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What sort of American would ever pass up the opportunity to pop a few bubbles from packing material? None that I’d want to call “friend”. The joy of popping bubble wrap is something we all love, regardless of race, color, or creed, and was famously celebrated by that modern American poet, Alfred M. Yankovic, in his magnum opusWhite and Nerdy“. Studies have apparently shown that popping bubbles increase levels of calmness and alertness. (Hey, whatever gets you tenure, dude. Good job getting funding for that!) Anyway, it seems that a few rapscallions attending Valley Forge Military Academy were having fun with some bubble wrap on Tuesday. Just a harmless bit of fun, right?

In this case, it triggered a full-scale alert at the military academy, along with nearby Eastern University and Cabrini University. In total, schools with enrollment totaling over 5,000 students were put into lock down because someone thought bubble wrap popping was gunfire. The Associated Press reports:

A student who lives in an Eastern University apartment building located on the property of the Valley Forge Military Academy and College heard what she thought were shots fired Monday evening and called 911, academy officials said in a statement.

Police from Radnor and Tredyffrin Townships responded, and the academy, Eastern University and nearby Cabrini University were all placed on lockdown while police searched the area. They found no weapons or evidence of any weapon being fired at any time, and no one was injured, officials said.

So it wasn’t one of the Valley Forge Military Academy students, whose high school curriculum includes things such as “tactical leadership“. No, they appear to be made of sterner stuff than the Eastern University Eagles. Eastern’s officials made a post on Facebook stating that they were “thankful this event was not an actual gun related situation.” If they felt embarrassment that one of their pupils pressed the proverbial panic button over bubble wrap, that emotion was not communicated via social media at this time.

There’s only one thing I’m wondering about: did the official panic here communicate some sort of object lesson to millions of C+ students about a way to avoid that exam they forgot to study for?

[Hat tip: Doreen McCallister, NPR.org]

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34 Responses to This Is What Happens to a Disarmed Populace: Bubble Wrap Edition

  1. Erma Gerd! What kind of special snowflakes are we raising these days? Had to be a scam to get out of a test or we are waaay further down the crapper than previously thought.

  2. Some of the “special snowflakes” are your future Welfare recipients. Generally shiftless and lack any motivation to accomplish anything beyond self destruction, through either alcohol abuse, or drugs. The New American Nation!

    Sheeple of the current American Colleges, unite and bleat!

      • And Representatives, and Senators, and mayors, and police (some chiefs of police), and community organizers, and, gosh golly, maybe even president.

        Well, the last one has already happened more than once…

  3. No joke, popping bubble wrap is one of the sounds that closest resembles the sound of an AK being fired in your direction. Sounds crazy, but its legit.

  4. Having heard gunfire and bubble wrap before; I guess someone really doed not know guns well. Of course the better local story is still the woman smacked by a catfish from the sky. 5lbs no less.

    • Little bubble wrap, not so much. Popping a string of those air bladders that Amazon uses…those can get loud 🙂

  5. Fun fact: The VFMA is the real school used in the ’80s classic “Taps.” Staring cadets Tom Cruise, Sean Penn & Tim Hutton. No bubble wrap used then, just blanks.

    • Funner facts:

      -VFMA was the last choice for the set of the film. All other military schools approached decided to not let them film after reading the script and realizing the movie ended with *spoiler* a gun battle between cadets and local police in which several cadets die and the school is destroyed *end spoiler*.

      -Several walls were constructed on campus for the making of the film. Most of them are still up.

      -The dress uniform as worn by the cadets on parade in the movie is the actual VFMA dress uniform, they just changed the patches and rank insignia, as VFMA uses the English “pip” system for commissioned ranks.

      -All the actors playing cadets endured the school’s 6 week (they lengthened it to 10 weeks the year I was there, the bastards) plebe system, except for Cruise, who lasted a day and lived in a hotel the rest of the duration of the plebe system.

      The whole “cadets being issued real m16s” thing is malarkey on its face. All we ever got were deact Garands. There were several low serial number Winchester ones in the mix though, interestingly enough.

  6. This is the logical result of See Something, Say Something. If you want amateur security then definitely you want to recruit as many amateurs as possible.

  7. One of these days, a mouse will fart in Minneapolis and the entire Midwest will be put on lockdown.

    Never bet against the stupidity of the average American. And college students, teachers and administrators are well below average.

  8. Lord have mercy. What would have happened if they had served beans that night and someone farted? (Darn it. Ralph beat me to the punch line as I was typing.)

  9. ? Is this slightly better, or slightly worse, than assault with a deadly-looking pop-tart? No contest if it is a black-licorice flavored pop-tart, just the thought of a fully-automatic-filled-pastry is enough to send a progressive screaming for mommy.

  10. Expect the madness to increase, today on the radio they announced a new App to help people report “Active Shooters or Potential Suspects” to the police and security”. This included sending real time photos of the “suspects”. I’m not making this up and the radio announcer thought it was the greatest idea ever.

    • Now, now. That’s a good thing for the gun-hating millennials who have to punch in “411” so that they can ask for the number for “911”.

  11. DIs might be glad to get recruits with no bad habits to break. On the other hand, it might be hard to break indoctrination by the schools never to fight back.

    Greg Ellifritz (www.activeresponsetraining.net) has a piece today about people who just couldn’t believe they were being shot at.

  12. This moron is going to have bubble wrap placed outside their front door every morning for the duration of their stay there, and possibly even random strangers shouting “BOO!” in passing.

  13. Get the longest piece of bubble wrap you can find. Lay it down on any hard, flat surface ( sidewalk, driveway, parking lot, etc. ). Then ride a bicycle over it. That’s how you really make it sound like a machine gun! Great fun with the youngsters.

  14. A couple of summers back a friend and I were tossing rocks about in a river, clearing a fair path through some rapids for riding tubes down. A state cop showed up and said someone had reported gunfire….

    It should be required in high school to train with various guns and fire them, so at least people know what they actually sound like.

  15. This story highlights the real, tangible value of being armed yourself. Stay with me on this one…

    I mentioned in a recent thread my experience where I was camping near a small college town and heard what sounded like three quick gun-shots from a rifle in town. Rather than call the police, I promptly “upped my game” in case the person who shot the rifle decided to menace my location.

    And how did I “up my game”? I pulled my rifle out of the trunk of my car and inserted a 30-round magazine, put a 20 round magazine in my semi-auto carbine (chambered in .40 S&W) in case my teenage child needed to join the fray, and then resumed the game that we were playing with a little more alertness.

    About 15 minutes later it became apparent that those three “gunshots” were actually fireworks. And it was fine. No one was injured. No one called for the police. No police resources were diverted from more important activities. No one was inconvenienced. And I was in good shape had those sounds really been the opening volley of a deranged spree killer.

    That’s right. Being armed means we don’t have to call the police when someone pops bubble-wrap, hits a board/nail with a hammer, or lights off fireworks.

  16. I received a package earlier and the contents were wrapped in bubble wrap. Guess what I did? Hope no one called the cops on me.

  17. The other day my son was very excited that I got a delivery because a) it was gun parts (and he wanted to help put it together) and b) one of the parts was in bubble wrap that he’d hoped he’d get to pop. He didn’t get to help as much as he’d have liked, since most of the parts were little fiddly bits that are easily lost, but he did happily pop the bubbles in the bubble wrap.

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