A few weeks ago, we saw the city of Boston totally embarrass itself when it massively overreacted to a silly guerrilla marketing stunt gone awry. Apparently nobody learned the lesson as other places are adopting the "when in doubt, blow it up" mantra. In New Mexico, some pranksters placed three CD players in a church on Ash Wednesday, and had them play vulgar messages to disrupt the service (via BoingBoing). The police were summoned, and they soon detonated two of the three CD players, while the third one was taken back for fingerprint testing. This is ridiculous for multiple reasons. For one thing, it should have been clear that the CD players were placed there as a cruel prank, as evidenced by what they were playing. And if some people were going to make a bomb in the shape of a CD player, they wouldn't have them play noise that would attract attention to them. The fact that they took the third player back to the lab is basically an admission that there was no way they were bombs, otherwise they'd have detonated that one too. Stories like these are really disturbing for what they say about the way we handle security these days. With so many out-of-proportion responses, how is law enforcement going to respond when there's a real threat?
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