09 January 2007


This morning, someone's bad fashion sense raised a hell of a lot of commotion around here. When a security guard spotted a young man dressed in full camo, and carrying a long, black bag heading into Concordia's Loyola Campus (my campus), he called in the Montreal police. The swat team arrived, and a lockdown was put in place. I had just left work at this time (I thought I had to work this morning, but was mistaken). After Brian's mom called to ask what was going on, I turned on the news and was taken aback by footage of the swat team surrounding the peripheries of the buildings.

After the lockdown, the entire campus was evacuated, and classes cancelled. Soon after, police broke into the locker in which the suspicious bag had been placed. What they found was a poor guy's martial arts equipment. He had just returned from karate lessons, and was attending one of his courses. A false alarm.

This guy's choice of military-esque attire had raised alarm, perhaps bringing back haunting visions of Dawson College shooter Kimveer Gill in his black leather trench. In all the early reports of the Dawson shooting, emphasis was placed on Gill's subversive style of dress. In this case, army fabric seemed to be interpreted as a way of identifying a potential shooter. A sign of the times?

To be fair, I've known many guys who love shooting beer cans with BB guns, who also have had a penchant for camoflauge clothing. I would never assume, however, that pulling on a camo t-shirt or cargo pants means these people would be hell-bent on shooting someone.

Once it was black trenchcoats thought to clothe the disturbed among us. For now, military buffs best leave their favourite clothes at home. What will it be next, Star Wars paraphenalia? Non-conformists (and Star Wars geeks) everywhere, beware. You could be the next potential threats.

Given the nasty bad luck Montreal (and especially Concordia) has had with shootings, I guess concern, and these kinds of responses are warranted.

But still, I feel for the poor guy and his nunchucks.


Erin said...

I feel badly for him as well, but to be honest, Jake Elliot came to school in full fatigues one day and I remember seeing him in the hall and feeling my heart skip a beat...but it was right after the Colombine shootings and caught me off guard. So as much as stereotyping sucks, I'm as guilty as anyone.

Thomas said...

Oh man, the difference between big cities and small towns. Most of my kids dress in camo or hunting gear, and all of have access to a wide array of guns. But I doubt any would ever be violent in school. We don't even have fights

Jennie said...

Hey Dallas! Glad to hear the initial overblown newsreports turned out to be hot air. Left you a message today, give me a call when you can! Miss you!


Mark P said...

So, if Dewar comes to visit, tell him to leave the kendo sticks and trenchcoat at home.