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Title: Florida Cops Arrest a 15-Year-Old Boy for Joking About Perpetrating a Mass Shooting
Source: Reason
URL Source: https://reason.com/2019/08/22/flori ... -perpetrating-a-mass-shooting/
Published: Aug 23, 2019
Author: Jacob Sullum
Post Date: 2019-08-23 07:58:28 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 89
Comments: 15

"Joke or not, these types of comments are felonies under the law," says the Volusia County Sheriff's Office

Volusia-County-arrest-mass-shooting-joke

(Volusia County Sheriff's Office)

Police in Volusia County, Florida, recently arrested a 15-year-old boy who joked about carrying out a mass shooting on a video game chat platform. "Joke or not, these types of comments are felonies under the law," the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said on Facebook. "After the mass violence we've seen in Florida and across the country, law enforcement officers have a responsibility to investigate and charge those who choose to make these types of threatening statements."

According to the sheriff's office, the boy, who attends Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, posted this message, using a pseudonym: "I Dalton Barnhart vow to bring my fathers m15 to school and kill 7 people at a minimum." The teenager was charged under a statute that says "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." A second-degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

In a video that the sheriff's office posted on Facebook, one deputy handcuffs the teenager outside his home while another explains to the boy's mother that "he's under arrest currently for making a threat to cause a mass shooting [or] act of terrorism." The mother is incredulous and becomes increasingly upset when it becomes clear that her son is being taken to a juvenile detention facility, where he will remain for at least a few days.

"He's just a little kid playing a video game," she says.

"All these kids keep getting arrested," the deputy says. "That's why the FBI and the local law enforcement are spending so much time, because how do we know he's not going to be the kid from Parkland, he's not going to be the next kid, the kid that shot up Sandy Hook? We don't know that. So when you draw the attention to you by making statements…They may be jokes. I mean, I wouldn't expect a kid to say, 'I'm dead serious. I'm going to fucking go shoot everybody up.' No, when they're caught, it's a joke. 'I didn't mean it. It's a joke.' That's when you're caught."

The boy's mother tries to put his comment in context. In "these games, these kids say stuff like that all the time," she says. "It is a joke to them. It's a game. And it's so wrong. I hate that game."

The deputy concedes that teenagers commonly joke about mass shootings. But at the same time, he says, you never know. "Guess what my time in law enforcement is spent doing," he says. "It's arresting kids for making these statements all the time and for stopping acts too….That's what our job is, is to make contact, because these kids think it's a game or a joke, so they go ahead and make these comments."

The mother still can't believe that a joke can be a felony. "He's a little boy," she says. "He didn't do anything wrong. Yes, he's a teenager, but he's still a little boy. He's not one of the crazy people out there doing stuff….He shouldn't be treated as though he's a terrorist or something because he made a silly statement on a stupid video game….You have to look at these things case by case….I mean, he's not that person."

The deputy asks her if she owns a gun, and she says she does. "He has hands and feet," he says. "He can grab your gun and go do something."

When the mother says "he would never do anything like that," the deputy insists that "we don't know." He complains that "this is the world we live in, where people think it's funny to say, 'I'm going to go kill people at school.'"

Notice that the deputy offers three rationales for hauling this kid away in handcuffs. First, he might actually be planning a mass shooting. Second, even if he was kidding, such jokes force police to waste resources by investigating teenagers who do not have any actual plans to kill people. Third, people should not joke about mass shootings, and Florida's legislators have decided to make that a crime.

It makes sense for police to investigate when someone reports that a student has threatened to shoot up his school. But if it turns out that the kid was joking, does his statement still qualify as a "threat"? In this case, it seems that the police are not trying to prevent a mass shooting so much as punish a teenager for saying the sort of stupid, tasteless things that teenagers tend to say. The fact that the sheriff's office posted the video as a warning to others suggests that the authorities want everyone to know that jokes about mass shootings are not only offensive but felonious.

It seems doubtful that the boy's joke, in context, would qualify as a "true threat," a category of speech that the Supreme Court has said is not protected by the First Amendment. UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, a First Amendment specialist, says it's problematic to assert, as the sheriff's office did, that it does not matter legally whether the boy was joking.

"The sheriff's office quote seems not quite right, because the statute requires 'a threat,' and obvious jokes aren't treated as threats," Volokh writes in an email. "To be a 'threat,' something at least has to come across as a serious threat—and not just a joke—to a reasonable observer. Some courts also say that the speaker must have specifically intended that people feel threatened, or at least know that this would be the likely reaction. Other courts, however, think it's enough that a reasonable observer would find it threatening, which makes it a sort of negligence-based crime….It may well be that this statement would have indeed been reasonably viewed as a genuine threat, whatever the 15-year-old's intention might have been."


Poster Comment:

The mother still can't believe that a joke can be a felony. "He's a little boy," she says. "He didn't do anything wrong. Yes, he's a teenager, but he's still a little boy. He's not one of the crazy people out there doing stuff….He shouldn't be treated as though he's a terrorist or something because he made a silly statement on a stupid video game….You have to look at these things case by case….I mean, he's not that person."

"He's just a little kid playing a video game," she says.

No thugs in our house, are there dear?
We made that clear,
We made little Graham promise us he'd be a good boy

They never read those pamphlets in his bottom drawer,
They never read that tattoo on his arm
They thought that was just a boys club badge he wore,
They never thought he'd do folks any harm

(2 images)

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#1. To: Deckard (#0)

“I Dalton Barnhart vow to bring my fathers m15 to school and kill 7 people at a minimum,” the teen wrote in a Minecraft chat that was screenshotted and shared on the messaging platform Discord on Thursday.

Great Job – LE …

Gatlin  posted on  2019-08-23   8:25:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Gatlin (#1)

Great Job – LE …

Yeah - if you hate the First Amendment.

Sharing Memes – Man Ends Up Red Flagged

What next - arresting someone for their thoughts?

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-08-23   8:42:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Deckard (#2) (Edited)

I see that you’re being stupid – again.

What next - arresting someone for their thoughts?

For just “thinking” them – no.

But for expressing those thoughts – in some cases, definitely yes.

“The Act Requirement” in criminal law states that you have to do something before you have committed a crime.

Moving on – I preset a quote from Budda:

“What you think, you become.
What you feel, you attract.
What you imagine, you create.”

Then, you will of course remember this line from the 1989 Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams: If you build it, he will come.

I will paraphrase by saying; If he thinks it, he may do it.

I will leave you with this – my “thought” of the day for you:

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” - Proverbs 23:7
"Think" about that …

Gatlin  posted on  2019-08-23   9:09:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Gatlin (#3)

What next - arresting someone for their thoughts?

For just “thinking” – no.

But for expressing those thoughts – in some cases, definitely yes.

Oh, you mean like "sharing a meme?"

Wagshol’s sharing of memes and talk of purchasing gun parts – without making any threats, by the way- got the attention of someone who reported him to police. He is now under arrest on a $250,000 bond that can only be posted AFTER his hearing on September 6.

“What I understand is that he didn’t make any comments on Facebook, but there may have been other memes, as they call them, that he might have reposted.” Attorney Darnell Crosland

The article said his posts were “alarming.” He shared a “boogaloo” meme. Those of you who know what those are understand that they are extremely dark in their “humor.” He denies any desire to commit a mass shooting.

“Boogaloo” – a slang term for shit-hits-the-fan, or government gone bad and they’re coming for you, time to fight back. Boogaloo toys refers to guns. The opposite of “bugging out.”

“Alphabet bois” – ATF, FBI, DEA, etc.

“Coat hanger sears” – hand-crafted drop-in auto sears for an AR.

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-08-23   9:13:51 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Deckard (#4)

Oh, you mean like "sharing a meme?"

No.

I see you are STILL being stupid.

Gatlin  posted on  2019-08-23   9:17:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Gatlin (#5) (Edited)

I see you are still being a government shill.

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-08-23   9:18:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: Deckard (#6)

I see that you still call someone a "government shill" simply because he destroys your false premises by using motivated reasoning and presenting facts.

Attaboy …

Gatlin  posted on  2019-08-23   9:22:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Gatlin (#7)

Obviously you didn't read or listen to the comment I made to the article.

Too bad putz.

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-08-23   9:29:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: Deckard (#8)

Obviously you didn't read or listen to the comment I made to the article.

Too bad putz.

Any time I see you having a grossly unjust altercation with yourself, I definitely perk up and observe with great intensity. I watch with fascination your childlike displays, not in a sadistic or feeling superior kind of way, but with a deep and true fascination. I do so while realizing that as your story unfolds - It will never work and you are not going to accomplish what you want to with your libertarian approach.

Following the t0 years of the effortless results to your flawed reasoning – Just give it up already …

Gatlin  posted on  2019-08-23   9:41:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: Gatlin (#9)

Get over yourself you pompous blowhard - you aren't fooling anyone here with your pitiful, pseudo-intellectual screeds.

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-08-23   9:48:30 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: Deckard (#10)

Intellect is the swiftest of things, for it runs through everything. - Thales

Gatlin  posted on  2019-08-23   9:54:43 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: Gatlin (#11)

Intellect is the swiftest of things, for it runs through everything.

Pseudo-intellectualism is the sign of a delusional mind.

Face it Parsons, you're nothing more than poser.

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-08-23   9:58:56 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: Deckard (#12) (Edited)

Pseudo-intellectualism is the sign of a delusional mind.
Yes, it is and that is evidenced most forthrightly in the failing of libertarian ideas despite their stubborn appeal to the ignorant delusional minds – when they show that the libertarian free market is neither efficient, nor is it fair and definitely nor free from periodic catastrophe.

Libertarianism is pseudo-intellectual like communism in that it is something that looks good on paper, but never makes sense in practice.

Pseudo-intellectual libertarians state value is liberty above all else, which means liberty rules over all other values. Definitely against the state.

Gatlin  posted on  2019-08-23   10:21:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: Deckard (#0)

Throw his ass in jail until he's 21.

Liberals are like Slinkys. They're good for nothing, but somehow they bring a smile to your face as you shove them down the stairs.

IbJensen  posted on  2019-08-23   11:27:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: Deckard (#0)

"I Dalton Barnhart vow to bring my fathers m15 to school and kill 7 people at a minimum."

What is the punch line of that "joke?"

If the municipality took no action, and the yute went to school and shot it up with his father's m15, could the municipality be held liable for negligence?

The boy's mother tries to put his comment in context. In "these games, these kids say stuff like that all the time," she says. "It is a joke to them. It's a game. And it's so wrong. I hate that game."

What game was it that inspired this yute to post that he was going to shoot up his school with an m15? Did this game inspire others to act in a like manner? How did this come to the attention of law enforcement?

It's a game. And it's so wrong. I hate that game.

Apparently it was not so wrong or hated as to inspire mom to stop junior from playing the game in her home under her supervision.

You have to look at these things case by case….I mean, he's not that person."

Nobody is that person until he is that person. The question is not whether the yute was joking or not, but whether he acted in wanton disregard of the risk of causing terror or evacuation of the school. Such wanton disregard is sufficient to show terroristic threatening. Could a reasonable person have taken his comments seriously?

Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition

Under Threat:

Terroristic threat. Any threat to commit violence communicated with intent to terrorize another, or to cause the evacuation of any building, place of assembly of facility of transportation, or in wanton disregard of the risk of causing such terror or evacuation. See Model Penal Code §211.3; 18 U.S.C.A. § 3077. See also Terroristic threats.

- - - - - - - - - -

Terroristic threats. A person is guilty of a felony if he threatens to commit any crime of violence with purpose to terrorize another or to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, facility of public transportation, or otherwise to cause serious public inconvenience, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience. 18 U.S.C.A. § 3077; Model Penal Code, § 211.3. See also Terrorism.

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0800-0899/0836/Sections/0836.10.html

The 2019 Florida Statutes
Title XLVI
Crimes

Chapter 836

DEFAMATION; LIBEL; THREATENING LETTERS AND SIMILAR OFFENSES

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.

(2) This section does not impose liability on a provider of an interactive computer service, communications services as defined in s. 202.11, a commercial mobile service, or an information service, including, but not limited to, an Internet service provider or a hosting service provider, if it provides the transmission, storage, or caching of electronic communications or messages of others or provides another related telecommunications service, commercial mobile radio service, or information service for use by another person who violates this section. This exemption from liability is consistent with and in addition to any liability exemption provided under 47 U.S.C. s. 230.

History.—s. 1, ch. 6503, 1913; RGS 5094; CGL 7196; s. 995, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 2010-51; s. 17, ch. 2018-3; s. 1, ch. 2018-128.

nolu chan  posted on  2019-08-23   15:44:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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