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So I got arrested by the SWAT team last night…
December 4, 2009 7:15 AM   Subscribe

So I got arrested by the SWAT team last night… Jeremy Bell's office was stormed by Ontario Police looking for some Lego blocks he bought online. An eyewitness account.
posted by boo_radley (140 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ridiculous. And not just because it was Lego. "6 SWAT guys armed with shotguns and assault rifles" for a single handgun in a private office?
posted by DU at 7:18 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Only in Canada. Two things make me say that.

1. Had it been America, he would have been shot.

2. Had it been anywhere else his reaction wouldn't have been quite as understanding of the cops' motivations.

"I didn’t actually do anything with it, but someone thru a window saw me assembling it and they called the police. From afar I can see how it would look legit, although I certainly wasn’t waving it around."

as opposed to:

"My client is suing for $62 Gagillion in damages and the resignation of the entire police force."
posted by Pollomacho at 7:22 AM on December 4, 2009 [9 favorites]


Yeah, even if the gun was real, the police response would have been an insane overreaction. A SWAT team? A helicopter? Seriously?
posted by ixohoxi at 7:25 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


You can have my Legos when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.
posted by smoothvirus at 7:28 AM on December 4, 2009 [27 favorites]


1. Had it been America, he would have been shot.

Billshut. Had it been America, the police would have been demanding to know where he got that cool Lego gun so they could buy them for their kids. Then they would have tasered him senseless.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:29 AM on December 4, 2009 [37 favorites]


Excuse my ignorance as I'm from a state where it's easier to buy a gun than a bottle of wine but are handguns illegal in Ontario?
posted by octothorpe at 7:29 AM on December 4, 2009


Lego: threat or menace?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:33 AM on December 4, 2009


state where it's easier to buy a gun than a bottle of wine

Hel-lo, Georgia!
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:33 AM on December 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Blog server is dead.
posted by hippybear at 7:34 AM on December 4, 2009


1. Had it been America, he would have been shot.

You might not be aware of this, but in most parts of the US, not having a gun is a violation of anti-negro/commie/faggot ordinances. If the incident had happened in the US, the person who called the cops would have instead said "That's some heavy weaponry. Good for him. God bless the Second Amendment but because right there is a well-regulated militia."

Then they would have cried a single, happy tear and went back to watching "Two and a Half Men."
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:36 AM on December 4, 2009 [13 favorites]


Blog server is dead.

coral link
posted by foggy out there now at 7:37 AM on December 4, 2009


Yeah, I'm not a gun advocate, but given U.S. gun rights and 4th Amendment protections, had this been in America there would have been no legal justification for the police to enter his dwelling.

I have a bad feeling this is going to float across the NRA blogs as yet another flag waiving justification for allowing assault rifles in churches and bazookas in bars.
posted by Muddler at 7:37 AM on December 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


I read this in a state of bafflement. See, I assumed it was Ontario, California we were talking about here, mostly because there is no such thing as a "SWAT team" in the Ontario I live in. I am guessing these people are talking about the Emergency Task Force.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:38 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, even if the gun was real, the police response would have been an insane overreaction. A SWAT team? A helicopter? Seriously?

I don't know about firearm laws in Ontario, but the same response could have been expected in London where firearms are illegal. I like the idea of the police taking illegal firearm ownership seriously.
posted by slimepuppy at 7:39 AM on December 4, 2009


1. Had it been America, he would have been shot.

Depends on what part of town he was in and his complexion.
posted by TedW at 7:43 AM on December 4, 2009 [14 favorites]


are handguns illegal in Ontario?

No, but to own one you have to get a special Restricted Firearms Licence and be a member of a certified rifle range... unless the barrel is 105mm or shorter in which case you would need a Prohibited Weapons Permit - now almost impossible to get.

A "Short Term Authorization To Transport" permit is required to take the gun home from the gun shop where you bought it, or to transport it between homes when you move house.

A "Long Term Authorization To Transport" permit is required to move the gun back and forth between your home and the range in question.
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:48 AM on December 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


In the UK...
posted by Infinite Jest at 7:51 AM on December 4, 2009


To be fair, we don't really know how peeping tom/tanya characterized this to the police when he/she called it in. And despite the blog-entry title so-i-got-arrested-by-the-swat-team-last-night, it appears that he did not actually get arrested and that the incident lasted all of 45 seconds before the not-actually-a-SWAT-team determined this was Lego. So it seems the real crime here might be the multilayered histrionics.
posted by troybob at 7:52 AM on December 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wow, that guy just made it super easy for people to buy him gifts for xmas, also I hope that SWAT Team they sent out had the proper LEGO training and certification for that sort of operation.
posted by Skygazer at 7:53 AM on December 4, 2009


toodleydoodley: "state where it's easier to buy a gun than a bottle of wine
Hel-lo, Georgia!
"

No, Pennsylvania where there are 800,000 residents with concealed carry permits.
posted by octothorpe at 7:54 AM on December 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


to own one you have to get a special Restricted Firearms Licence and be a member of a certified rifle range... unless the barrel is 105mm or shorter in which case you would need a Prohibited Weapons Permit - now almost impossible to get.

A "Short Term Authorization To Transport" permit is required to take the gun home from the gun shop where you bought it, or to transport it between homes when you move house.

A "Long Term Authorization To Transport" permit is required to move the gun back and forth between your home and the range in question.


Wowsa.

I like guns, I admit it. This would piss me off.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:55 AM on December 4, 2009


Welcome to Ontario, where we settle our disputes with Lego duels.
posted by Theta States at 8:04 AM on December 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


$26 shipping? WTF.
posted by jdfan at 8:11 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


In other news, police in Yourtown chose not to investigate a 911 account of someone assembling what appeared to be a firearm, assuming that it was Legos. I mean really. Everyone and their brother has a Lego firearm replica set. Totally commonplace. NOT WORTH INVESTIGATING. NOT WORTH TAKING EVERY PRECAUTION AVAILABLE. IN CASE IT ACTUALLY IS A FIREARM. BECAUSE PEOPLE CAN ALWAYS BE TRUSTED NOT TO HARM OTHER PEOPLE WITH FIREARMS. SO WE SHOULDN'T INVESTIGATE. NO. WE SHOULD ONLY SEND 2 COPS. WITH TASERS ONLY. BECAUSE 4 COPS WEREN'T BRUTALLY MURDERED BY ONE MAN THE OTHER DAY. 10-4. WE SHOULD ERR ON THE SIDE OF LEGOS CLEARLY.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:12 AM on December 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the dude means the ETF. We don't have SWAT here in Toronto or Canada. And honestly, i'm impressed he didn't get shot, because the ETF usually doesn't fuck around.

And no one needs a handgun. Well, unless you need to shoot other people. So yeah, I love our gun laws here just fine.
posted by chunking express at 8:14 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ok, I get that handguns are essentially illegal, but this kind of reaction over a Lego/ toy? Doesn't this generate a huge number of false positive hits? I mean, there must be people with airsoft and pellet guns the like, no?

I would think a softer, lower impact investigation up front might lead to a lot less need for shouted orders and assault rifles and shotguns being pointed at people. The confusion and tension inherent to those situations can way too easily lead to an unnecessary tragedy over nothing.
posted by quin at 8:16 AM on December 4, 2009


1. Had it been America, he would have been shot.

In Utah he would have been ignored. Everybody here has at least two guns - one you can see, and one concealed.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:18 AM on December 4, 2009


Whoa. This guy clearly has high regard for Jeremy Bell.
posted by bz at 8:19 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


The website that you attempting to access is being blocked in accordance with Big Company's Acceptable Use of Technology Policy.
The site has been identified as: Weapons


heh.
posted by Big_B at 8:22 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


NOT WORTH TAKING EVERY PRECAUTION AVAILABLE.

So, you are saying that sending in the "Special Weapons And Tactics" (I understand that is not their actual name in this jurisdiction) team is the correct level of response for someone who may or may not be assembling a pistol?

If there was some high-level dignitary in town or something, I might be able to buy that. As presented though? Waste of taxpayer money and waste of time for everyone in the immediate area.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:28 AM on December 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


The website that you attempting to access is being blocked in accordance with Big Company's Acceptable Use of Technology Policy.
The site has been identified as: Weapons


I got that too ... lol.
posted by freecellwizard at 8:28 AM on December 4, 2009


BZ, "This Guy" is MetaFilter's own Joe I hate Thanksgiving Clark.
posted by chunking express at 8:29 AM on December 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


And i'm guessing the ETF thought what's his dude was holding a bunch of people in the office hostage with a gun? I mean, that's the only thing I can think of that would warrant that response. That's usually the sort of situation they deploy them for.
posted by chunking express at 8:30 AM on December 4, 2009



Whoa. This guy clearly has high regard for Jeremy Bell.

MeFi's own?
posted by Shepherd at 8:30 AM on December 4, 2009


CURSE YOU CHUNKING EXPRESS
posted by Shepherd at 8:30 AM on December 4, 2009


I come into the fuckin' office today with my Legos, I get humiliated by some jagoff cop.
posted by porn in the woods at 8:31 AM on December 4, 2009


Anyone else think this would make a greatFlashpoint episode? No? Anyone watch Flashpoint? No eh?
posted by phyrewerx at 8:34 AM on December 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Waste of taxpayer money and waste of time for everyone in the immediate area.

I don't agree. It was a test of readiness of police response to actual dangerous situations. It was a real-life training exercise that wouldn't be as accurately represented in simulation. It calls attention to the need for public common sense in evaluating what they see, and for the exercise of reasonable vigilance. Nobody got killed.

But also, we can be happy that we're not hearing that some dude shot up a building full of people and that it could have been avoided had someone reported that guy in his office fondling and intently starting at his weapon, that guy who's so overly dramatic about every little thing he twitters about.
posted by troybob at 8:38 AM on December 4, 2009


That joeclark really is such a chipper fella.
posted by kmz at 8:39 AM on December 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


So, he wasn't "waving it around". Who waves guns around? Workplace shooters generally just start shooting without a lot of drama up front. I think the cops did their job just fine as did the person who called it in. And why is it a waste of taxpayer money? Do SWAT teams only get paid if they're responding to something? Don't they draw a paycheck no matter what?
posted by notmydesk at 8:49 AM on December 4, 2009


But also, we can be happy that we're not hearing that some dude shot up a building full of people and that it could have been avoided had someone reported that guy in his office fondling and intently starting at his weapon, that guy who's so overly dramatic about every little thing he twitters about.

Oh, right, It's his fault. Well, serves him right blogging about it.
posted by outlier at 8:50 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Gotta love that "Real Men don't play with toys" fallacy. Men's entertainment is nothing but souped up toys from their childhood. Loved trains as a kid? You became a model trains enthusiast. Loved your motorcycle when you were a teenager? I bet you're buying that Harley Davidson for your 50th birthday. The average age of video game players is well into the 20s.
posted by explosion at 8:52 AM on December 4, 2009


Do SWAT teams only get paid if they're responding to something?

I just had an image of dudes sitting in the hall at the SWAT Team Union Local hiring office, waiting around for work and bitching about how robots are taking away good union jobs.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:53 AM on December 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Stop reading my mind, phyrewerx!!!!!!!!ELEVEN!!!!!

Also, yeah, Flashpoint is awesome. Imagine--a cop show that portrays the criminals as real people with actual plausible motives beyond "he's just evil".
posted by suetanvil at 8:55 AM on December 4, 2009


1. Had it been America, he would have been shot.

Shot for what? Hand guns aren't illegal, most likely, no one would have called the police.
posted by delmoi at 8:55 AM on December 4, 2009


"So, a non-American man was hassled by a non-American SWAT team because someone thought his toy gun was real, in an incident that had nothing to do with America."

"Really? AMERIKKKA SUX!"
posted by Snyder at 8:56 AM on December 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh, right, It's his fault. Well, serves him right blogging about it.

Was referring more to the fact that the guy, apparently handcuffed for a duration of time shorter than the typical Pixies song, characterizes his experience as being 'arrested.' And that were this an actual tragic situation, with real shooting, we wouldn't be hesitating to find fault with the police for not responding to this kind of warning sign.

Nothing against the guy; he seems to have the right attitude about the situation and a reasonable degree of appreciation for the thorough response.
posted by troybob at 9:05 AM on December 4, 2009


I think it is appropriate to respond to this as if it was a real threat. If you look at a picture of the gun, it's realistic enough that it might look real from a distance, like outside a window, which is what happened here. If you see someone assembling a gun, what are the possible reasons they might be doing so? It's either something harmless, or they are about to hurt someone. It's a very unusual thing to do, assembling a gun (which you think is real) inside an office building, so it's not like you see it and go, "meh, a handgun, those are legal, so OK!". There is a small possibility that this person is going to use the gun to hurt people, but you have to give a bit of respect to this possibility because really you don't know what's going on. So just to be safe you call it in. Maybe not all of you would do this, but I think I probably would if I thought the gun was real, and I think either reaction is reasonable.

Once the police get the call, and once acknowledge that the situation *might* be someone about to kill all their co-workers, they basically have to act as if it *is*, because lives might be at stake and they can't afford to make the wrong assumption. This means they send the SWAT, because they don't know what kind of weaponry this guy might have, and they don't know how much time they have. Calling it an overreaction to a toy gun misses the point. They weren't reacting to a toy gun, they were reacting to a possible real gun, which is the same as reacting to a 'real' real gun.
posted by PercussivePaul at 9:05 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Look, this guy did nothing wrong. He was playing with a toy, and for that he got real guns pointed at him and got cuffed and shoved against a wall. That sucks and it must have been scary as hell.

But the number one cause of death for women in the workplace is murder. It's not getting crushed by a forklift or falling down stairs or slipping in spilled coffee. It's MURDER. If you see someone with a gun in the workplace, you should call the cops, and the cops should send a fucking SWAT team, and they should point their guns at people and cuff them and shove them against walls.
posted by notmydesk at 9:09 AM on December 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


Here's a news article with a photo from the guy who called it in (Michael Dent): CTV News, "Lego gun sighting leads to police takedown". From the article: "Dent said the door of the office was shut, and it never is, so for all he knew, someone might have been laid off 'and about to go postal, so that's why I called.'" Dent also has a new Twitter account, where he said to Jeremy, "sorry for calling homes-it sure looked real" and "id hope you would have done the same thing".
posted by dreamyshade at 9:15 AM on December 4, 2009


Holy shit. This guy works at Teehan+Lax. Teehan is my last name. This is totally my cousin's company.
posted by PercussivePaul at 9:18 AM on December 4, 2009


I work in this office building and was briefly detained by police just after leaving -- at first they said they might need me for my knowledge of the building layout, but later they told me that I vaguely matched the description of the guy in the window. I heard that another hapless guy from the building actually got handcuffed briefly. All the time I was standing around I was wondering "is it more suspicious if I ask what's happening, or if I don't?"
posted by sevenyearlurk at 9:19 AM on December 4, 2009


whoops sorry 4 callin swat on u, lol
posted by boo_radley at 9:20 AM on December 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


basically twitter is the worst way to communicate that kind of thing, is what I'm saying.
posted by boo_radley at 9:26 AM on December 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


Wow, since everyone involved seems to be on either MetaFilter or Twitter or both, if I ever see something like this happening, I'll skip the police and just post a tweet about it. Surely we'll be able to sort things out rationally.
posted by rikschell at 9:28 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


off-topic but interesting:

The average age of video game players is well into the 20s.

The average game player is 35 years old and has been playing games for 12 years.

posted by slimepuppy at 9:30 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


It seems proper to have called in SWAT. What more special weapon than a Lego sidearm?
posted by chavenet at 9:31 AM on December 4, 2009


The proper response would have been to send in the Mindstorms™ SWAT tactical rover.
posted by steef at 9:32 AM on December 4, 2009 [14 favorites]


On rereading the blog, it occurs to me that even scarier would be the SWAT team busting in on a session of Modern Warfare 2. To the gameplayer, I mean.
posted by chavenet at 9:34 AM on December 4, 2009


All of this drama could have been prevented if he had only stuck a orange LEGO to the end of the muzzle.
posted by jamaro at 9:36 AM on December 4, 2009 [9 favorites]


This is exactly the kind of police reaction I want. As far as I can tell: I call that a win on all counts. This is what the police are for.
posted by generichuman at 9:37 AM on December 4, 2009 [20 favorites]


Police respond to gun threat in office using standard procedure of bigger guns

"Alright, Jiminez, you take the Mossburg, Waller's got the H&K, Dutch is going to be on the roof accross the street with the M39... Fink, you've got the Duplo."
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:49 AM on December 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


Yeah, think about a society where a gun is that unusual to see. That's gotta be worth something.
posted by rokusan at 9:49 AM on December 4, 2009


Damn. By "lease the guy," I mean "release the guy." Although, I'm sure they could charge market rate.
posted by generichuman at 9:52 AM on December 4, 2009


...even scarier would be the SWAT team busting in on a session of Modern Warfare 2.

Or bear porn.
posted by troybob at 9:52 AM on December 4, 2009


Thank God he didn't buy the lego death star... Things could have been a lot worse.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 9:52 AM on December 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


Someone saw what looked to them like an impending tragedy and called police to try to avert it.

Police responded.

Jeremy realizes that police were just doing their job and has said so.

The guy who called this in did the right thing.

The police did the right thing.

Jeremy didn't do anything wrong either.

If we have to blame someone, blame all the people who have elsewhere actually committed the crime that police were trying to prevent here.

And thank your favorite deity that no one was accidentally hurt or killed in what was surely a tense situation for all involved.
posted by marsha56 at 9:53 AM on December 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


By "lease the guy," I mean "release the guy." Although, I'm sure they could charge market rate.

$300 for partners. $150 for associates. Nice and simple.
posted by rokusan at 9:55 AM on December 4, 2009


In other news, police in Yourtown chose not to investigate a 911 account of someone assembling what appeared to be a firearm, assuming that it was Legos. I mean really. Everyone and their brother has a Lego firearm replica set. Totally commonplace. NOT WORTH INVESTIGATING. NOT WORTH TAKING EVERY PRECAUTION AVAILABLE. IN CASE IT ACTUALLY IS A FIREARM. BECAUSE PEOPLE CAN ALWAYS BE TRUSTED NOT TO HARM OTHER PEOPLE WITH FIREARMS. SO WE SHOULDN'T INVESTIGATE. NO. WE SHOULD ONLY SEND 2 COPS. WITH TASERS ONLY. BECAUSE 4 COPS WEREN'T BRUTALLY MURDERED BY ONE MAN THE OTHER DAY. 10-4. WE SHOULD ERR ON THE SIDE OF LEGOS CLEARLY.

I'm not sure what you're saying here. Please state your point with less subtlety.
posted by cmoj at 10:06 AM on December 4, 2009


I think it is appropriate to respond to this as if it was a real threat. If you look at a picture of the gun, it's realistic enough that it might look real from a distance, like outside a window, which is what happened here.

I can't really agree. The toy doesn't look much like a real gun except that it's gun-shaped.

If you can see it clearly, it's obviously not a real gun, and you're a bit of a silly for calling it in.

If you can't see it clearly, you don't have any real reason to think it's a pistol and not a remote control or screwgun or pointed finger or any other l-shaped or dark-and-protruding object, and you're a bit of a silly for calling it in.

The space where you could see it sort-of-clearly seems really narrow to me.

If you see someone assembling a gun, what are the possible reasons they might be doing so?

Depends on what they're putting it together out of. If someone had thought to ask "What do you mean, putting the gun together" and gotten a reply of "He's putting all the little flat things together and it's making a gun" instead of "He's putting that thing you pull back on the rest of the gun," that might make it pretty clear that it's not an actual pistol since actual pistols aren't assembled by the end-user out of lots of little flat bits.*

*Having said that, I'm sure some wag has somehow made a functioning gun out of legos.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:08 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I do not “hate Thanksgiving.”
posted by joeclark at 10:11 AM on December 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


When I was young, the police came to our door to tell us that there had been a man with a gun spotted in the woods behind our house. This scared my parents quite a bit. You see, my older brother, who was about 11 at the time, was playing back there. Luckily, while the cop was still there, my brother emerged from the trees. He was carrying ... a toy gun. He was a tall kid. I'm certainly glad they didn't send in a troupe of armoured snipers into the woods, at a best, my brother could have had a heart attack.
posted by Gor-ella at 10:12 AM on December 4, 2009


I do not “hate Thanksgiving.”

I'm sure you love lots of things.
posted by chunking express at 10:20 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Getting nagged like this isn’t one of them, Chunking.
posted by joeclark at 10:23 AM on December 4, 2009


Yes, sorry for giving you a hard time.
posted by chunking express at 10:28 AM on December 4, 2009


Who's running the police force up there, Barney Fife?
posted by caddis at 10:29 AM on December 4, 2009


I think the difference is that in the US of A, the cops would have taken him into custody anyway and then tried to figure out what the hell they could charge him with in order to cover the fuck-up.
posted by dhartung at 10:31 AM on December 4, 2009 [9 favorites]


The thing is, this isn't a fuck up. The ETF thought there was some sort of hostage situation, and it turns out there wasn't. And no one died. Bonus.
posted by chunking express at 10:32 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Being busted by the ETF for building a Lego gun is kind of stupid, but it's not like shit like this happens every day here in Toronto.
posted by chunking express at 10:33 AM on December 4, 2009


I can't believe no one's posted this yet.
posted by SixteenTons at 10:38 AM on December 4, 2009


The toy doesn't look much like a real gun except that it's gun-shaped.

Things that are gun-shaped:

-Toy guns
-Real guns
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:40 AM on December 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


caddis: In the US, the authorities overreact to drugs. In Canada, they overreact to guns. I prefer Canada.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 10:41 AM on December 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


troybob: And despite the blog-entry title so-i-got-arrested-by-the-swat-team-last-night, it appears that he did not actually get arrested and that the incident lasted all of 45 seconds before the not-actually-a-SWAT-team determined this was Lego.

I don't mean to pick nits, but he WAS arrested. He was detained by police and not allowed to leave. Had he struggled, he would have been "resisting arrest" and likely tased, beaten, or (in America) shot. When you're "under arrest", the rules are different. I'd even say he was "under arrest" the moment the SWAT guy yelled "Put your hands on your head and walk out slowly!"

Not that I have a problem with this scenario, but I don't understand why there's no legal requirement for police to inform a detainee that they are, in fact, "under arrest" -- as in "Sir, I'm placing you under arrest" at which point you had better damn well comply and STFU. In this case he was handcuffed and pressed against the wall, so it was pretty obvious, but in most cases the "arrest" condition exists only in the mind of the police officer. Literally, a cop could just be talking with you and he might consider you to be under arrest.

It's a big fuzzy gray area and it gives police so much wiggle room for justifying inappropriate actions after the fact. This seems more fundamental to me than Miranda Rights.


So it seems the real crime here might be the multilayered histrionics.

If you mean lego-gun guy, he seems to be taking the whole thing incredibly well. And the press presented the story as a big, silly misunderstanding.
posted by LordSludge at 10:44 AM on December 4, 2009


I mean, there must be people with airsoft and pellet guns the like, no?

I live in Vancouver, and I was hanging out with some friends at the big cliff in Lighthouse Park, which is maybe a ten-minute walk through the woods from a suburban area. One of us had a pellet gun and was shooting it at trees or whatever. About half an hour later, a couple of cops saunter out of the woods and say that someone reported a person with a gun in Lighthouse Park. After they found out it was a pellet gun, they didn't seem too concerned and asked us to keep it on the down-low, so as to not freak people out. I guess it was less of a big deal because we weren't in an urban area?
posted by Dr. Send at 10:44 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Things that are gun-shaped:

-Toy guns
-Real guns


-Heavy duty soldering irons
-Hot glue guns
-Etc
posted by Thalience at 10:48 AM on December 4, 2009


If you see someone assembling a gun, what are the possible reasons they might be doing so?

Depends on what they're putting it together out of.


Well, also, you know this guy was all excited about his Lego gun, looking at it lovingly, intermittently making real-gun gestures with it like on TV, and (from the distant viewer's perspective) paying really close to every inch of it and maybe loading it (as Lego construction methods might appear). When you see somebody do this with a real gun, you pretty much know that something not good is about to happen.
posted by troybob at 10:51 AM on December 4, 2009


Yeah, think about a society where a gun is that unusual to see. That's gotta be worth something.

But we're talking about Toronto.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 10:51 AM on December 4, 2009


Do SWAT teams only get paid if they're responding to something?

Ah, the counter-intuitive logic of the bureaucratic mindset is what you're missing. In effect, yes.

See, at year-end, someone with a sharp pencil is going to sit down and see how much of their budget the ETF used this year. If they're under, the obvious response is that they have too much money and so their budget gets cut. Now this is a problem, because next year, when the G20 comes to town, you can bet that the ETF will be on alert the whole time and will be spending overtime dollars like crazy, not to mention buying spiffy new vests for everyone. So, if they don't spend their budget this year, next year, because of the inevitable budget cuts, the unit commander won't be able to afford a shiny new vest for officer Plunkett. The media will logically report that the ETF looks awfully shabby in front of the world. Prime Minister Harper will cry a single tear, then visit horrible wrath (in the form of more budget cuts) on the province. The province will cut the police budget and the unit commander will be forced to make staff cuts. Thus did a Lego(tm) gun save the job of officer Plunkett allow his darling daughter to go to riding camp next summer. The Edn!

Also, the "omg, gotta spend the budget before year-end!" approach to government cost management explains $75,000 hammers quite well. Bureaucracies are like hot gasses, they expand to fill available budgets.
posted by bonehead at 10:53 AM on December 4, 2009


Holy fuck, guys, I don't want to get all joeclark about this, but it's Lego. Just Lego. Not 'legos'.
Like an earthworm, it's one of those things that pluralizes itself.
posted by Flashman at 10:56 AM on December 4, 2009


Bureaucracies are like hot gasses, they expand to fill available budgets.

I thought that only applied to hard drives and porn.
posted by rokusan at 10:57 AM on December 4, 2009


Yeah, the dude means the ETF. We don't have SWAT here in Toronto or Canada

About a month after I moved to Vancouver, I was walking to work one morning just about to get a coffee in the Vancouver Public Library building downtown. As I got closer, I noticed several large trucks around the back of the building and dozens of heavily armed/armoured cops with SWAT written on their backs.

My first thought was that I had just picked a crap neighborhood to move to. Then I noticed they were just milling about, drinking coffee and having a laugh. No one looked particularly concerned. That’s when it occurred to me we don’t call these guys SWAT in Canada, and today we were probably just a pretend USA or Caprica or something for the movie cameras.

Speaking of Caprica, BSG was almost ruined for me by that location. It’s hard to suspend your disbelief when you can see your apartment building and they’re telling you it’s on another planet.
posted by Hoopo at 10:58 AM on December 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


Holy fuck, guys, I don't want to get all joeclark about this, but it's Lego. Just Lego. Not 'legos'.

I know! And they totally leave the U out of colour! And they say prah-sess instead of proe-sess! What fucking morons they must be to use a different variant of English than you do!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:01 AM on December 4, 2009


Hoopo is a cylon?
posted by chunking express at 11:01 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Toronto’s Emergency Task Force has a generally intact reputation for training constantly, de-escalating conflicts, using absolutely minimal force, and discharging a firearm only as an indisputably last resort. The American-style worst-case scenarios hypothesized in this thread would be quite unlikely, though of course not impossible.
posted by joeclark at 11:10 AM on December 4, 2009


Holy fuck. I just got cuffed by the SWAT
team cause someone called the cops over a lego gun.
True story.


Amazingly he was able to Twitter this while cuffed.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:15 AM on December 4, 2009


In Canada, they overreact to guns. I prefer Canada.

I would generally agree. Thing is, I don't see this as any kind of overreaction. Guns are sufficiently rare here to be, well, attention grabbing when you see one out of an expected context.

The guy who called it in did his job; the police did theirs and as Chunking Express eloquently put it, nobody died.
posted by generichuman at 11:36 AM on December 4, 2009


So, what other cool Lego kits, besides guns and official Lego models, can I buy online?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:41 AM on December 4, 2009


I was put up against a wall and frisked by about 8 police officers near the beaches in Toronto when an individual with a gun was seen near where I was. They let me go, no hassles, afterward.

What's the big deal? The actions taken by the police seem to be appropriate.
posted by dazed_one at 11:58 AM on December 4, 2009


No, Pennsylvania where there are 800,000 residents with concealed carry permits.

Yes, but it's still not actually easier to get a gun than a bottle of wine in Pennsylvania.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:04 PM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]



In Utah he would have been ignored. Everybody here has at least two guns - one you can see, and one concealed.


Does Wikipedia have a "List of reasons to avoid Utah"?
posted by IvoShandor at 12:13 PM on December 4, 2009


Holy fuck, guys, I don't want to get all joeclark about this, but it's Lego. Just Lego. Not 'legos'.

You know, I actually tend to lean towards the prescriptivist side in terms of language, but on this front, I just don't fucking care. It's purely a corporate branding thing. Kimberly Clark probably doesn't want you to say Kleenex when you're talking about generic tissues either, but that's not going to stop anybody.

In summary:

Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos

LEGOS
posted by kmz at 12:20 PM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


dhartung has it. Mistakes are made sometimes, and no one was killed. harmed or tased here, the situation was resolved peacefully. The police even apologized. I think the thousands of dollars probably spent on the raid are punishment enough. It is their job to respond to reports, even when they are of a boy crying, with a very loud voice, "wolf!"

The question to ask ourselves is, if this had been in the U.S., can we be sure it would have been resolved so peacefully?
posted by JHarris at 12:41 PM on December 4, 2009


I never heard them called Lego until the past few years, and it was my understanding that Lego (as opposed to Legos) was a branding thing that I wasn't interested in helping out with. But maybe there's also a regional variation b/c most people here seem to be using Lego and probably aren't corporate stooges.
posted by Mavri at 12:48 PM on December 4, 2009


Yes, but it's still not actually easier to get a gun than a bottle of wine in Pennsylvania.

Which actually makes the numbers even more scary!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:49 PM on December 4, 2009


"Excuse my ignorance as I'm from a state where it's easier to buy a gun than a bottle of wine but are handguns illegal in Ontario?"

"No, but to own one you have to get a special Restricted Firearms Licence and be a member of a certified rifle range... unless the barrel is 105mm or shorter in which case you would need a Prohibited Weapons Permit - now almost impossible to get."

Or if the pistol is 32 cailber or less. No Walther PPKs for Canadians. *sob*

"But the number one cause of death for women in the workplace is murder. "

It's not in the USA, at least for years I can find causes broken down by sex, and I really doubt it is in Canada where murder rates are much lower. The numbers for both automobile accident and homicide are however so low and close that I wouldn't be surprised if occasionally a high murder rate inverted the placing. Anyone got a cite for murder #1? Anyone got any links to 5 or 10 year averages with murder in first place?
posted by Mitheral at 12:53 PM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was recently at a protest at which the chief of police turned up to help with the negotiations to de-occupy the building we were occupying. Best line of the night:
"Those aren't riot cops! They're peace officers with tactical equipment!"
posted by kaibutsu at 12:54 PM on December 4, 2009


Who the fuck calls tissues "Kleenex"? Jeez.
posted by Lleyam at 12:58 PM on December 4, 2009


Mitheral: this is one of a few pages I've seen that statistic on, looks like the data was from 1980-1992.
posted by notmydesk at 1:15 PM on December 4, 2009


I read this in a state of bafflement. See, I assumed it was Ontario, California we were talking about here, mostly because there is no such thing as a "SWAT team" in the Ontario I live in.

It's also the Ontario PROVINCIAL Police, or OPP, not "Ontario Police."

But we're talking about Toronto
.

Exactly, the (major) North American city with, by far, the lowest murder rate. Toronto is safe even by Canadian standards.

If this had been Winnipeg or Surrey then your snark would have made sense. At least, for Canada.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 1:32 PM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, think about a society where a gun is that unusual to see. That's gotta be worth something.

I've been watching Spooks (AKA MI-5), and from an American perspctive that's one of the interesting aspects of the show. A bad buy with one handgun is a big deal, as opposed to American cop shows like, say, that episode of CSI: Miami with the giant vaporizing weapon that fires 100,000 rounds per minute.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:44 PM on December 4, 2009


Toronto is gaining ground for the perception of gun violence. There have been two cases of stray bullets hitting TTC buses just last week
posted by Gor-ella at 1:45 PM on December 4, 2009


I am in most respects a pinko liberal, but it strikes me as deeply strange that someone would call the police because they saw someone without any obvious malicious intent holding a gun inside a private building, and that commenters here would hell-yeah that reaction. I know intellectually that U.S. gun laws are far more relaxed than the rest of the work, but guess I never thought how that legal difference could create such dramatically different perceptions.
posted by paulg at 1:47 PM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Which actually makes the numbers even more scary!

Does it? The murder rate for PA is only slightly above the national average, as opposed to your own DC, which has the highest by far, much more than twice the next highest. (numbers from here. I think I know where I'd feel safer.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:52 PM on December 4, 2009


Given the comparative rarity of gun violence to things that look, from a distance, like real guns, the police were stupid to over-react. Before action was taken, someone should have said, "It probably isn't a gun. And even if it is a gun, the person is probably not going to use it to kill someone." Why do people always bring up the possible cost of under-reacting, but the same people never bring up the possible cost of over-reacting? Like innocent people getting hurt or killed? Yes, that happens too. You put police in situations too often and unnecessarily where they believe they might be shot, and you see innocent people killed.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 2:07 PM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Does it? The murder rate for PA is only slightly above the national average, as opposed to your own DC, which has the highest by far, much more than twice the next highest.

Why would you compare all of PA, much of which is rural (and some Amish, at that!), to DC, which is urban? If you look at violent crime rates in Philly, they aren't much less than DC. If you are going to compare DC and something in PA, at least do an apples-to-apples comparison.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 2:23 PM on December 4, 2009


Cool Papa, this guy is pretty cool, especially if you're into history.
posted by rokusan at 2:32 PM on December 4, 2009


I was comparing PA to DC because we are talking about PA and Pollomacho is in DC. I was merely trying to illustrate that it doesn't seem all that inherently "scary" to me that there are 800k residents with concealed carry permits.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:54 PM on December 4, 2009


Why’s he need a lego gun? (other than to shoot lego people).

I do find the fact he was playing COD somewhat ironic. There seems to have been some moral panic over that game (Australia, the U.K.).

And there’s a lot to be said about video games and violence. Personally I think encroaching on free speech isn’t worth the trade off, so it’s a moot argument for me, but I don’t disbelieve the data.

(I’ve had an encounter with the OPP. Didn’t go… uh … well. Accidentally went across the border looking for a certain theme park (at 2 a.m – don’t ask) and got pulled over. Thought they were security guards so kept blowing them off. Ridiculed them for a bit (OPP the tune). Actually, I should say their encounter with us didn’t go well. They were actually professional and polite, we were being total dicks.)
posted by Smedleyman at 2:55 PM on December 4, 2009



Toronto’s Emergency Task Force has a generally intact reputation for training constantly, de-escalating conflicts, using absolutely minimal force, and discharging a firearm only as an indisputably last resort. The American-style worst-case scenarios hypothesized in this thread would be quite unlikely, though of course not impossible.


And yet you seem so disappointed that something more did not occur.

I’ll point to a legislative loophole that prevented this case from achieving a happy ending. Replica handguns aren’t actually illegal at the federal level. If only they were, Jeremy Bell would be learning a hard-knock lesson he and other members of the decadent online elite desperately need to learn.
posted by Revvy at 3:10 PM on December 4, 2009


If you see someone assembling a gun, what are the possible reasons they might be doing so?

Irrelevant - no one was assembling a gun in this situation.

they basically have to act as if it *is* [real], because lives might be at stake and they can't afford to make the wrong assumption. This means they send the SWAT, because they don't know what kind of weaponry this guy might have, and they don't know how much time they have.

Yes, because the only way to discover if it IS a real gun is to surround the "perp" with shotgun-weilding, heavily armored cops; handcuff him; and search the premises.

Just like when someone reports seeing a black person entering a home in a rich neighborhood, the cops should assume he's a burglar and cuff him until he proves that he actually lives there. Ridiculous.

This is why we have a yearly story about 1st-graders being arrested and/or tased for playing cowboys & Indians.
posted by coolguymichael at 3:10 PM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Replica handguns aren’t actually illegal at the federal level. If only they were, Jeremy Bell would be learning a hard-knock lesson he and other members of the decadent online elite desperately need to learn.

I don't know Canadian Federal firearms statutes from my Glock 30, but wouldn't the criteria for a "replica" be something that isn't readily recognizable as a bunch of Legos from across the room? These are replicas. Legos are Legos.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:13 PM on December 4, 2009


There have been two cases of stray bullets hitting TTC buses just last week

From the first link in Gor-ella's comment:

A woman who lives across the street from where the cars were shot returned to her apartment after the shooting to find a bullet hole in her bathroom window. The bullet remains lodged in her wall.

So tell me: who put that bullet hole in Peggy's kitchen wall?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:30 PM on December 4, 2009


Irrelevant - no one was assembling a gun in this situation.

Oh, fer fuck's sake. From the first link:

It arrived yesterday and at the end of the day, I decided to put it together. I literally assembled it, handed it to a co-worker (who promptly broke it) and then put it back in the box.

The SWAT arrived shortly thereafter.


Yeah, that is pretty vague, all right.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:33 PM on December 4, 2009


Exactly, the (major) North American city with, by far, the lowest murder rate. Toronto is safe even by Canadian standards.

I think you've probably forgotten about Ottawa and Montreal.
posted by sunshinesky at 3:58 PM on December 4, 2009


Cool Papa, this guy is pretty cool, especially if you're into history.

Awesome, thanks!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:07 PM on December 4, 2009


It's a very unusual thing to do, assembling a gun (which you think is real) inside an office building

Well, inside a generic office, yes (there are probably offices where this is more likely, like Winchester headquarters or something).

But "assembling" a gun isn't unusual by itself, it's a standard part of cleaning. You disassemble, clean, and re-assemble. I do that in my home at least every other range visit.

My employer, however, would not be happy if I decided to do that at my desk (no matter HOW long my code takes to compile).
posted by wildcrdj at 4:17 PM on December 4, 2009


coolguymichael: Irrelevant - no one was assembling a gun in this situation

Irrelevant, you assume the witness knows thing which looks like a gun is not a gun. From the (brighter) outside, through one or two panes of glass, the caller looks through and sees a guy holding this.

He can't see the bricks or bricklines at that distance. He basically sees the silhouette of a gun.

All the police have to go on is whatever the witness told them and the incident is taking place a block away from a major street.
posted by Decimask at 4:19 PM on December 4, 2009


Oh, fer fuck's sake. From the first link:
It arrived yesterday and at the end of the day, I decided to put it together. I literally assembled it, handed it to a co-worker (who promptly broke it) and then put it back in the box.


Many things look like guns, including toy guns. But since they cannot fire projectiles at deadly velocity, they are not guns. As I said, "no one was assembling a gun in this situation" just as little kids playing cowboys on the playground are not actually shooting anyone.
posted by coolguymichael at 4:27 PM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


coolguymichael: Many things look like guns, including toy guns. But since they cannot fire projectiles at deadly velocity, they are not guns.

Reality is irrelevant, because it isn't established until AFTER the police actually see the thing. You could test this, if you like, by pulling a toy gun on a police officer in the street.

I suggest you finalize your will first.
posted by Decimask at 4:35 PM on December 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


this

I have never heard of a story in a similar vein which took place in the US where the innocent party involved wasn't actually arrested and forced to deal with a bunch of bullshit charges.
posted by tehloki at 5:27 PM on December 4, 2009


(or tazed, or beaten, or shot and killed)
posted by tehloki at 5:28 PM on December 4, 2009


I have never heard of a story in a similar vein which took place in the US where the innocent party involved wasn't actually arrested and forced to deal with a bunch of bullshit charges.

That's because they didn't make the news.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:42 PM on December 4, 2009


I'm siding with the folks on here who think that this was handled well from start to finish, except by the original offending dumb bunny. I can well imagine what went through the caller's head - that quiet guy on the 3rd floor who plays that war game all the time appears to have brought a gun to work. Heck, I'd have called it in, and I say that as a person who regularly plays FPSs and owns a rifle. As Canadians do not carry firearms as a matter of course, the automatic assumption here would be that the person does not have good intentions. Good on the police for assuming that it could be a situation, and for handling it in an orderly, professional fashion, with no apparent harm to people or property.
posted by Zinger at 5:43 PM on December 4, 2009


So, you are saying that sending in the "Special Weapons And Tactics" (I understand that is not their actual name in this jurisdiction) team is the correct level of response for someone who may or may not be assembling a pistol?

If there was some high-level dignitary in town or something, I might be able to buy that. As presented though? Waste of taxpayer money and waste of time for everyone in the immediate area.


It sounds like you don't really see how and why gun control tends to work when it's implemented nicely. Here's a breakdown:

1. If someone, anyone, notices a suspicious weapon, they phone the police.
2. Police come down like a ton of bricks on the area and inescapably get to the bottom of it. Most of the time it's just a car that backfired, something like that. Bit of excitement for the locals.
3. Because of this guaranteed massive police response, criminals avoid guns like the plague, because possessing or even being near one for an extended period carries extreme risk of drawing attention that guarantees the failure of whatever criminal enterprise they're trying to pull off.
4. Gun crime plummets because it's no-longer low-hanging fruit for criminals - the risk grossly outweighs the reward.
5. Criminals turn to other forms of crime. (Often property crimes, since they are safer crimes to commit because the property owners aren't packing heat)
6. Property crimes do not endanger people. So when one happens, the police merely have to check it out and see if there is anything they can do, rather than rush into a dangerous situation under emergency conditions, putting lives on the line to try to save lives.
7. Because police forces are mainly dealing with low risk crimes that can be handled leisurely, and gun events are so rare, it puts very little strain on the force to mount a massive response to each and every gun event.

Then we've come full circle.

Basically, the massive response pays for itself in the long term. It's part of a shift in the culture of the society, and the cultural shift is a huge chunk of what gets the results attributed to gun control.

Incidentally, I think that's also why it's so hard to get good results from gun control in the USA - local state or city-level ordinance just doesn't have what it takes to tweak the culture of the society. Without that shift in gun culture, a society won't get the biggest rewards of working gun control. Without the police resources to make criminals want to avoid guns at all costs, it can help but it's still essentially cat and mouse, instead of a fundamental movement away from illegal usage of guns.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:58 PM on December 4, 2009 [8 favorites]


I should add that (partly) because most of these massive responses are false-positives, the officers seem to have a much MUCH higher threshold for when to start shooting than similar sized police responses in the USA. I guess like they're expecting it to be nothing, and haven't started playing For Reals yet, but are fully prepared just in case it does turn out to be real. Whereas in the USA, everyone's got a gun, so the police assume it's real until absolutely proven otherwise.

Basically, this kind of massive response doesn't carry the kind of danger to bystanders that similar sized para-military raids seem to the in USA.
posted by -harlequin- at 6:12 PM on December 4, 2009


Metafilter: Reality is irrelevant

I still don't get why he'd brandish (if brandish it can be called) at work. Put it together at home. I live in the U.S. I think it'd be crazy to openly display and point around anything remotely resembling a firearm somewhere where firearms would make someone uncomfortable.
If that's the culture in Canada, obviously this guy's not plugged into it.
Likely he thought

"Basically, this kind of massive response doesn't carry the kind of danger to bystanders that similar sized para-military raids seem to the in USA."
It's more than 'gun culture'. Those are incentivized in terms of response - equipment usage, seizure (and resale of property), legal protection against lawsuits, etc., not in terms of outcome. So bringing forth a charge is in the better interest of most departments. Not saying it's right. Just given the legal structure, it's a better move. Indeed, it's better (legally speaking) to kill someone by accident than to wound them by accident.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:31 PM on December 4, 2009


Sorry - likely he thought no one would see him or would realize it's a lego thing.And there's some merit to that, given he put it together small lego piece by piece in a manner entirely different from assembling a weapon. Apparently whoever observed him didn't catch that part of the operation.
But again - in a culture that is - non-gun? Why have a fake gun? Why wouldn't a criminal not have a knife and there be a resulting 'knife culture'?
I'm not arguing your thesis, as a matter of fact I agree that cultural shifts are far more important in addressing issues than attempting to manage inanimate objects.
And indeed, the massive response makes sense to me. Typically the more people you have on the scene the safer it's going to be and the less likely someone is going to get shot. Just basic overwatch bends those odds.
I would argue that Canada's culture of wealth - in that there aren't folks in houses with a great deal of portable things thieves can sell, and the more community oriented culture - does more to address both gun crime and reinforce prompt and assertive (perhaps overwhelming, but I'm not arguing that point so much) police response.
There are different sets of expectations there.

And yeah, if someone has a gun out in their own home in the U.S. - hey, guys just exercising his 2nd amendment rights. People don't flip out as much.
And the idiots bringing firearms to the town meetings - they weren't pelted with dead cats and lettuce heads the way I might have liked to see, but the reaction to the firearms was different than it would have been in Canada. As was the implication. Here it means something other than intent to commit a crime. So it's harder to discern whether it is going to be used in a crime or not.
But to me that makes it all the more important that attention is drawn to it.
For all the slights about 'gun-nuts' and allusions to penis substitutes, I so think people should treat firearms like hard-ons. If it's out, it better be out in an appropriate setting and you better intend to use it because otherwise people are going to be upset. (And they will stick you in the dock. And you won't. A come. Back. Aauuhhh thenkewverymuch)

But even if it's fake this guy does have an object fetish going.

Don't know if I buy the idea that the police in Canada are less likely to fire because they think the gun is fake. Unless their police training is radically different. Pretty good way to get yourself shot in any case.
No, I think it has to do more with accountability (which by no means diminishes that as a difference) and focus. Again - a lot of departments are equipment oriented and so firearm and taser, etc. oriented.
The big thing, really, is how we deal with taxes respectively. Many departments are tight on personnel so they get heavier on equipment which costs less than training. And even cameras are used to cut personnel more than used to really fight crime.
So Canadians tend to have more of this "we're all here together" sort of thing so when someone's got a gun more people tend to take responsibility for it (rightly) and call the police.
In the U.S., we tend to have a more individualistic self-concept so we tend to want to leave the guy alone if he's not overtly hurting anyone and hey, who wants the government biting more out of your paycheck, so we're not going to call the cops. And in some places - who can trust them?
That last bit is changing some. But I think it's the invisible barriers that do more damage because we don't want to accept responsibility for others whether because it might be perceived as getting in their business or not minding our own. And yeah, that is cultural.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:01 PM on December 4, 2009


He can't see the bricks or bricklines at that distance. He basically sees the silhouette of a gun.

And as startled as I would be at seeing a guy across the way fondling his gun, I would be way freaked if I noticed that he could easily break his gun down into lego-like components.
posted by troybob at 10:02 PM on December 4, 2009


GUYS IN CANADA IT's NOT SWAT, IT's ETF AND WE CELEBRATE IT ON A DIFFERENT DAY AND WE EAT ROAST LOONY AND NOT TURKEY. OVER AND OUT.
posted by atrazine at 9:05 AM on December 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


(Fatter, richer Canadians eat roast twoney.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:44 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


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