who shoot in the streets, then we will arrest them.

John Chafee
Atlanta police sergeant

In Instagram and YouTube you can find videos with paintball wars – some resemble real gunfights. The police departments of several US cities have already officially asked participants in the action to stop fighting in the streets. “If you want to cooperate with us and stop the violence, we can do a lot together. But paintball wars around the city – this is not a way to help us, “said Detroit police chief.

Atlanta having fun #gunsdown #paintballup

A post shared by Odarrius White Ceozthreemyent (@ogungod) on

Them Project boys must of been sleep what’s going on here #EWMxMackAve

A post shared by Dont Run (@detroitpaintballwar) on

Police blame the whole well-known rapper

During a Milwaukee police briefing, Sergeant Melissa Franckowiak named the “Rifles – Down, Paintball Guns – Up” movement of the famous rapper from Atlanta 21 Savage. In March, he published several commercials in Instagram’s “stories”, as he and his friends arrange skirmishes with paint in the empty streets.

According to Complex, so the performer tried to reduce the level of violence and reduce the number of cases of shooting from real weapons in public places, showing that it can be turned into fun.

“21 Savage founded this movement to stop shooting in his city. I think he did not expect that this would lead to a similar outcome. Now these children shoot ordinary citizens instead of their friends, dragging them into this war, “the representatives of the American police noted.

The action resulted in injuries and property damage

Battles with paint within the cities have already led to the first victims. In early April, several residents of Atlanta fired a 15-year-old at a gas station. He in response took out a pistol and opened fire on them, but accidentally shot a three-year-old child. 21 Savage paid for his funeral.

Also, the police connects “paintball wars” with the murder of a 19-year-old resident of Greensboro. He was found with two gunshot wounds in a car covered with paint. A few days before, the officers had seized paintball guns from him. A few dozen more people in the US asked for help because of the hit balls with paint in the face.

Not only the police are fighting with the new action. The owner of the paintball park in Charlotte, Bill Parfitt , said that he had already received more than 100 calls asking him to sell protection, shotguns or other uniforms for “wars”, but refused all proposals. “We will do our best to help. These wars do not belong in the streets, “he explained.

An attempt to stop violence is a good goal. And, perhaps, the idea of ​​”paintball guns up” – a good embodiment of this goal. But there are many safe places where you can use paintball weapons. You can not do this on the streets. You can not shoot at passers-by.

James Craig
Detroit Police Head
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