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The Case of a Coffee Cup Impersonating a Weapon

April 12, 2011

Weird coffee news Wednesday..... Tuesday police were called to a Grand Rapids office building after lunch because a caller reported a man with a gun had entered the building. They searched all floors of the building and failed to find a man with a gun. They did however find a man meeting the description, who had carried a plastic coffee cup with large handles in with him. There wasn’t a picture of the coffee mug however; that could be important, because surely we all will now be watching our office building entrances for signs of big handled coffee mugs impersonating handguns. The temptation to take this story lightly might be in poor taste, but it’s been a slow week for coffee news. There hasn’t been one report of violence with a coffee mug, stealing of coffee, splashing coffee on someone, lawsuits about hot coffee, so what do you do with a story like this one? The comment section following the story is entertaining with such gems as “Did he decaffeinate anyone?”, “His name was Maxwell House”, and a favorite “they should’ve ….got a MUGshot” of the guy. A mugshot of the mug was a definite desire of readers, but at this writing, it still hasn’t made the web. At least nine patrol cars responded and a dozen police spent an hour on the scene conducting the investigation. Still, they were in good humor and stated that the caller did the right thing to call and report the questionable item in the man’s hand. All in all, the Grand Rapids police at least underwent an unscheduled SWAT training session, which may have taught them some things of value. In addition to learning that we should error on the side of caution if we’re unsure of what we’re seeing, this incident shows us how on edge many people are about guns and random shootings these days. It’s very difficult to imagine what kind of plastic cup this was and to wonder how he was carrying it to suggest he had a gun. Do we need sensitivity training so we can better discern the difference between coffee cups and weapons? Seriously, though, this story is a sad commentary on life in the US today, when people are so ready to assume violence. The statistics might be available somewhere, but it’s very likely there are more coffee cups being carried by Americans at any one moment than guns. Also, there are probably more cup owners than gun owners in the US. Hopefully you’ll be able to sleep better knowing this…..Enjoy your coffee - just be sure you have a license to carry when you take it from car to office. To help you, here are some travel mugs without the BIG BLACK HANDLE.






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