Threats or jokes?

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.

Here are the exact words of the bill which became FL law:

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.

I was born in '61. We said, “Hit her in the butt with a rotten coconut”. Michigan childhood.


I always heard “Knocked her to the floor with my trusty 44.”

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.

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.

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.”

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

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

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?

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:

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. :cool:

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.

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.

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?

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.

Here’s the relevant part:

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?