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7-15-2009 @ 5:16PM
I'm sorry, but 20 years in jail for a stupid empty threat made by a teenager in a video game chat channel?! Are you insane? Add to that all the other comments under this post that advocate (half-jokingly, I hope) that we dole out prison sentences for stupidity and whatnot, and we have a pretty sad picture of our society today. That kid? He is a fellow American that you just advocated depriving of freedom and submitting to, essentially, torture for 20 years. According to you, he deserves to have a "semblance of a life" afterward, all for being a "stupid ass" and scaring a few people. People like you and your cavalier attitude towards stripping your own countrymen of their freedom are responsible for far more pain and suffering across this Nation than any terrorist could ever dream of. You know what you do to people that yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater? You bar them from theater. You make them repay the damage caused by the ensuing panic. And if irreparable damage was done to people, you charge them with associated crimes. Only in the face of actual charges for actual damages do you deny them the right to a First Amendment defense and, by extension, their otherwise inalienable right to freedom. Coming back to the story at hand, what exactly would you charge this kid with? Who suffered harm here? Was there panic in the streets? Were planes grounded across Indiana? Did somebody jump out of a window in panic? No. A few people got wary and Blizzard called the cops. From the sound of it, the subsequent investigation will likely show that he is not a terrorist. At that point, a slap on the wrist and a public humiliation is in order, after which you set him loose to go on with his life. Not a "semblance of a life", but a normal productive life that's actually beneficial to society.
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