Wednesday, June 03, 2009
A little after 11 this morning we parents received an email from the principal of the Princeton Charter School, in pertinent part:
Allegedly, a gunman is on Princeton University Campus and the police are requesting we do not allow students to play outside until they investigate further.
Well, the investigation came up with nothing scary:
Princeton University students and faculty have been given the all clear to resume activities after reports of a gunman on campus were unfounded, CBS 2 has learned.
Officials say there was no gunman on campus, however four juveniles were taken into custody for carrying a dark toy gun with them. They're currently being questioned by local police.
According to the school's Web site, an armed male was reportedly seen near the Dod Hall dormitory shortly before 11 a.m. Students and faculty were urged to remain indoors during the investigation.
I will admit, I did not know that you could be "taken into custody" for carrying a "dark toy gun" around in broad daylight. Had that been true in Iowa City in the 1970s, I would have spent my entire childhood in the care of the police.
Princeton University is alerting everyone to stay inside after reports of a gunman on the Ivy League campus.
The school's Web site says a male with what appeared to be a handgun was reported near Dod Hall dormitory around 11 a.m. (1500 GMT) Wednesday.
A dispatcher with the Princeton Borough Police Department says officers are investigating. There's no word on any injuries.
It's not clear how many students remain on campus. Commencement was Tuesday.
The video from the scene:Princeton-gunman-video-online
Heck, I received a .410 shotgun on my eleventh birthday. I often carried it in the neighborhood on the way to the woods. I also had a hatchet, Bowie knife, and 12-foot bullwhip. I was ready for World War III.
A little different than around here, where “First day of Deer Season” can be used for an excused absence from school, and we are taught that guns on your pickup in the school parking lot should be unloaded and locked in the gunrack, not to be shown off to fellow students over lunch hour. (along with the strictly enforced “no cleaning deer or quail in the parking lot” rule)
Were the kids threatening anyone with their toy guns? Toy guns aside, with a constitutional right to bear arms, would it not be legal to carry a weapon in the open? I am referring to carrying the weapon, not threatening anyone. I always thought concealed weapon laws were enacted because concealment put law enforcement at a disadvantage (and thus the need for a permit)but the laws did not apply if your six shooter was strapped to your hip in plain sight. Just wondering.
Actually, feeblemind, we were trained, and officers still are trained, to treat every stop as if the subject were armed, so CCW laws make (or should make) no difference in how an officer behaves. As a practical matter, in states where open carry is moderately common (cf Arizon) it's demeanor that tends to govern your response: a well-dressed, alert, confident person with a visible Kimber or Paraordinance .45 gets treated differently from a ragged someone staggering, waving a shotgun in the air.
This was a very weird incident. We seniors were moving out after commencement yesterday and then all these news people showed up. No one had any idea what was going on. Moreover, the seniors did not receive any warning notification by email/text as usual from the University since we're now alumni.
What is most peculiar is that there have been similar incidents recently involving toy guns.
I have no idea why this one was taken seriously by local news media. I saw at least three helicopters in the sky and a news truck.