Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Bang, you're dumb"

The saying "There's no fool like an old fool" finds no purchase among the police officers at nearby Towson University, formerly Towson State University, formerly Towson State College, formerly Towson State Teachers' College.  

This place changes names more often than Kim Karcrashian, and for the same reason.  

But this story about a young fool was blazing all over our little segment of the internets the other day:  from Towson PATCH:

Suspected Towson Gunman Was Student With Acting Class Prop

No charges have been filed after the campus was temporarily locked down following a report of a gunman.

A suspected gunman on the Towson University campus Tuesday afternoon turned out to be a student carrying a prop gun, according to Towson University police.

TU Deputy Police Chief Joe Herring told Patch in a phone interview that his department received a call from a contractor working on the school that there was a man with a handgun on campus.

The police then activated the university emergency system and asked students and faculty to stay indoors and stay safe, Herring said.

Through a subsequent investigation, officers were able to determine that the man reported by the contractor was a student on campus carrying a nonfunctional replica of a semi-automatic handgun.

"It turned out to be a student carrying a replica gun to an acting class," Herring said.

No criminal charges have been filed and the situation is now under control, Herring said. The student was not arrested after he was stopped and questioned.

"Within 23 minutes it was all clear," said Carol Dunsworth, a university spokeswoman. "The important thing is somebody saw something suspicious and did the right thing."

Students on campus received several texts from the Towson University police, according to one student who forwarded them to Patch.

At 1:28 p.m.: "A subject with a gun has been reported in the area of Burdick and the University Union."
At 1:44 p.m.: "Please stay in a safe location until further notice."
At 1:50 p.m.: "The subject has been located, campus is clear."
A computer message sent at 1:32 p.m. to students on an internal university system read: "Police are in search of a male subject ... TUPD are asking that everyone stay within there (sic) building, because of a report of a male with gun." The man was described as "white male, blk jacket, blk jeans" carrying a handgun.
Nicolette Argyros, 22, a senior advertising major from Timonium, said she was on the fifth floor of the university library when that message popped onto her computer screen. A librarian appeared and closed the doors to the stairwell and told her and two other students to remain there.
"People were calling their friends, sounding concerned and scared," she said.
But her worry was quickly relieved when her mom called to tell her that a police officer told her that the gunman was an "acting student with a prop gun."
"Everyone was like, 'Are you kidding me?' when I told them," she said.

I like the use of "sic" to point out that maybe, just maybe, a large university ought to be staffed with people who know the difference between "their" and "there."  And I think I'll start throwing "like" into all my sentences too.

Or not.

It makes me wonder why there are acting classes anyway.  Either a person can act (Ed O'Neill) or they can't (John Travolta.)  But then again, this young man was acting like a damned fool, so maybe he did learn something somewhere!

And how about this young fool, who grew up hearing about Virginia Tech and Columbine and other mass atrocities, strutting around with a fake gun?  And how about his instructor, who might have advised the youth to put the gun in a tote sack and put that tote sack in a back pack and then wrap that back pack in a pair of slacks, Jack?  

 I'm like, "Does anyone, like, think, anymore?"

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