Here's one to start your day with...
Is this your America, folks?
"Texas Teen Makes Violent Joke During Video Game, Is Jailed For Months"
That's the headline.
Here's the story:
A Texas teenager who has been in jail since March faces an eight-year prison sentence because of a threatening joke he made while playing an online video game.
In February, Justin Carter was playing “League of Legends” - an online, multi-player fantasy game - when another player wrote a comment calling him insane. Carter’s response, which he now deeply regrets, was intended as joke.
“He replied ‘Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts,’ and the next two lines were lol and jk,” said Jack Carter, Justin’s father, in a statement to a local news channel.
* As you'll see, folks, nowhere in the article is it claimed that the father's statement isn't true. Therefore... I accept it as fact for purposes of this posting.
The statements “lol” and “jk” - meaning “laughing out loud” and “just kidding” - indicate that Justin’s statement was entirely sarcastic, said his father.
* Because... er... that's what they do mean!
* Geezus... even without the "lol" and "jk" I believe it's pretty clear - especially within the context of online banter and trash talk in the midst of perfectly legal online video-gaming - that this 19-year-old wasn't actually making a "terroristic threat."
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
But a Canadian woman who saw the post looked up Carter’s Austin address, determined that it was near an elementary school, and called the police. Carter was arrested one month later, and has been in jail ever since. He recently celebrated his 19th birthday behind bars.
* Now here's where I hesitate; why isn't there any hint of what the authorities found out over their month-long investigation? Either they found something - concrete plans for an upcoming massacre along with a weapons cache - or else... these "authorities" are themselves "insane." I find that latter hard to believe... but without information speaking to the former...
Authorities charged him with making a terrorist threat. If convicted, he will face eight years in prison.
* Via what evidence? What exactly did their month-long investigation find? This young man has been in jail since March! Had he been arrested for DWI I'm guessing he would have been released on his own recognizance or after paying a few hundred dollars bail!
“These people are serious. They really want my son to go away to jail for a sarcastic comment that he made,” said the elder Carter.
* Absent competing evidence it sure does seem so, no?
Authorities noted that recent school shootings like the one in Newtown, Connecticut have caused them to evaluate all potential threats seriously. Newtown was still fresh in their minds at the time of Carter’s arrest.
* No one's saying not to "evaluate all potential threats seriously." What I'm saying is that - at least from what I'm reading here - no serious threat was made and we've been presented with no evidence that could possibly justify this young man sitting in jail for near-on four months!
“In light of recent situations, statements such as the one Justin made are taken seriously,” said an Austin police detective in a statement.
* Again... there's a huge difference between "taking threats seriously" and arresting and imprisoning an American citizen who - at least from what I'm reading here on The Daily Caller - is at most "guilty" of free speech some view as obnoxious and offensive.
* What's next? Will men in black one day "disappear" me after I throw yet another of my trademarked "Dear Terrorists: Latitude:38.895193° Longitude:-77.036628°" wiseass quips up here on Usually Right?
A hearing to review Carter’s case is scheduled for July 1.
* And if, as I fear, there's no real evidence that would justify what has occurred here... will anyone be fired? Will any of the authorities responsible be held responsible?