Keeping people safe at various public gatherings such as sporting events and concerts is always law enforcement’s number one priority. Thursday at Phoenix’s Comic-Con, police arrested a 30-year-old man at the convention center after a concerned citizen noticed him making a string of irrational and threatening posts about law enforcement.
It was discovered that the man attending Phoenix’s Comic-Con was allegedly preparing for an all out war. He was wearing body armor and was in possession of three handguns, one shotgun, and a knife, according to Phoenix Police spokeswoman, Sgt. Mercedes Fortune.
But how did he get these various forms of weaponry into the event? Comic-Con is filled with people dressing in cosplay outfits from their favorite video game or comic book characters, many of which have weapons. It was believed that the man’s weapons were simply props.
In a swift reaction to this discovery of real and dangerous weapons, law enforcement decided to ban all prop weapons from the convention center. Many angry, albeit funny, messages were left on the Facebook page of Phoenix Comic-Con.
One commenter wrote, “No shoes either guys. I know this guy named Dale Preston who once killed a shopkeeper and his son with their own shoes.”
Vendors selling prop weapons in the event center as still allowed to do so, but the product must remain sealed, and the vendor must tell buyers that they cannot remove the seal until they have left the grounds of the center.
By banning the weapon props, however, most of the outfits being worn will no longer resemble the original epic character. Link fans from the Legend of Zelda will look more like a mere Keebler Elf wandering the convention floor looking to hand out cookies.
What about those planning to dress as Neagan from The Walking Dead? With the pivotal part of his persona, Lucile, his barb-wired baseball bat, missing, he’ll look like an extra from Grease.
And forget about everyone’s favorite, “Merc with the mouth” Deadpool. Now he’s just a knockoff spider-man yelling obscenities to passers-by.
What about the holy grail of cosplayers, Star Wars fans? Without their lightsabers, nothing separates them from the creepy cult guys at the airport handling out pamphlets.
In all seriousness though, it’s understable that law enforcement reacted the way they did. At the end of the day, it is about the safety of the officers and guests at the convention center.
Many fans of the event will undoubtedly be let down. It will surely be similar to when Boba Fett, one of the most badass Star Wars characters, died like some kind of wimpy storm trooper extra. They’ll be sad.
Most expect massive lines and furious people when the show opens in the morning as fans who haven’t heard arrive only to be turned away for doing what cons are all about – dressing up and having fun. Now Phoenix Comic Con is just the world’s nerdiest flea market.