Perhaps all of the election year fear-mongering over the bad-ass bogeyman ISIS is contributing to a more jumpy climate, but the overreactions of the police state are coming fast and furious as of late. A SWAT team was sent in and a California college campus was locked down over a man carrying an umbrella in late August. Heavily armed cops in armor were called out at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) after some paranoid freak reported a man carrying a gun. The “gun” turned out to be nothing more than an umbrella being toted on a rainy day by a longtime university staff member.
According to a story on the website of San Diego’s KGTV 10 News entitled “Man who prompted Cal State San Marcos lockdown talks to 10News”:
There were terrifying moments for people on the campus of Cal State San Marcos on Wednesday morning as the university was stormed by law enforcement and temporarily placed on lockdown for more than 30 minutes after reports of a suspicious person armed with a gun on campus.
It turns out, it was only an umbrella. Late Wednesday, 10News spoke with Bill Craig, who has been a staff member at the university for 17 years. He was walking with his umbrella on campus that morning because of the rain.
Little did he know that by the time he got back to his office, his umbrella would have been mistaken for a rifle and lead to a campus-wide lockdown. Craig was held at gunpoint by sheriff’s deputies during the lockdown.
“I guess you always think that when someone’s pointing a gun at you, you’re really going to freak out but I think I was just more focused on doing exactly what the officer said,” he told 10News.
Craig was the person – reported as being suspicious – they had been looking for. The person was described as a white male, wearing a black shirt and jeans and walking across campus carrying a rifle.
He says he knew it was him the second the alert went out.
“I was certain,” said Craig. “It could have certainly been someone else. I mean, I’m not the only tall, bald guy here, but it fit me to a tee.”
At that same time, classrooms began sheltering in place.
“They immediately … the doors locked and then they took all the chairs and all the tables and barricaded the doors,” said junior James Collins. “People were kind of freaked out and you could tell that there was a nervous tension.”
That rifle someone thought they saw was nothing more than a long black umbrella, as seen in a photo Craig later posted on his Facebook page.
According to KGTV Mr. Craig later joked about the incident but were any of the police dispatched to have had itchy trigger fingers it would have been just one more American gunned down due to a mistake by cops. It also shows the bizarre disconnect in America where in some states open carry is permitted to the extent that gun rights activists take their weapons into retail outlets and restaurants which has yet to result in anyone calling SWAT.
This country is increasingly becoming as insane as it is unstable.