Oh man. Why do bad things have to happen during things that are related to tattoo? I mean, to be fair, it is so rare that criminal things happen at tattoo events and in fact, I’d argue that far more good things happen at tattoo events than bad, but it only takes one or two bad actions to really give tattoo a bad name. Which isn’t fair at all, because anyone who is interested in tattoo or knows about tattoo knows that the people who are tattooed and the art of tattoo are two entirely separate things. What I mean by that is that tattoo is so diverse and it varies so much from person to person that comparing the actions of people who are tattooed to people who aren’t is like saying everyone who drinks alcohol is a wife beating alcoholic.
Yet bad things still do happen once in a while, just as they do everywhere else with every other type of interest or activity. This past Saturday night/Sunday morning, a tattoo party was just finishing up in San Leandro, California, when gunmen opened fire with semi-automatic weapons. Three people were killed as a result.
First off, let’s just clear up the term “tattoo party”. In the UK, a tattoo party often refers to a party thrown by underage people, in which a scratcher and willing “clients” will gather in a house and get tattooed illegally. This party in San Leandro was not that type of party. Apparently, police do not know who organised the party or whether the gunmen were even in attendance. What they do know is that it was advertised on Facebook as a party for tattoo enthusiasts to meet and show off their tattoos.
‘The party, publicized on Facebook as a Tattoo Party for tattoo enthusiasts wanting to mingle and show off their tattoos, apparently drew hundreds to the semi-remote, industrial location. From the sound of it, the three fatalities were among three people who may have known each other: 19-year-old S.F. State student and S.F. resident Shanice Kiel, 16-year-old Lanisha Worthington, and 23-year-old Josh Alfred of Oakland.’
It sucks that things like this have to happen, but sometimes they just do. And it doesn’t matter if it’s at a tattoo party or a hip hop concert or a craft show. Violence can erupt anytime at any place and in times like these, I just hope that justice is served for the families of the victims. Tattoo has been around for thousands of years and it has not left a trail of dead in its wake. The important thing for any doubter or naysayer to realise is that tattoo is and always has been an art form that resists any type of pigeonholing or negative association. Anyone who doubts that needs to investigate the facts.