Sooooo todays been interesting....

It started off pretty normal, but it got weird really quick.
I got to school, printed off some stuff for class, and was headed up stairs when i noticed some cops in the lobby. which was a little weird since their never really around here. but i kind of shrugged it off cause i thought they were just you know doing cop stuff, maybe visiting a criminal justice program or something. but when i got up to the next floor i noticed a couple more cops, these ones wearing bullet proof vests. Not surprisingly i was a little weirded out, i mean how many cops do you see walking around campus in friggen body armor? So I kind of paused and just stared for a second at them out of confusion. thinking to myself "Ummmm well that's.... new?" before deciding that I was already running late to class and couldn't waste time asking them any questions.
Still a little put off i headed up to class. When i got there a speech was just finishing up and i sat down with the rest of the class to listen to the next student speech and to mentally prepare myself for my own which was coming up later in the class. But about half way through the Fire alarm goes off and the Professor tells everyone to get up and head out. We all headed down stairs and were leaving the library joking about how loud the alarm was and commenting on how it sucked that the student's speech got interrupted since it was actually very good.
It wasn't until we got outside that we all actually realized something was really weird about this. because the first thing we saw were two cops in bullet proof vest holding friggen M16s and staring everyone down. Not surprisingly we all instantly realized this wasn't a normal fire drill. I went for my phone pretty quickly and tried to get it out to tape what was going on (i'm going to try and upload the video later but it's not a great camera to begin with and i missed most of what was going on cause my phone sucks ass) while i was doing this the cops headed into the building and left us all out there wondering what the hell was going on. About 15 mins later they finished up whatever they were doing and let us all back in so we could go to class. It wasn't until we were in there that we found out that some of the girls in the class told us that their had been a call about a gun in the building and SWAT had shown up to make sure that we all got out safely.
As it turns out though their wasn't an actual gun, it was a simple mistake that had been made due to a Nerf gun that a kid was carrying on him because he was participating in the school wide Humans vs. Zombies game that occurs roughly twice a semester.
But this leaves me a bit torn on some stuff. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that the cops did their jobs and got everyone out safely. It was the right call given the information that they had and given the incidents that have been happening across the country at schools here in America recently. But it still makes me a bit nervous, not because fact that these men were doing their jobs, but because of the fact that a nerf gun inspired such a reaction. It really puts into perspective to me the hyper reactivity that is occurring here in america on all fronts. From the citizens who are so easily panicked, to the extreme reactions police are being forced to have, to the public who wants to be free but safe, to the politicians who are both what to arm the police but slash their funds, while preventing terrorism yet over react to minor incidents.
Over all i feel we are so torn on everything that we don't know what to do anymore. People want to be safe, but seeing this kind of reaction also makes me worry. i don't know if an evacuation of the building was needed considering the fact that most people who carry aren't out to blow everyones heads off, and while i appreciate the fact that these men were doing nothing but what they felt was best to protect the students at my school i worry about how fearful we become of the mere sight of a gun like weapon. But i'm curious as to what other people think about this.
Do you think they reacted appropriately? Do you think that my concerns are unwarranted? Do you feel America is paranoid as a whole? or was this a completely justified act in your eyes?
Please let me know what you think! and know that i'm simply curious about your opinions.

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  • 2

    Do you think they reacted appropriately?
    ok, here's something up for debate. they reacted properly i have no doubts about that. although whoever called it in is stupid and needs to be shot. basic common sense says that guns are not painted bright colors and shoot foam darts, i can understand the mix up if the nerf gun was a matte black and shaped correctly but i highly doubt that was the case. people need to think a little.

    Do you think that my concerns are unwarranted? im not sure what you mean by your concerns. yes the government is trying to build a bridge with sticks instead of stones and half the cost, they've done that for years. paranoia of "gun like objects" needs to stop. if i have a wooden gun that shoots rubber bands you dont need to call the cops, i'm only out to bludgeon someone with it. i could have used a chair.

    Do you feel America is paranoid as a whole? hell yes, normal america is paranoid because they lack the resources to defend themselves. i am not paranoid because i carry and am trained and highly proficient with my sidearm. most people who carry aren't worried about being held up or robbed because we can and do defend ourselves.

    or was this a completely justified act in your eyes? no, people need to pay attention more. if you don't have all the facts then dont say anything. i carry a gun-like object to school everyday. you know what it is? a set of vise-grips. they look like a gun in my pocket but i can assure you i can't fire projectiles other than the spring with them.

    • November 15, 2013, 10:11 am
    1 From what i understand it was in their belt or something. but i still agree it was a pretty stupid to call unless it looked like an actual gun.

    2. Guess i should have elaborated, the concern has to do with the idea of the militarization of the police. Now this is being attributed mostly with the reactions to peaceful protests in some areas of the country but it was a little off putting to see these cops with assault rifles when they weren't even sure what they were dealing with (which then again could mean they were underprepared if the circumstances had been right). I agree fully that people are overly concerned when they see a gun and need to not enter panic mode so quickly.
    (btw just a little confused on the bridge reference? was that just pointed to government policies in general or something else?)

    3 I'm iffy on this because i see your point but don't get me wrong here, i don't think arming everyone is the solution (Our country has way way way to many stupid people to ever consider this being an option... like dead serious its in no way a good option). But the people are truly panicked about guns in general. Personally i think people need to learn about them more and understand how to be comfortable around them. they are dangerous in the wrong hands but learning to treat them with respect would be a major step in the right direction considering most gun owners are very responsible.

    4 agreed, common sense isn't very common anymore. people need to snap out of their own little realities and come to terms with the fact that different people have different views. we are living in our own little bubbles far too much now days and it's time to open up our eyes again.
    - 24paperwings November 15, 2013, 10:33 am
    2. militarization of the police isn't necessarily a bad thing although there is a place and time for everything. i believe that law enforcement should be provided the option and ability to carry high powered and high capacity weapons ONLY when needed. most cops have some training with sidearms and less have training with AR style weapons. that needs to step up. if you have ANY AR style rifles or shotguns in your PD armory then every single law enforcement individual should be trained properly. i hear too many stories about "40 shots fire, 2 hit fleeing perpetrator". discipline should also be increased in the PDs around the country. singe there was a report of a single pistol(i'd assume they said pistol not just "gun") you only needed pistols. now, if they said someone was shooting up campus that's a completely different story.
    the bridge thing was that the government is trying to do better for cheaper and rarely succeeds

    3. arming everyone isn't what i meant. i said they lacked the resources to defend themselves. that includes but is not limited to self-arming. most people don't even carry mace and a taser goes a long way to deterring someone. i carry because i believe it makes me and the people around me safer because i know what i'm doing. tasers only go what? 5-10 yards? some people are resistant to mace as well. nobody takes a bullet well though and i can easily hit a moving man sized target at 25 yards with my pistol.
    I've been saying it for a while now, schools need a "common sense" course as mandatory since nobody seems to have it anymore. i've had people not know how to jumpstart their cars, think their cars don't need oil and try to put a tire on backwards(not rotating backwards, i mean the rim was backwards).
    included items would obviously be firearm safety and multiple other things.
    - MIKYTEY November 15, 2013, 1:16 pm
  • 1

    Did they react appropriately? Protocol wise yes, general threat evaluation no. My line of work is security so their protocols for potential threats are similar to ours, but we evaluate threat levels differently. For a potential threat like this their protocol is very high profile, loaded up, and ready to go. They were also probably given crap info in the first place though, so all they knew is that there might be a gun.

    Are your concerns unwarranted? Yes and no. Our government is, across the board, giving normal officers SWAT hardware and giving SWAT same as military (excluding certain things), but they aren't providing proper training. Now waste of money aside, they're going for a one size fits all. Most stations in the US do not need the type of hardware they have, cops in my area do not need an M4 but most have one. Now places like LA, Chicago, and to an extent places in Alaska I would say yes that this hardware is necessary, because the situations they may encounter are very different than the police in places like Coeur D'alene Idaho or Salt Lake City.

    Are Americans paranoid as a whole? Kind of. The Paranoia lies in places where guns are not common place. Where I live guns are common place and gun owners are responsible and well practiced. The police know this and it's uncommon to see more than 2 cops being cops in a single day. Where as places where guns are not common place you will see a lot of cops being cops.

    All in all though I would not say it was justified, but it's protocol so I understand why they did it that way.

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