Latest Excuse for Overwrought College Campus Lockdowns: Umbrellas!


Can you imagine the kind of objects that prompt panicked lockdowns in Gotham City?
New Batman Adventures

Students at California State University – San Marcos are safe from a guy carrying a rifle across campus, thanks to a SWAT team and a 30-minute lockdown. Wait, no. They are safe from an umbrella. The man wasn't carrying a gun. He was carrying an umbrella. ABC10 in San Diego told the story and interviewed the non-mass-murderer:

[Bill] 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."

He was confronted and held at gunpoint by sheriff's deputies while they determined that he was not, in fact, the Penguin, there with some sort of deadly scheme to finally kill off Batman.

You have to admit, though, there's something a little suspicious about carrying an umbrella around in California. We're having our worst drought ever!

Elsewhere in our constantly panic-stricken country, a college student is getting a slap on the on the wrist from the courts for terrorizing Central Connecticut State University. His crime: wearing a ninja costume with a sword on campus a couple of days after Halloween, causing another campus lockdown and a SWAT response. He actually had no intent of terrorizing anybody and will have his charges dismissed if he completes his probation without launching any further ninja team assaults at other colleges.

And while I was writing this, an "active shooter" incident was reported at Fort Lee in Virginia, and the installation is on lockdown. (Update: It has been lifted)

(Hat tip to Ken)

NEXT: Shooter at Fort Lee Army Base—All Clear Given

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  1. As a result of my long term experience being a pedestrian in Midtown Manhattan, I can assure you that umbrellas are a public safety hazard and deserve to be criminalized. Invest in a hat and a jacket, people.

    1. Any person who has lived in a city can attest to that. Nothing’s worse than the 200 lb chick who literally hogs up the sidewalk in rain boots, rain slicks, and an umbrella and will walk at a snails pace.

  2. This thread could have have like a l,000 comments, Scott. But noooooooo, you had to reference the Penguin in the damn article itself.

    Way to ruin the commenters’ fun.


    1. When umbrella weapons are outlawed, only outlaws and John Steed will have umbrella weapons.

      1. +1 M Appeal (get it ?)

        1. +1 Diana Rigg poster

    2. We can maybe try some sort of Mary Poppins angle?

      1. Aaaah clipful of dum-dums helps the tyranny go down, tyranny go down, tyranny go dow-oowwwnn…

    3. Well the penguin did wear a top hat and a monacle. I can see the fear of a libertarian wandering a campus being totally justified for a lockdown.

  3. It could have been another Georgi Markov incident! Thank god they saved us all!

    1. I knew I wouldn’t be quick enough to make a Russian assassination reference.

      1. It was fresh in my head since I watched The Americans last night.

  4. They couldn’t make the movie Gotcha! today. So at least there’s that.

  5. By the way, anyone else reading Multiversity? I enjoyed the first issue, but I fear that it looks like Morrison is gearing up for insufferably pretentious mode as opposed to having fun with outlining the metaphysics of the New 52. Morrison needs to get it through his head that he’s no Alan Moore.

    1. The advertising said to not buy the book, so I figured not even the creators were confident in its quality but had already signed some sort of vile pact that mandated X or Y issues.

      1. The advertising said to not buy the book

        Heh! True.

        Still the art is a hell of a lot better than whoever took over for Batman Beyond 2.0; I’ve seen better drawing in a special needs class full of kindergarteners.

        1. I wouldn’t grade it that harshly, but I have no idea what happened to the art. I think as far as talent goes, ‘Beyond’ gets all the second stringers, but doesn’t ever fall to a low enough readership to get canned. (Though the name change did Bork my subscription for a while, as the shop stopped setting them aside since they didn’t have the name that was on the sub sheet. Unskilled labor… hmph)

          1. For me, the number one rule of the Beyond Universe is that the art should strongly suggest the style of the animated series. Until very recently they did a good job of it. However, starting with ish 27-ish(?) I didn’t even recognize unmasked Terry until they addressed him.

            1. I think I recall having a similar problem at one point. I have a sub for paper collected editions, so the issue numbers won’t line up with the digital versions.

              I am more forgiving of art problems if the writing holds up. Though if it doesn’t, good art won’t counteract the sourness of my reaction.

              (I was also greatly distressed when Grayson popped up missing the same eye a character I don’t want compared to him lost in my work…)

    2. At least Morrison is still trying to do something with dominant form of the medium. Moore has been wanking off with sex magic nonsense for over a decade.

      But I do hope it lands on the Batman, Inc. side of this work rather than the Final Crisis side.

  6. All ISIS has to do at this point is have a few jihadists jump off a boat in the bay carrying umbrellas and California will surrender.

    1. If the umbrellas don’t do the trick, maybe they could bring puppies. It’s a well-known fact that being confronted by a barking dog causes cops to become so overcome with pants-wetting fear for their lives that they feel entirely justified in blasting away at the dog.

      If the people we hire to protect us are so easily driven mad with terror at a barking dog, how wussified must the American people be? I wouldn’t blame the average jihadist for thinking that the US could be conquered by about 4 guys armed with sporks if this is the best we’ve got in the line of brave heroes.

  7. Amazing how people just naturally are prone to bouts of societal wide madness. This is no different than which hunts or mobs occasionally attacking Jewish Ghettos in response to a blood libel. In fact it is worse. The old Anti-Semites believed in evil lies but they at least believed them about people. Our new mobs are terrified of inanimate objects. For 21st Century America, guns are the new Jews.

    1. For 21st Century America, guns are the new Jews.

      If that’s true, then the JPFO are fucked!

      1. Can you imagine the pants wetting fit progs would have if pro zionist Jews started carrying weapons openly?

        1. If Gaza protests here turn as ugly as they regularly do in Montreal, then that’s a distinct possibility. I’m surprised we haven’t heard reports of the JDL or the Kahane Chai-ists doing so already.

          1. They turn pretty ugly on US college campuses but no where else. I think most Muslims in the US realize that the country generally isn’t that friendly to them and therefore starting violent protests in this country is a pretty bad idea. I really don’t think we will ever see many violent pro Gaza protests in this country. This country barely tolerates violent protests from blacks. No way in hell would they put up with them from Muslims. And I think Muslims realize this.

    2. WTF? This is an actual Dem congressional candiate in MT, lmao!

      Amanda Curtis

      1. Like, for real, yeah… whatever man

  8. You have to admit, though, there’s something a little suspicious about carrying an umbrella around in California. We’re having our worst drought ever!

    It’s a parisol! Or a prop! There’s a hundred good reasons why someone would be carrying an umbrella on a sunny day. Maybe it’s his pet and he’s taking it for a walk.

  9. “What could you do but find the humor in it, otherwise it was just going to ruin my day, ruin my faith in humanity,” he said.

    Given that you work at an institution of higher education, perhaps you could get some instruction in testing that faith. The unexamined life, and all that. If your faith in humanity dangles by such a precarious thread that you dare not look at it straight on, maybe your faith in humanity is entirely unjustified.

  10. OT: Retired Philadelphia Police Captain Blames Corporations for Militarization of Police

    Did you see any militarization in your experience?

    Oh no, none whatsoever. Almost every problem, if you follow it back far enough, goes to corporate America. They saw what was happening in other countries, and then they saw what was happening with Occupy, and that woke them up, [they realized] that if economic times get worse we might have more people rioting and we might not be able to deal with it. Lets make sure the police are armed.

    1. Yeah because the police were not militarizing until a bunch of dirty hippies moved into Bryant Park.

      I love how self important these people are. The Occupy movement scared corporate America into arming the police. They actually believe that. They actually think anyone gave a fuck about the occupy movement.

      1. MOVE, the first Occupy movement

        1. And the Philadelphia police burned down several city blocks killing them all and still no one gave a shit about them.

      2. Well, yeah. Everyone knows that it’s the corporations that control the government. That’s why the government needs more power. So it can control the corporations that control it. The way to stop abuse of power is to give the people more power so that they will eventually have the power to not abuse power.

    2. Corporations which existed in a free market beholden to consumers to meet their wants and needs, or corporations – infested with fascistic bureaucrats from the alphabet soup of regulators – who long ago gave up and learned to live within the corporo-fascistic structure of quid-pro-quo?

      As always, the prime mover of tyranny is government which leaps over the barricades of constraint. Granted the makers of “hammers” will gladly lobby government for more and more hammer-contracts, for which the government will see more and more nails requiring more and more hammers, but the nexus point of the problem is a government which can put a boot on free market forces and tilt resource allocation.

      Just as with the housing bubble. Sure there were some predatory banks, and many run of the mill banks willing to underwrite terrible loans and make their fees. But the whole nightmare landscape “market” was forged by government before all else.

      In the end, we don’t have a police force, or a military for that matter, which is connected to the citizenry. The Feds have turned into an entity unto themselves. They have consumed the productive sector into itself. So, yes, we can blame corporations for the militarization of our lives across the board, but only as they are “branches” of the Leviathan.

    3. That isn’t fair, liber8 is a legitmate terrorist threat. We should just be happy Piron is able to help our underfunded police departments keep up.

  11. Almost every problem, if you follow it back far enough, goes to corporate America.


    1. Other than medical advances, the internet, cell phones, energy efficiency, longer life spans, and a generally improved quality of life compared to even 30 years ago….what have the corporations ever done for us ?

    2. The Late P Brooks|8.25.14 @ 10:46AM|#
      “Almost every problem, if you follow it back far enough, goes to corporate America.”

      Well, MS is certainly trying to drive us all nuts!

  12. So did the umbrella have a magazine or a clip? How many rounds? Was it a black, assault umbrella (the kind that scared Di Fi!)?
    Semi-auto, or single shot?
    I mean, what sort of reporting is this?!

    1. I have it on good authority that many umbrellas have a shoulder thing that goes up, so they are, by definition, assault weapons.

  13. If we was carrying this umbrella that looks like a rifle I would understand, but this is just plain stupid. I find it very hard to believe that anyone would mistake one for the other under normal circumstances.

  14. He was confronted and held at gunpoint by sheriff’s deputies

    I was taught that you don’t level your gun at anything unless you’re going to shoot it in the next few seconds. Presumably the sheriff’s deputies received different training.

  15. Umbrella control now!

    I was stopped one night by a campus cop because of two recorders (wind instruments) in my hand. Much later it occurred to me that, in the dimness, they could look like nunchaku. But no one pointed a gun at me because in 1980 terrorism hadn’t been invented yet.

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