ONE MORNING THIS past fall, the university in my hometown in North Carolina went into lockdown based on reports of a man near campus carrying an assault rifle. The university blared warnings of “a dangerous incident” while police swept the area. There were rumors that the gunman had taken hostages on a bus or in a class building. Eventually, authorities tracked down the suspect, a senior at the university. It turned out that he was just carrying an umbrella. “I was in a German class and I was the one that told my class there was an armed man. … I had no idea it was me,” the student later told a local news station.