Friday, January 20, 2012

Sparta, NJ Resident Charged With Terroristic Threats -Threatened on Facebook to Send Someone to Slit Victim's Throat

A resident of Sparta, NJ (Yes, I get the irony) was recently arrested and charged with Terroristic Threats due to threatening via a Facebook message to send a person to slit the victim's throat. The girl who was the target of the threat is 17 - the actor, 20.

Please note the two incredibly brilliant quotes from a lawyer in Washngton DC:

"It seems we’re just starting the conversation here in trying to figure out where we want to go with these types of issues and how we deal with them as a society at they come up on a more regular basis," said Bradley Shear, a Washington D.C. attorney who practices cyber and social media law.

"You don’t want to infringe upon people’s First Amendment rights, but you still want to protect people who might be a target of these types of things," Shear said.

The first quote is essentially talking in circles in a manner which would put Alexander Haig to shame; the second is bringing the right of free speech into the discussion.

One of the problems in our society is that whenever an event occurs, we begin to spin the facts around and try to point them to a topic that simply does not fit into the picture. Free Speech is as much part of the equation with the Sparta resident as is the privilege to drive a vehicle and driving recklessly or while drunk. You simply cannot cause people to be frightened of bodily injury or of losing their lives.

When the initial tumult following Cambridge Police's arrest of Henry Gates subsided, the editorials and radio call-ins inevitably went over to issues that had nothing to do with the event  that resulted to Mr. Gates' arrest. Both consisted of, once it was painfully obvious that the cop had not acted inappropriately, with racist motivations, or "stupidly", as stated by the intelligent American president in one of his earlier Obamian moves, that "We need to talk about the fact that racism sometimes is a factor in arrests". 

It was unbelievable- First the media was swearing that Gates was arrested or suspected due to being black, then when that fell apart, the Left started in with "Well, sometimes people get arrested because they are black so we need to talk about that right now". They simply refused not only to admit that they had been terribly wrong in their assumptions, but that they could not use the clamor that they were introducing to displace the real point and take its place

No one was willing to step up and shame Mr. Gates. If any normal person had been approached by a cop at their front door and informed that a report of a burglary or other suspicious activity had been reported at that house, the homeowner would be happy to present an ID and surprised if the cop did not request to see it. Most of us would thank the cops for being thorough. Mr. Gates, apparently shamelessly, decided to take the path less traveled and turned a two-minute police response into a nationwide crisis. 

Our friend from Sparta will have to answer to these charges is Sussex County Superior Court. The Star Ledger, (Source of the articleunfortunately, has either an agenda or a dearth of intelligent writers who cannot see a news story for what it is.

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