‘lol’ and ‘j/k’ are not excuses

Texas teen jailed for Facebook threats to kill kindergarteners is on suicide watch:

Teen Justin Carter Jailed In Texas After Making Sarcastic Threat In Facebook Comment:

Justin Carter

Justin Carter

It seems that the collective internet has their trusses in a bunch again over a so-called violation of freedom of speech. 19-year-old Justin Carter was arrested back in February for allegedly posting a threatening statement on Facebook.

Carter is a gamer from Texas who was participating in a flamewar with other gamers when someone said to him…

‘Oh you’re insane, you’re crazy, you’re messed up in the head,’

To which Carter allegedly 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

Carter has been in jail since March since his family can not raise bail and he’s been placed on suicide watch.

As usual as both sides play hysterics the truth should lie somewhere in the middle. Being the grim spectre of truth that I am I’m here to lay it out for you.

First off threats are not protected by the First Amendment no matter how many lols and j/ks you put in front of it. In this day and age since Columbine and most recently Sandy Hook these types of statements posted on the internet should be taken seriously. Should Carter have been arrested? Absolutely.

On the other hand Carter is looking at 8 years behind bars. Why? Historically these kinds of threats usually carry a fine and probation. When the police investigated did they find any weapons? Did they find any ongoing plans to attack any school? No, they didn’t.

Now I’m not saying that he shouldn’t be held responsible for his actions. This kid did something dangerously stupid and will have the rest of his life to reflect on that but if the local Texas authorities want to save face reduce his charges, reduce his bond to something reasonable, and cut him loose.

Also parents you should use this as a lesson to teach your kids that it matters what they say online even if they are j/k.