A New Jersey resident called the police when he (or she) saw a man wielding an “assault weapon” while boarding a light rail train:
“Someone had reported to police that a man wearing black pants, a white dress shirt, a cast on his arm, [and] ‘armed with a long barrel assault weapon’ had gotten on the train.”
As a result, several light rail trains were shut down while police perused the surveillance footage for the man who was probably planning a mass transit mass shooting with his assault rifle.
Finally, they spotted the man who matched the concerned resident’s description, but the only weapon he had was a black umbrella. As of this writing, the rain chance in Hudson County, New Jersey where the incident took place is 90%. So, more than likely the perpetrator was planning to “fight off” the rain with his umbrella. It’s a sort of self-defense, so I think in this case it’s justified.
This is the culture of fear that we live in now. And it’s not just because people have committed big crimes with “assault rifles.” New Jersey residents might reference Sandy Hook as a reason to be afraid of semi-automatic rifles, but remember Lanza didn’t even use one. That was a myth propagated throughout the media and political establishment so that people would be afraid. And it’s worked.
Relatively speaking, there are few murders committed with semi-automatic rifles. Most gun-related homicides are committed with handguns. So why aren’t people as scared to death of those as they are the longer and bigger variety? Just wait for a mass murder committed with a handgun and for the media to overdramatize the event, and people will be brainwashed into being scared to death of those too.
Of course, people in that region of the U.S. are scared of just about anything that can be remotely seen as any kind of firearm. In a New York neighborhood park, one rather naïve dad brought a toy pellet gun for his kids to play with. An outraged mom called the police on him, and he was arrested for, among other things, “possession of an illegal BB gun.” In that case, the mom even knew that it was a toy that couldn’t pop a balloon.
But it was the “principle” of the matter that she was concerned with. Anything that looks like a gun shouldn’t be seen in public. Unless you’re a cop. Or a criminal.