The 15th Midwest Furfest was evacuated last week after 19 attendees were hospitalized by chlorine gas at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare Hotel; hazmat technicians cleared out an "intentional gas attack" apparatus in the 9th floor stairwell.
As The Mary Sue points out, this isn't funny, and taking cheap shots at furries over a potentially lethal poison gas attack on a friendly, peaceful gathering is pretty shitty.
Luckily there were no serious injuries, and MidWest FurFest was able to return to normal operations for the rest of the day. But make no mistake about it: this was a terrorist attack. Chlorine gas isn't the sort of thing you use in a stinkbomb prank. It's a toxic, corrosive irritant that can affect the eyes, nose, throat and lungs; in higher concentrations and under prolonged exposure, it can even cause asphyxiation and death. The German army deployed cylinders of the stuff against enemy forces during World War One, and it was often found at the scene of suicide car bombings linked to Al Qada in Iraq circa 2006-2007. And somebody used it with the intent of causing harm to thousands of people at a geeky convention.
Even worse? What should be an incredibly sobering and distressing bit of news for the entire geek community at large, is, due to its direct association with furries, now also becoming the butt of jokes. Case in point, this now-trending clip from yesterday's episode of The Morning Joe (MSNBC's bastion of journalistic integrity) in which Mika Brzezinski leaves the set in a fit of laughter after one of her colleagues has to explain the hobby to her…
Let's Stop Making Jokes About Furries While Discussing That Recent Terrorist Attack on Furries [Victoria McNally/The Mary Sue]