#1  
Old 02-04-2020, 06:57 PM
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Threats or jokes?


https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news...2320e79e6.html

IMHO, this is a very thorny issue in modern society with free speech concerns in the balance. I am really in the middle on this one, but lean toward the free speech side.

Remember in the early 90s how people would say that they felt like "going postal"? I hate to think that we can be held criminally responsible for things said in haste with no true intent to commit these types of crimes, but I understand how nervous some people get about any discussion of them.

What say ye, dopers? As of now, I side with the defense, but can be persuaded.
  #2  
Old 02-04-2020, 07:15 PM
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Here are the exact words of the bill which became FL law:

Quote:
Written Threats to Conduct Mass Shootings or Acts of Terrorism : Prohibiting a person from making, posting, or transmitting a threat to conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism in a writing or other record in any manner that would allow another person to view the threat; exempting certain providers of services from liability, etc.
https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Secti...1&SessionId=86
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:50 PM
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I'm guessing that old favorite singalong is out:

Glory glory hallelujah!
Teacher hit me with a ruler
I caught her by the door and shot her with a .44
The school is burning down!
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Two Many Cats View Post
I'm guessing that old favorite singalong is out:

Glory glory hallelujah!
Teacher hit me with a ruler
I caught her by the door and shot her with a .44
The school is burning down!
Wow, that's an update from the version I learned in 1959. We had "bopped her on the beam with a rotten tangerine." More sophisticated weaponry in later years.
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:13 PM
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Wow, that's an update from the version I learned in 1959. We had "bopped her on the beam with a rotten tangerine." More sophisticated weaponry in later years.
I was born in '61. We said, "Hit her in the butt with a rotten coconut". Michigan childhood.

StG
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:19 PM
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I always heard "Knocked her to the floor with my trusty 44."
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:51 PM
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In mid-70s northern Ohio, it was "So I met her at the door,
With a loaded .44
And she don't teach no more."

Ah, the innocence of childhood.
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:57 PM
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Hm. I learned it as:

Glory, glory hallelujah!
Teacher hit me with a ruler.
It broke and hit the door like a loaded .44
And the door fell on her head.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by x-ray vision View Post
Here are the exact words of the bill which became FL law:


https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Secti...1&SessionId=86
Notwithstanding Florida law, there is the constitutional free speech question. In a landmark case one can advocate lawbreaking unless a threat is a "true threat" or one "directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandenburg_v._Ohio

I mean, the FL law might ban fictional novels if another person was hypersensitive. That cannot square with free speech.

Last edited by UltraVires; 02-05-2020 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Two Many Cats View Post
I'm guessing that old favorite singalong is out:

Glory glory hallelujah!
Teacher hit me with a ruler
I caught her by the door and shot her with a .44
The school is burning down!
In my school it was:

Glory, glory hallelujah!
Teacher smacked me with a ruler
I stood behind the door with a loaded .44
Now my teacher ain't my teacher no more

I'm sure that would go over great in schools today.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:45 AM
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So, under FL law are most of the posts in this thread illegal terroristic threats?
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
In my school it was:

Glory, glory hallelujah!
Teacher smacked me with a ruler
I stood behind the door with a loaded .44
Now my teacher ain't my teacher no more

I'm sure that would go over great in schools today.
Very, very similar. Born in 1960.

Glory, glory hallelujah!
Teacher hit me with a rullllller
So I hid behind the door with a loaded .44
Now she's not my teacher any more, any more

Glory, glory hallelujah!
Glory, glory hallelujah!
Glory, glory hallelujah!
The school is burning on, burning on!

We'd start very quietly singing the opening lines or humming the tune with certain teachers who we didn't like. We knew, that they knew about the song.
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:12 AM
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And of course, there's Alice Cooper's School's Out that they actually used in an commercial years ago. Do they even play it on the radio anymore?

Edit: Is humming Pink Floyd's One Of These Days (I'm Going To Cut You Into Little Pieces) not allowed in public places?

Last edited by lingyi; 02-05-2020 at 02:15 AM.
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
In my school it was:

Glory, glory hallelujah!
Teacher smacked me with a ruler
I stood behind the door with a loaded .44
Now my teacher ain't my teacher no more

I'm sure that would go over great in schools today.
The version I learned in the 1950s was

Glory, glory hallelujah!
Teacher hit me with a ruler
Hit me on the beanie with a rotten tangerine-ee
And I won't go to school no more

We were so vanilla then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
So, under FL law are most of the posts in this thread illegal terroristic threats?
I don't think the version I posted directly or implicitly threatened anyone.

Back to the case. David Puy headed out to meet friends for dinner... “On my way! School shooter,” he wrote in a Snapchat post with his photo. I have a hard time seeing that as " ...a communicated intent to inflict harm or loss on another person." (Wikipedia) I followed the link in post #2 to the Florida legislative site but I don't see the law's text so I don't know how "threat" is legally defined. Without directed intent, is it a threat?
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:17 AM
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The version I learned:

Glory, glory, hallelujah,
Teacher hit me with a ruler,
I hid behind the door with a loaded forty-four,
Now Teacher won't hit me no more.


More to the point of the OP, a man on a flight from Toronto to Jamaica claimed to have coronavirus, as a joke. From CBC:

Quote:
Just two hours into a WestJet flight from Toronto to Montego Bay, Jamaica, passengers had their trips unexpectedly cut short on Monday after a passenger claimed he had the coronavirus.

At some point during Flight WS 2702 the man stood up, announced that he was recently in China and had contracted the disease, according to Peel Regional Police.

. . .

[A passenger] says she saw the man taking a selfie and telling passengers around him that he had the coronavirus.

. . .

The captain informed passengers that, because of the incident, they couldn't land in Jamaica or the U.S. and had to return to Toronto.

. . .

The plane landed [back in Toronto] around 2:10 p.m. ET and the man, a 29-year-old from nearby Thornhill, was arrested and charged with mischief.

He is scheduled to appear in court on March 9.
I guess the moral of the story is, don't joke about current affairs in airports or aboard aircraft. If you must tell a joke, stick to the "why did the chicken cross the road?" variety.
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:45 AM
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I guess the moral of the story is, don't joke about current affairs in airports or aboard aircraft. If you must tell a joke, stick to the "why did the chicken cross the road?" variety.
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: To escape the snake with coronavirus.

Q: Why did the punk rocker cross the road?
A: He was stapled to the chicken.

Q: Why did the egg cross the road?
A: To get laid.

I wonder if medics swap virus jokes in Corona, Calif. Don't catch flu there. And in airports and aircraft, don't greet your pal John with, "Hi, Jack!" Security won't be amused.
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Old 02-05-2020, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: To escape the snake with coronavirus.

Q: Why did the punk rocker cross the road?
A: He was stapled to the chicken.

Q: Why did the egg cross the road?
A: To get laid.
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: To lay it on the line.

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: Because he was in front of a KFC, and worried he'd end up as bucket food.

At the sports bar the other night, I heard a new one: a patron asked for a bottle of Coronavirus, garnished with a Lyme disease. I had to laugh at that one.
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Old 02-05-2020, 07:50 AM
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Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?

To get to the same side.
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:19 AM
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Pulling a fire alarm is a crime too. It's disruptive to society, engages the relevant authorities needlessly, incites fear and concern among the people involved.

Some douchebag instagrams that he's going to shoot up a school, the school has to do something, the police have to investigate, because it is simply unacceptable to assume that the post is false when the alternative is dozens of dead kids. What's the difference between that and pulling the fire alarm?

From the link it appears that most of these wind up with probation, potentially even with a clean record at the end. Hardly the 15 year prison sentence that the media will wet themselves telling us all about.


Ours was:
On top of Old Smokey
All covered with blood
I shot my poor teacher
With a .44 slug
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Notwithstanding Florida law, there is the constitutional free speech question. In a landmark case one can advocate lawbreaking unless a threat is a "true threat" or one "directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action."
Putting "true" before "threat" is redundant. Would you feel differently if the Florida law had "true" before threat?

Quote:
I mean, the FL law might ban fictional novels if another person was hypersensitive.
No. There's nothing in that law regarding how another person interprets something.

Quote:
So, under FL law are most of the posts in this thread illegal terroristic threats?
Nope.

If you're looking for a debate, you posted to the wrong forum. It's the right forum if you're interested in a lot of corny "jokes."
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:42 AM
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Sorry, you’re right. This is a serious issue, and I find it difficult to decide which side I agree with more. This does deserve a serious debate. Apologies for the silly joke...carry on.
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
And of course, ...

Edit: Is humming Pink Floyd's One Of These Days (I'm Going To Cut You Into Little Pieces) not allowed in public places?
How on earth does one hum that song?

DUN dun dun DUN dun dun DUN dun dun...
  #23  
Old 02-05-2020, 12:16 PM
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Mine (northwest US, 1970s) was:

Glory glory hallelujah!
Teacher hit me with a ruler
Hid behind her door, with a magnum .44
And we ain't got a teacher no more.
  #24  
Old 02-05-2020, 12:32 PM
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Don’t most if not all states have a terrorist threats law? And laws making false public alarm illegal? I’m not sure what makes this different.

For a threat to be illegal it has to be credible and immediate. False public alarm is likely to cause a panic. It’s not really a free speech issue.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:47 PM
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^ According to the article linked to below, before this law it was difficult to prosecute tweets like this:

"Can’t wait to shoot up my school," he wrote. "It’s time. School getting shot up on Tuesday”

because no threats were sent directly to victims or their families.

This new law includes "in a writing or other record in any manner that would allow another person to view the threat."

That's the difference. There's nothing about this law that "might ban fictional novels if another person was hypersensitive." Not sure where the OP got that from.

https://www.news-press.com/story/new...ays/364516002/

Last edited by x-ray vision; 02-05-2020 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:19 PM
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Don’t most if not all states have a terrorist threats law? And laws making false public alarm illegal? I’m not sure what makes this different.

For a threat to be illegal it has to be credible and immediate. False public alarm is likely to cause a panic. It’s not really a free speech issue.
But it is. How many times do people say things like "I could kill you" or "I could kill him"?

Some of the examples in the article cross the line, but the idea is that if someone is saying something in jest, with no intention of shooting anyone, nor intending for anyone to believe that they really are going to shoot someone, then they should not be punished for making a threat that they did not intend to make.

How far down the line do we go with making flippant statements illegal?
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:24 PM
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What's next? Banning email forwards? Where's the line?
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
But it is. How many times do people say things like "I could kill you" or "I could kill him"?
You believe the FL law I posted would make that a crime? How have you concluded that?

Quote:
How far down the line do we go with making flippant statements illegal?
How far did we go this time? How are you interpreting the law you claimed "the FL law might ban fictional novels if another person was hypersensitive"?

Can you show us how the law as written has done that or are you assuming the law "might ban fictional novels" based on incomplete accounts of court cases in an article?
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:44 PM
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To lay it on the line.
That's the answer to "Why did the chicken stop in the middle of the road?"
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:57 PM
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It all goes back to yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater. But where do you draw the line. A friend got pulled over for questioning in an airport because he was overheard talking with someone about "annihilators. Yes they are real things in mathematics. And for heavens sake don't talk about Killing forms (named after a real 19th century mathematician) in an airport.
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Old 02-05-2020, 04:06 PM
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^ It doesn't all go back to"fire in a crowded theater." That's a phrase often used regarding a Constitutional right to free speech. You don't have a Constitutional right to utter certain words and phrases and not be questioned in an airport.

What does this line you're talking about having to do with the FL law in question?
  #32  
Old 02-05-2020, 08:32 PM
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In mid-70s northern Ohio, it was "So I met her at the door,
With a loaded .44
And she don't teach no more."

Ah, the innocence of childhood.
PA. Same time frame. Last line for us was "and there ain't no teacher any more"
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Old 02-05-2020, 10:31 PM
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Wow! Talk about reviving memories from LONG ago.
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Originally Posted by carrps View Post
Wow, that's an update from the version I learned in 1959. We had "bopped her on the beam with a rotten tangerine." More sophisticated weaponry in later years.
I don't remember for sure the lyrics we used in what was then not-yet-known-as Silicon Valley, but the "rotten tangerine" sounds very familiar.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:11 AM
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How far down the line do we go with making flippant statements illegal?
How far down? As far as a "flippant statement" is judged a threat. How is "threat" defined under Florida law? I posted the Wikipedia definition above: "A threat is a communicated intent to inflict harm or loss on another person." Does Florida law require intent? Does “On my way! School shooter,” signal intent?
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:07 AM
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Free speech. There's more harm in limiting speech than there is when some random person feels threatened by a non-threat. I'm glad I'm not subject to Florida's laws, because if I were, I might just go down there with a bow and arrow and shoot the legislator who introduced that law into Florida's governing body.
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by x-ray vision View Post
You believe the FL law I posted would make that a crime? How have you concluded that?


How far did we go this time? How are you interpreting the law you claimed "the FL law might ban fictional novels if another person was hypersensitive"?

Can you show us how the law as written has done that or are you assuming the law "might ban fictional novels" based on incomplete accounts of court cases in an article?
Here's the relevant part:

Quote:
Originally Posted by FL law
or any person who makes, posts, or transmits a threat in a writing or other record, including an electronic record, to conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism, in any manner that would allow another person to view the threat,
Obviously a novel is a transmission in a writing that would allow another person to view the threat. The question is would the words in a novel be a threat. If the novel is described as sufficiently auto-biographical as many novels are, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say that the author was communicating a threat.

Many 90s rap songs could certainly qualify as they were "transmit[ted] in an "other record." You could rightfully argue that Ice T was not really threatening to kill cops that he was performing art, but all it would take would be one prosecutor to test the law, and if there was testimony from police officers that they were in fear that the songs would cause young blacks to shoot them, what does a judge do with that?
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:56 AM
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Free speech. There's more harm in limiting speech than there is when some random person feels threatened by a non-threat. I'm glad I'm not subject to Florida's laws, because if I were, I might just go down there with a bow and arrow and shoot the legislator who introduced that law into Florida's governing body.
That is also a law enforcement issue. I understand that you were not making a real threat. But it is trivially easy to mask a real threat by using meaningless conditionals.

"Gee, if I wasn't such a nice guy, I would shoot up a school." Is that a threat? "I would so totally shoot all of my classmates tomorrow morning at 8am in the cafeteria, but I am just too lazy to do it." Does the last part remove the statement from being a threat?
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:31 PM
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Obviously a novel is a transmission in a writing that would allow another person to view the threat. The question is would the words in a novel be a threat.
Doubtful. Unless the author wrote a book with the intent of causing others to believe he was going to carry out a violent crime, then it's doubtful a reasonable person would view that work of fiction as a threat. Threats have to be credible to be threats. Some paranoid person reading a work of fiction and claiming it made them fear for their life is not enough to label words a threat. There has to be "reasonable fear."

Do you not realize that EVERY state has similar laws regarding threats? FL also did before this one, and it was amended because previously it was difficult to prosecute "true" threats for the reason I already mentioned.

Here is the previous writing of the law, going back many years:

Quote:
“836.10 Written threats to kill or do bodily injury; punishment.— Any person who writes or composes and also sends or procures the sending of any letter, inscribed communication, or electronic communication, whether such letter or communication be signed or anonymous, to any person, containing a threat to kill or to do bodily injury to the person to whom such letter or communication is sent, or a threat to kill or do bodily injury to any member of the family of the person to whom such letter or communication is sent commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.”
The issue with the previous language was that it specified that if someone threatened to kill, for instance, the person or family member the threat was communicated to it was a threat, but it wasn’t a threat if the threat was regarding harming someone else.

So “I’m on may way to kill your sister; you’ll never see her again” was a threat according to the old language. “I’m on my way to kill your best friend Linda; you’ll never see her again” was not. That is the reason for the change. Other states don’t have that issue, yet their similar laws going way back haven’t caused the banning of books.

Below is a law in my state regarding terroristic threats. It was passed in 1978 and last amended in 2002.

Quote:
2C:12-3 Terroristic threats. 2C:12-3. Terroristic threats.

a.A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he threatens to commit any crime of violence with the purpose to terrorize another or to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation, or otherwise to cause serious public inconvenience, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience. A violation of this subsection is a crime of the second degree if it occurs during a declared period of national, State or county emergency. The actor shall be strictly liable upon proof that the crime occurred, in fact, during a declared period of national, State or county emergency. It shall not be a defense that the actor did not know that there was a declared period of emergency at the time the crime occurred.

b.A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he threatens to kill another with the purpose to put him in imminent fear of death under circumstances reasonably causing the victim to believe the immediacy of the threat and the likelihood that it will be carried out.

L.1978, c.95; amended 1981, c.290, s.15; 2002, c.26, s.11.
  #39  
Old 02-07-2020, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
the idea is that if someone is saying something in jest, with no intention of shooting anyone, nor intending for anyone to believe that they really are going to shoot someone, then they should not be punished for making a threat that they did not intend to make.
Whether or not a statement is threatening has nothing to do with the intent of the person uttering it, and everything to do with the content of the statement and the context in which it was spoken.

I take the position that there is no context in which it is appropriate to utter a statement which a reasonable person would interpret as a terroristic threat. In such a case, the police powers of the state override individual liberty.

If the police/DA think they can prove that to a jury, I say go ahead.

~Max, from Florida
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:07 AM
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Umm, “On my way! School shooter,”, when does this 'joke' get funny?

CMC fnord!
  #41  
Old 02-07-2020, 08:34 AM
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Umm, “On my way! School shooter,”, when does this 'joke' get funny?

CMC fnord!
You had to be there.

(Kidding — I agree with you. Maybe “joke” isn’t the right word for this. “Provocative jest?”)
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:34 AM
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The two in heaviest rotation when I was a kid starting about '89 were

On top of old smokey
All covered in blood
I shot my poor teacher
with an M16 gun
I went to her funeral
I went to her grave
Some people threw flowers
I threw a granade
I blew up q city
I blew up a town
I blew my poor teacher
Right out of the ground
I opened her coffin
She wasn't quite dead
So I took a bazooka
and blew off her head

Joy to the world my teqcher 's dead
We bar-b-qued her head
And what about the body?
We flushed it down the potty
And around and around it went
And around and around it went
And around and around and around it went

During holiday we used

Deck the halls with gasoline
Fa la la la la la la la la la
Strike a match a watch in gleem
Fa la la la la la la la la la
Watch the school burn down to ashes
Fa la la la la la la la la la
Aren't you glad I played with matches
Fa la la la la la la la la la

It saddens me I can't teach these to my kids or even accidentally sing them around them.

Last edited by Oredigger77; 02-07-2020 at 08:38 AM.
  #43  
Old 02-07-2020, 08:53 AM
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I was born in 1967 and grew up in NYC during the violent 1970s and our version was "bopped him on the bean with a rotten tangerine". Maybe we had enough real violence or something, so we didn't need it in our kiddie songs?

Anyway, can a lawyer chime in and tell us how this law compares to terroristic threat laws in other states? Is this an outlier? Or, was Florida an outlier because they didn't have this law on the books before?

I'm pretty sure published songs and books wouldn't fall under this law because they don't have the immediacy needed. You know, the immediacy of someone posting on Twitter about being a school shooter.
  #44  
Old 02-07-2020, 09:13 AM
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OMG. The version I learned in the 1970s Atlantan suburbs was a bit more, uh, legalistic.

Glory, glory hallelujah!
Teacher hit me with a ruler
Said "teach, here I'm gonna sue ya!"
And teacher don't teach no more!
  #45  
Old 02-07-2020, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RitterSport View Post
Anyway, can a lawyer chime in and tell us how this law compares to terroristic threat laws in other states?
IANAL, but it's not difficult to compare. I posted NJ's.

Quote:
Is this an outlier? Or, was Florida an outlier because they didn't have this law on the books before?
See post 38. It was on the books before. Since 1913. It was amended this time for the reason I went over.

How it reads now:
Quote:
836.10 Written threats to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism; punishment; exemption from liability.—
(1) Any person who writes or composes and also sends or procures the sending of any letter, inscribed communication, or electronic communication, whether such letter or communication be signed or anonymous, to any person, containing a threat to kill or to do bodily injury to the person to whom such letter or communication is sent, or a threat to kill or do bodily injury to any member of the family of the person to whom such letter or communication is sent, or any person who makes, posts, or transmits a threat in a writing or other record, including an electronic record, to conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism, in any manner that would allow another person to view the threat, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
How it read in 1997:
Quote:
836.10 Written threats to kill or do bodily injury; punishment.--If any person writes or composes and also sends or procures the sending of any letter or inscribed communication, so written or composed, whether such letter or communication be signed or anonymous, to any person, containing a threat to kill or to do bodily injury to the person to whom such letter or communication is sent, or a threat to kill or do bodily injury to any member of the family of the person to whom such letter or communication is sent, the person so writing or composing and so sending or procuring the sending of such letter or communication, shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
Quote:
I'm pretty sure published songs and books wouldn't fall under this law because they don't have the immediacy needed.
It's not about immediacy; it's about whether the threat was credible and would cause "reasonable" fear for safety. Novels and songs don't cause reasonable fear. Here is how FL defines credible threats:

Quote:
(c) “Credible threat” means a verbal or nonverbal threat, or a combination of the two, including threats delivered by electronic communication or implied by a pattern of conduct, which places the person who is the target of the threat in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family members or individuals closely associated with the person, and which is made with the apparent ability to carry out the threat to cause such harm. It is not necessary to prove that the person making the threat had the intent to actually carry out the threat. The present incarceration of the person making the threat is not a bar to prosecution under this section.
  #46  
Old 02-07-2020, 10:30 AM
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Regardless of what the student should be charged with or convicted of or punished for, such a post perfectly justifies a visit by the local police to find out just what is going on, in the interests of public safety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crowmanyclouds View Post
Umm, “On my way! School shooter,”, when does this 'joke' get funny?
Adolescents are notorious for having some among them who lack the appreciation for how mature society interprets many things they do and say. Some kids think things are jokes that are horrifying to adults. Many times these jokes are a form of rebellion or a way to stand out. This does not excuse it but some kids do think it's funny.
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  #47  
Old 02-07-2020, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Whether or not a statement is threatening has nothing to do with the intent of the person uttering it, and everything to do with the content of the statement and the context in which it was spoken.

I take the position that there is no context in which it is appropriate to utter a statement which a reasonable person would interpret as a terroristic threat. In such a case, the police powers of the state override individual liberty.

If the police/DA think they can prove that to a jury, I say go ahead.

~Max, from Florida
If you compare the number of bomb threats to actual bombings (or attempted bombings) I am sure that there are vastly more threats than bombings. As such is it reasonable to believe that the threat means an actual bomb?

I'm sure the answer is "yes" because even though the chance is small, you still are in fear that it might happen to you this time. But that then starts down the slippery slope in which "On the way, school shooter" is prosecuted even though the threat was made in the evening hours when school was not in session.

I agree that there is nothing funny about it, but I would hate for the law to turn on a difference of whether a person was a sufficiently good joke teller.

Its like the guy at TSA several years ago when they were searching his wallet and he told them to look hard because there might be a rifle in there. I agree that in this day and time, it is a pretty stupid thing to say at TSA, however nobody in their right mind would believe that he or anyone could conceal a rifle in his wallet.

I hate to use the old cliche, but this overreaction means that the terrorists win. Richard Reid accomplished more than he could have ever dreamed as he now forces everyone to remove their shoes at security checkpoints.
  #48  
Old 02-07-2020, 06:59 PM
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A threat is a statement expressing intent to do harm. Terrorism is any word or deed that induces fear (terror). Certain political figures regularly emit statements that induce fear in people and/or express intent to do harm. Therefore such pols should be jailed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crowmanyclouds View Post
Umm, “On my way! School shooter,”, when does this 'joke' get funny?
When a smiley is appended. When followed by a frown, it's a threat.

Or be more subtle. I shot the sheriff but damn! I clean missed the deputy.
  #49  
Old 02-07-2020, 07:28 PM
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As much as some would like, we cannot outlaw stupidity.

One thing about school shooters is that many are already known to be troubled. Was the man who posted this "joke" showing signs of a tendency to violence or instability? Maybe a little investigation would be appropriate before an arrest.

I remember
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school,
We have tortured all the teachers we have broken all the rules...


I can't remember the next line, and none of the versions I've found online sound right. Maybe because I'm now a teacher, I've blocked it all out...
  #50  
Old 02-12-2020, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
If you compare the number of bomb threats to actual bombings (or attempted bombings) I am sure that there are vastly more threats than bombings. As such is it reasonable to believe that the threat means an actual bomb?

I'm sure the answer is "yes" because even though the chance is small, you still are in fear that it might happen to you this time. But that then starts down the slippery slope in which "On the way, school shooter" is prosecuted even though the threat was made in the evening hours when school was not in session.
The answer is yes, but not because of the probability of a threat is credible. The reason schools take all bomb and shooting threats seriously is because the stakes are too high to risk ignorance. Maybe this isn't obvious to you, or maybe you take issue with it, but standard operating procedure in any public place is to take all bomb threats seriously. Schools, airports, libraries, city hall, festivals, events, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
I agree that there is nothing funny about it, but I would hate for the law to turn on a difference of whether a person was a sufficiently good joke teller.
Then you hate the law. Context can be the difference between a funny joke and an arrest for making threats, and in my opinion it should be that way.

Now, whether the person should be convicted because they are a bad joke teller is entirely different. The standard goes up from probable cause to beyond a reasonable doubt, that is, you would have to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the person intended to make good on their threat. See for example, Virginia v. Black, 538 U.S. 343 (2003); or Elonis v. United States, 575 U.S. ___ (2015).

~Max
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