Worth Not Threatening to Kill You About

I don’t normally write about serious things but if this is the kind of things “free speech” is supposed to protect then the NRA is the most sensible organization in the USA.

Sorry to my USA friends who are NRA members. I just find them inflexible and not open minded for discussion, and that was the best comparison on ludicracy I could think of after reading the link. I grew up hunting with my Grandpa and am pro gun, for full disclosure, but also for sensible gun control. See, free speech in action!

This post has nothing to do with guns at all, either.  I have derailed my own thread.

For those who don’t want to click and read, the gist of the article is that the courts are discussing if death threats via social media are actually a crime, or if they are protected by free speech.

Not kidding. I get these kinds of discussions and debates aren’t as simple as I am trying to make it right now, but what happened to just being nice to one another?

Do we really need protection so people can cause fear in others, during a time where what is a real threat, and what is satire/perceived, may not be clear? We all know emails / texts are notorious for not conveying the message properly, but death threats in most forms are pretty clear on intent.

But if I said I want to Kill Murf *smiley face* because he is just a silly lil’ bugger than one can pretty much tell that I am kidding. Of course, if I were ever to say that I’d make sure there was no mistaking that no, I don’t really want to kill Murf (unless it is with kindness). (Editors note: I absolutely do not want to kill Murf)

If I were to make what seemed to be apparent and legitimate threats that made Murf fear for his well being, well, that should be illegal. And like most crimes with victims the tolerance of the victim should be taken into consideration. Murf could probably take a lot of twitter jabs from me knowing he is pretty safe since he is in Alabama and I in Canada – but a 20 year old female who didn’t know me may not feel so safe after a single death threat. Imagine, we have to measure the number and severity of death threats and whether they need to be enshrined okay under ‘Freedom of Speech’. The burden should lie with the person being stupid, not the person worried about the stupid person.

This will be interesting to follow. Yes there is probably a much deeper debate here to have, and probably not best done on a gaming blog, but I am going to end this piece with this:

Please, don’t threaten to kill one another, even if you are joking. There is no upside.

5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Personally, the way I’d do it is to take a page from murder and differentiate by degrees. Murder involves “intent” to kill, and the most extreme is premeditated, etc.

    Then there’s also manslaughter, where I think – from watching TV law anyway – that occurs when there’s no intent but someone ends up dead anyways.

    So, intentional death threat = extra bad and more penalties… Unintentional death threat but one where a “reasonable person” would rule was over the line and caused someone else to fear for their safety = just bad and still punishable, but less than the first.

    But hey, when did law and common sense have anything in common, right?

    1. There is a lot of ways to do this around common sense =) I understand they need to build in the false positives and authority stupidity checks (read about the guy charged with child porn because his 16 year old girlfriend was sending him pictures of herself? He was the same age…) so it’s tricky to stickhandle. Soemthing like that.

      1. Well, over here, we’re still working on de-criminalizing sex in private between two consenting adults (that happen to be male.)

        (But somehow, the same law says absolutely nothing about sex in private between two consenting female adults.)

        So there’s still quite a ways to go between law and consistency, let alone common sense…

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