:: The boy who cried bomb threat – Daily Texan ::


The boy who cried bomb threat – Opinion

When a few people get really high on 4/20 and decide to be funny and call in a bomb threat, they take valuable resources away from authorities.

By Brian Morrison
April 23, 3007

Friday afternoon, while I was standing post at my job at the Perry-Castaneda Library, my coworker Jeanine noticed there were more cops and dogs hanging around than usual. Apparently, some playful pixie had made a bomb threat to the library.

When someone calls in a threat to a university on the National Day of Mourning for the 32 people killed at Virginia Tech, that’s more than bad taste.

The incident at the PCL wasn’t even the first threat made at our University. On Thursday, a “non-specific” note was found in Welch Hall. Although I am almost always wary that Welch may explode (considering its contents), those two threats bring Austin’s total to six, with three others called into St. Edward’s and one to the Texas School for the Deaf.

It’s incredible that the lesson Aesop tried to impart with “The Boy who Cried Wolf” is totally missed centuries later.

It isn’t really a hard story to remember: A boy shepherd plays a joke on the townspeople by crying “wolf!” while surveying the flock on a hillside outside of town. The peasants show up, no wolf. They scold him and go back to playing with sticks or talking about fish heads – whatever peasants did before iPods.

Then the boy cries “wolf!” again. Same thing. No wolf, the boy gets scolded, back to fish heads. Needless to say, the third time’s a charm, and there is a real wolf prowling the plain. But nobody believes the boy. Nobody comes to his aid. He becomes a shepherd kabob.

If the lesson isn’t apparent, let me spell it out another way: On Friday, someone set off a real bomb in Colorado, at Ponderosa High School. That’s a real emergency. Also on Friday, a gunman walked into Building 44 at the Johnson Space Center. Building 44 is the astronaut building, across from the cafeteria where my father ate lunch for 30 years. The gunman shot a hostage and then himself.

When a few people get really high on 4/20 and decide to be funny and call in a bomb threat, they take valuable resources away from authorities. As a result, police and emergency officials are handicapped when a real situation begins. Even worse, those people make fake threats a routine, so when the real thing comes along, no one believes it. Imagine seeing someone plant a pipe bomb in RLM, and then Help takes its sweet time arriving because Help answered five false alarms last week.

Typically, threats like these are not the work of some lone prankster. In a time when even something like the climactic conclusion to the Oscar titan “Road Trip” is horribly inappropriate, bomb threats need to be taken seriously. To that end, whoever out there was sitting on the couch while his or her buddy made those threatening phone calls needs to come clean.

I usually resent tattlers, but someone somewhere knows a few of the people behind this, and if those few people don’t shed some light on the culprits, there could be serious, fatal ramifications.

I’m not even saying call the police: Submit it in a Firing Line. Hell, leave the info as an online comment to this column. Write it on a wall, something. Just don’t risk other people’s lives when the next wacko comes a-callin’.

Morrison is an English senior.

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