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Please begin with an informative title:

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
Step out of line, the man come and take you away

--Buffalo Springfield, "For What It's Worth"

"If you see something, say something".  

That has become a mantra.  And with the 24-hour sensationalist news, and the culture of violence glorified by the NRA and their sycophants in the media, it is inevitable that we start getting more and more incidents. More and more mass shootings are being reported every day.  In airports, shopping malls, you name it.

And we have gotten so paranoid that full SWAT teams are mobilized for teenage vandals with BB guns in a school late at night.
Case in point, a story that wasn't even reported on yesterday.  Central Connecticut State University was shut down yesterday over reports of an armed person in a dormitory.

Central Connecticut State University was shutdown for about three hours after several 911 calls reported a man walking on campus with a gun, a sword and body armor. An unidentified student was arrested Monday afternoon, along with two persons of interest, officials said.


 One student told NBC they saw a man walking into that building, James Hall, carrying a gun, Japanese-style sword, kneepads, an armor-like vest, paintball goggles and multiple clips or magazines.

“He had the knee pads on, like you see on a [military man],” said the student, identified as James. “It looked like he had a gun strapped on him."


“At first I thought it was a Halloween costume. But after I saw the cops I thought it was some sort of threat,” CCSU junior Jordan Governale told the Associated Press. “It’s pretty scary. It’s pretty strange, unexpected.”

Here is a picture of the police called in for the situation:
The denouement over the Chee-to

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

It is ironic that one student first thought it was a Halloween costume, but then started to wonder after the police were called.  

Authorities released few details about the incident at a press conference late Thursday afternoon. There were no injuries. All three "student-age" male supsects were arrested without incident on the fourth floor of the James Hall dormitory. Police are still investigating, but said there was no real threat to the campus. They would not elaborate on reports that a Halloween costume was to blame for the lockdown, but did say they were looking into that possibility.
Because it turns out, it was a Halloween costume after all.
NEW BRITAIN — A student still wearing his Halloween costume from the weekend caused alarm when he walked through Central Connecticut State University Monday, prompting a campus lockdown and a massive armed response from police.

After police sorted things out, student David Kyem apologized.

"I'm sorry for all the commotion and the fear and the confusion," said Kyem, 21, a senior from Newington. "I'm sorry for any problems. It's obviously a big misunderstanding."

Central police charged Kyem Monday night with breach of peace and released him after he posted $1,000 bail. He is the son of Central geography Professor Peter Kyem.

The reason he was still wearing his costume?  He was returning from a weekend of partying at UConn, and couldn't fit the whole thing in his backpack.  
The trouble began on his walk from the bus stop to his dorm, James Hall.

"I could see a tactical vest — something I wore when I was on the SWAT team and in the Marine Corps," said Nicholas Federici, 28, a senior from Wethersfield, and a veteran and former police officer. "These vests have a place to put your handgun. I could clearly see where the holster was and there was a handle coming out consistent with a semiautomatic handgun."

Federici said he followed Kyem and used his cellphone to call 911. He trailed Kyem to James Hall, and just as he walked in, university and New Britain police began to arrive.

Kyem said he was he was trying to get back to his dorm room to change and then get to a business meeting when the lockdown was ordered. He said Monday night that he had no idea he was the one who had prompted it.

Then an hour into the lockdown, he started getting calls from his friends.  It began to sink in that he was the reason for the lockdown and for the police presence.  

And why was he dressed like that?  What was his costume supposed to be?

And knowing is half the battle my ass.  THIS is our culture of violence at work. we glorify violence and violence in movies--not action movies, but violent movies.  We are so gung-ho about guns--we have to have that Red Ryder BB Gun--and yet we panic when our Halloween costumes reflect this?  The costumes reflect our culture--they are a reflection on us. We have now become afraid of our own shadow. The proliferation of the gun culture and the amount of mass shootings has driven us so far over the edge that the slightest thing sends us into a craze.  From locking down a university to shooting a 13 year old with a plastic gun. The cynical among us only shake our heads and say--

Well, what did you expect?

I, for one, refuse to accept these things as the "new normal". And no one should either.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to zenbassoon on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 09:10 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Indianapolis Kossacks.

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