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The week before spring break, student David Kalenga-Kasongo heard a clicking noise in a University of Wisconsin-Platteville bathroom. He interpreted the sound as the racking of a gun. He turned and saw the barrel of a firearm inside a stall. He pulled the fire alarm and called the Platteville city police. Under questioning, Kalenga-Kasongo said it was “long barrel” like “an AK 47”. Lock down! From . . .

University of Wisconsin-Platteville Chancellor Dennis Shields closed all public campus buildings at 1:30 p.m. on March 14 due to a security threat in the men’s restroom on the first floor of Ullsvik Hall.

The week before spring break is crowded with midterm exams at the University of Wisconsin at Platteville. From facebook:

Spring break is fast approaching, and that means midterms for students at UW-Platteville. Check out these last minute tips from The Princeton Review to ace those midterm exams.

I’ve interviewed a number of people as an investigator. I have my doubts about the accuracy of Kalenga-Kasongo’s account.

A retired police officer told me that the “gun on campus” has become the new “bomb threat.” Bomb threats became so ubiquitous in the 70’s that severe penalties were put in place, and enforced, for people calling in fraudulent bomb threats. The cost of institutions being forced to shut down for hours at a time is enormous.

But “Gun!” threats are politically correct. Questioning the validity of such threats is verboten; especially on university campuses.

I have been to the University of Platteville. I once considered attending there. It is a small school at a small town in rural America. They had a fine mining engineering program with an excellent reputation. I can only imagine the embarrassment of the engineering students and faculty at the level of political correctness being exhibited at their school. Kalenga-Kasongo is himself an engineering student. From

The Exponent made repeated attempts to contact Kalenga-Kasongo for comment, but he did not return phone calls, Facebook messages or text messages. A cursory background check reveals that Kalenga-Kasongo, who has a Madison address, is an honors graduate of MATC, a general engineering major at UW-Platteville, and has had at least one brush with the law.

The campus Chancellor, Dennis Shields,  seems a bit skeptical about the whole affair. But he acted professionally when asked about the incident. From the

“I think it is very important not to overreact,” Shields said. “The last thing I want to do is see campus turned into an armed camp.”

Shields and Williams were also asked why the buildings were evacuated rather than being put on lockdown.

Shields said that it was because there was no evidence of an active shooter.

Another attendee asked whether pulling the fire alarm was the right thing to do in such a situation.

“I can’t speak for what [the student] did,” Williams said. “He certainly got everybody’s attention.” Williams also said that the response would have been different if it was an active shooter.

Eventually, universities and schools will have to come to grips with the disruptions and down time caused by these sorts of alarms. I suspect that sanctions will start to be enforced for fraudulent alarms.  The current rewards for false alarms, such as avoiding exams, getting a few hours off, and feeling the power of making hundreds or thousands of people jump to your command, are seductive. For now, the costs of doing so are non-existent.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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  1. I’m reminded of that “journalist’s guide to firearms” graphic where everything is labeled as “AK-47”.

    • Yes, and labeling every dog bite as a “vicious pit-bull attack” is so much more exciting than simply reporting a dog bite.

    • It is the go to for sensationalists looking for attention. The same as labeling all dog attacks as “pit-bulls” or shark bites as “great whites that were 20 feet long” its the evil black guns that bear the brunt of the gun scares because they elicit the fear that people looking for attention crave so much. No one is going to give it much credence if it turns out to be their daddies wood stock side by side.

  2. I take every opportunity to fight PCness. In person – face to face.

    PCness and being “offended” are just manipulation tactics used to shut down the opposition. It only works if you let it.

    Walk towards the fire. Not away from it.

      • Ha! What manners?

        Usually the people b*tching about PCness are just as obnoxious and insulting as the people being “un-PC.”

        It’s like the Trump protestors with the signs that say “Spread love, not hate” as they berate people, destroy property, and punch horses in the face…

        I mean, if you want to be an agressive prick, by all means. But, don’t be an agressive prick and then wave the banner of passivity.

        It’s amusing, to say the least.

  3. Political correctness in general had run amok on universities. Look at side of the protests against Milo Yiannipoulos’ speaking tour. People literally being told that as tuition paying students they don’t belong there. Or Melissa Click calling for “muscle” to remove a journalist simply documenting the protests in Missouri.

    It’s not just guns, it’s anything besides progressive groupthink.

    People panic over Bundy et. al occupying a building in the middle of nowhere, but students forcibly occupy an administration building on the UC Davis campus, forcing out the employees and preventing the school from functioning and it never makes it past local news.

    • I noticed that your authors, through no fault of their own, often leave out entire words as well as quite frequently use the wrong words. Having another person look over the piece before publishing may help reduce this problem. Other than that, this is indeed the best gun blog.

  4. It sounded just like it does on TV and in movies, so it had to be real……. You know on TV right before the officers enter an apartment they rack the slide on their Glocks to load a round.

    • I love TV shows, the ubiquitous slide racking, the baddie with the 5 shot revolver fires it 9 times without reloading, and every time a bad guy sticks his assault rifle in the hostages face, it makes a perfect mossberg 500 sound effect… It does make shows like the walking dead and White House down just a little bit funnier!

      • On a episode of Grimm, one officer racked the slide of his shotgun 4x without firing at all, you know, just for emphasis during a discussion.

        • I really tried to get into SOA. But couldn’t make it through season two.

          The show did the same thing as Prison Break. It started off with a good story line and then just went off the rails fast with absurd twists, to the point of me losing interest.

      • I like how, even when they don’t do multiple round-chamberings, they wait to do them at the most ridiculous “dramatic” moments. You know, after spending several scenes clearing a dark and spooky building, they’re finally face-to-face with the villain and, to show how serious they are they rack/chamber/cock. Wait, what? You’ve been clearing that building all this time with an empty chamber? Are you some kind of idiot?

        An author I read who does crime novels apparently fell under the sway of some condition 3 afficionado and in her latest, there are numerous, laborious scenes detailing how the protagonist chambers and unchambers rounds in her weapons before and after every action sequence. I keep wanting to tell her “All that unnecessary gun handling increases the chance of a negligent discharge or the risk that you’ll lose track of what condition your weapon is in!”

    • On a related note, on Gotham, young Bruce Wayne had a revolver in his pocket, and before a confrontation, pulls it out to check it. It sounded like someone shaking a bag of nails. No idea why guns (and knives) make so much noise in movies, but there you go.

  5. Ya and please don’t pull the fire alarm for a gun threat. Because my crew and I will show up AGAIN to a box alarm at a collage , thinking drunk kids screwing around or another pizza box in the oven . Just like the past 100 times….

    • Don’t think he thought that one through.

      “Oh look, a gun barrel. I think the proper response is pull a switch that will alert the shooter, get everyone to crowd hallways and gather in a large group in the open, and call MORE potential victims to this area with NO prior warning or the proper equipment to respond to that problem.”

      The derp is strong with this one.

  6. Such a question! Political correctness about everything is running amok at universities. When the administration itself will shut down the whole campus for a “rally against racism” when someone decided that some strings that had been used to hang paper lanterns from a tree a year of so ago were “nooses”–and the rally goes on even tho the , ahhh, mistake was almost immediately discovered–what can you expect?

    • Speaking of nooses …
      I have a casual interest in tying different knots. Every couple years or so I break out a length of rope and try tying different knots for entertainment. A coworker noticed my interest and showed me how to tie an official noose. I was fascinated. The next day, I left it on the desk of another coworker who I knew would find it equally fascinating.

      What I never imagined: a third coworker saw the noose that I left on my colleague’s desk and raised a big stink with management because we were somehow promoting racism or some such nonsense. Mind you that my coworker and I are the same race … and neither of us stated anything remotely related to race, ever.

      Yes. People read into everything. Even worse, they expect you to change your behavior based on how THEY read into your actions, regardless of your explicit or even implicit intentions.

      • I was once practicing some rope work at a tree visible from a heavily trafficked roadway. One passerby called 911 thinking I was getting ready to hang myself.

        Deputy took a look at all my gear and came to the right conclusion, then asked me politely to pick a different spot.

        It opens a thorny question. Do-gooder Progressive Butt-inskies always assume a person is up to no good. Leaving people alone is anathema to them.

        Not saying I should conclude she was a Proggie or a Butt-insky. I don’t think that lady had any ill intent, nor do I think she wanted anything less than to ‘help someone.’ But, I am struck by the realization that she simply JUMPED to the “He’s Hanging Himself” conclusion in an absence of evidence…that seems to be the FIRST place her mind went when she saw “Tree” and “Rope” in close proximity, not a whole lot different than your coworker’s “first place” was it MUST be racism.


        • It used to be considered incontrovertable that “The road to he!! is paved with good intentions.”

          Now it seems to be “Good intentions are all that matters, no matter how horrible, insane, or destructive the results!”

          Consider the responses of TTAG’s own 2ASUX. When confronted with the likelyhood that his intentions will have bad results, he retorts that facts and reason do not matter, because emotion is more important.

  7. Is Political Correctness on Guns At Universities Running Amok?

    Yes. And it is most definitely not just about firearms.

    • Agreed. It’s similar to the late 1960s and early 1970s when I was in college. The only good news about that time period is that we survived it.

  8. I love the lede for the linked article: ” Reporter Finds Bullet.”

    (Looks like an officer ejected a live round on the sidewalk–or dropped it out of his carbine case.)

  9. Does X stifle the free and open exchange of ideas and views on college campuses? If yes, then it’s bad for the learning environment.

    If X = political correctness then the answer is decidedly “yes.”

    By the way X = “there are no bad ideas, all viewpoints are equally valid” is also, IMHO, bad. Of course, I studied physics, and thus know that even if I choose not to believe in, say, gravity, gravity will continue to believe in me. That’s not a viewpoint, that’s physical reality. But that’s another point that seems to be increasingly lost these days.

  10. So this student is knowledgeable enough to identify the barrel as belonging to an AK? Fine, sit him down in a room and show him an AK, an AR, a FAL, maybe throw in an HK91 for good measure, and have him pick what he saw. Choose wisely, son.

  11. This is a very google-able name. Turns out that this dude also has an interest in gasoline.

    “Investigators say David Kalenga-Kasongo was interning with the county when he allegedly stole 117 gallons of fuel during a three to four week span in August.

    He’s charged with miscount in public office, unauthorized use of someones ID, and theft.”

    Why he would want to cause such a panic in a college isn’t clear to me.

  12. I’m thinking pulling a fire alarm when a gun is seen or active shooter is the wrong response. While some shooters seem to like going from room to room, a fire alarm would get more people outside milling around in a larger group where shots don’t have to be as well aimed.

  13. It’s telling that the story doesn’t mention that no weapon was found. That fact is glossed over. It’s like the people who report this can’t bring themselves to write “unfounded.” I think deep down in their hearts they so very badly WANT this to be true to prove some point.

  14. It’s not just related to guns. Political Correctness is a social weapon originally created by the Soviets to stamp out dissent, and has been enthusiastically nurtured in academia for decades. There are no universal social/cultural standards to keep the loonies in check anymore. “If you feel you’ve been offended, slighted, etc, you have” is the motto of the age. Proof and evidence mean nothing when your entire worldview is governed by a severe emotional disorder.

    The key to defeating it is to not even give these whackjobs the satisfaction of knowing you’re on the defensive, Ben Shapiro highlighted this at his recent Mizzou seminar. They launch cheapened buzzwords (racist, sexist, etc) to make you falter, but if you never do in the first place, they’re stuck. Checkmate. You win. As ROHC said above, walk towards the fire, then step through it and refuse to acknowledge its existence.

  15. Every “clicking noise” is a gun arming? I’ve owned a car or two that “armed” a few thousand times a second … just sayin.

    Also, every metal tube-like object could be a gun barrel. First, nope. There are many metal tubes in the world which are not part of guns. Second, maybe. Old-school “zip guns” so popular in the Once-and-DeBlasio’s-Future NYC were casually fabricated from “tubes”, some even car radio antenna.

    Just because it’s a metal pot, doesn’t mean it’s an IED intended for a marathon. That said, unless and until we are willing to regress (?progress?) to Gandhi’s village-based hand-crafted primitivism, there will be Dangerous Things which can be Re-purposed to Do Bad Stuff in the world. The kinetic energy of a swallow at maximum flight speed (laden, or unladen) is enough to ruin your whole day.

  16. Campus carry. Yes or No? Destined to be a right up there with 9mm or .45 as an eternal question. We can depend on people of college age to be on the battle line defending America with their lives and then there are those who reject any responsibility that adulthood thrusts upon them.

    • See if we can find somebody who can convince us he really believes CC or OC are well and good, but is dead set against campus carry. I don’t think so. Those selfsame people who oppose campus carry, also oppose *ALL* carry. And quote the same, unsupported, “gunfight at OK corral” and “rivers of blood in the streets” nonsense that we’ve heard at least since 1987 that I know of, in both arguments, and think they are making sense. Being delusional should carry a penalty.

  17. Q: Why were buildings evacuated instead of locked down?
    A: Because there was no evidence of any threat.

    Q: Why were buildings evacuated if there was no evidence of any threat?
    A: Because our panties were wet.

  18. Isn’t it more plausible that he pulled the fire alarm to get out of a midterm exam he wasn’t prepared for and then retroactively made up the story of the AK-47 in the nearby bathroom to get out of any trouble. As the author says, a “gun!” report cannot be scrutinized, while falsely pulling a fire alarm can.


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