U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Los Angeles International Airport in July. The airport was the site of panicked mobs Sunday night which, as Walter Shapiro writes, were probably related to fear-based campaign themes from this year's presidential election. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)
Sunday night, in case you missed it, Los Angeles International Airport was closed because of a panic attack. The threat came not from terrorism or a crazed gunman, but rather from wild, incoherent passenger hysteria.
The incident may have been triggered by random loud noises or possibly a man in a Zorro costume with a plastic sword. But it quickly morphed into rumors of an active shooter as frightened passengers in three terminals raced out through TSA checkpoints and burst through restricted doors onto the tarmac.