A prank by a sailor at the San Diego Navy Base set off a false alarm among the security forces. He had been playing with an airsoft gun and the onlookers took it for the real thing.
He was just fooling around with a harmless tool. Yet that was not how it appeared to viewers from six stories down. The airsoft gun looked like an assault weapon and it scared the passersby witless.
At San Diego Naval Base, a young sailor was just having some fun with the faux gun when this action of his prompted a swift response from the rapid action squad.
The fool (that is the only word suitable for such a person) was firing plastic pellets at a mirror outside the building. His foolhardy actions led to a full scale red alert that nearly gave everyone present on base a heart attack. And he was inside his room with a friend.
Base Commanding Officer Scott Adams said, "He was actually firing shots of the airsoft pistol out of the window toward a mirror in the parking lot."
Both the culprits in this nonsensical farce have been quarantined. The base commander said that while disciplining the sailors was mandatory sometimes such incidents occurred and that boys will be boys.
While weapons are banned from the naval base, an airsoft gun is not exactly a dangerous weapon. It can be included in the rubric of a harmless diversion at most. The sailors were engaged in some high jinks that cost them and the authorities more than they bargained for.
"We are dealing with young sailors, and we inform them what is and is not appropriate but at some times, these things happen," Adams said.
Such incidents when they do occur often cause an immediate reaction by the concerned administration since there is always the threat of a lunatic or fanatic firing haphazardly into a crowd. And it is very hard to differentiate between the real thing and any stupid prank perpetrated by some clown.
So, care is better than cure here. In this age of terrorism and counter-terrorism the people responsible for governing an institution (or country) have to do all they can in order to ensure the safety and security of the lives of people subject to their leadership.