You may not have heard about Justin Carter because he's just a kid in San Antonio who apparently made a tasteless joke among friends on Facebook. What he wrote was this:
"I'm f---ed in the head alright. I think I'ma (sic) shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them."
He was arrested, has been in jail for months, and is actually facing 10 years in Federal prison for what may simply have been a stupid wisecrack.
Before international terrorism came along, back when I was a teen, I remember some tasteless jokes we thought were funny. When we told those jokes, it was just among friends and there was no way people outside our circle could even know what was said.
Some of the things we joked about when I was a teen, like dead baby jokes, today might be considered terroristic in today's America.
Bear in mind, all the authorities have are his words. They found no plans, weapons, or terroristic devices. Have we reached the point where a child can be at risk of possibly doing hard prison time based on words alone?
Read more about his case here. What do YOU think?
This is ridiculous but also really scary. Obviously, if the comment raises concerns they should look into it--but not to the extent that the kid is put in jail for months & facing a prison sentence based on no other evidence other than a random comment. Why can't these things be dealt with a little common sense? There has to be a balance.
I think this is a case of "cover our ass." They don't want to be the ones who let him off the hook in case he were to do something terroristic in the future.
In my area, hardly a week goes by without some student giving his mates a day off by phoning in a bomb threat. Sometimes they remain anonymous, but all to frequently if one of their schoolmates doesn't give them up, they learn that it's often possible to trace such calls.
Teens have always done stupid things. They're kids and they not only make mistakes but they seem to assume that nothing bad could ever possibly happen to them.
I hope teens everywhere become aware of this case and take it to heart.
Perhaps an "ethics" component built into computer classes in schools? (It could also cover issues like cyber-bullying.) But basically saying, "Look, THINK about what you're putting out there. Because the world is a frayed nerve right now."
It's such a frustrating phenomenon because it seems like the minute someone laughs off a perceived threat --well, it all blows up (literally) in our faces.
I still feel really bad for this kid, though.
This is excessive. I understand we have to be cautious and take threats seriously but unless this kid has been psychologically evaluated AND there is something wrong with him, or he has a criminal record, he should had been released months ago.
Also, there apparently is no physical evidence of preparations to carry anything out. Teens are always doing stupid things. Very occasionally, they do something seriously bad, but always there are other signs in the form of obsessing about violence, gathering weapons, drawing up scenarios and plans, etc. All of those seem to be lacking in this case. We can't be sending people to prison for tasteless hyperbole, especially teens. Have these officials forgotten what teens are like?
I think at nineteen he got what he asked for in terms of the attention of the authorities. Ten years in jail? I'm sure there are more productive ways of handling the situation. If the trial is still on-going, I'd wager it won't come to that unless he's up against a 'zero tolerance' mindset.
I was a teenager once, as best I can recall. Growing up, there were things you didn't say in front of your parents, things you didn't say in school, things you didn't say in public, and things you didn't say in front of even your friends. It's still true now. When I was nineteen, online social media was blossoming, but not really comparable to what it is today.
In this case, sure, it's a joke amongst friends. I'm sure I've said all sorts of messed up shit -- pitch black humour -- in private company. Facebook, however, is closer to public than private. A little discretion is in order.
Unfortunately, I think privacy is a shaky concept to today's teens. Teen guys also tend to be very interrested in being gross and shocking.
Like I said, when I was a kid, there were dead baby jokes.
Admittedly, it's a bit of a different world today than when I was nineteen, at least with regard to social interaction. I'm thirty now, so when I was his age, we were at the cusp of this sort of social media/ techno overshare culture, but not quite there. But then it was a different world from mine for my parents in that regard. We have to adapt. The world can't stop turning for our bad judgment.
To reiterate, this is only up to the point where he grabbed the attention of the authorities, not the potential ten year sentence. If it was merely an arrest, investigation, and community service, I think that's ample for what was essentially a lack of discretion.
Well, but, gee they won't even give him a bail his parents can afford.
By popular demand, more or less.
We are now in the age of 'thought police'. Unfortunately the police, prosecuting attorneys and courts are not thinking. Justice has died and it is only the letter of the law that matters, sadly.
But these things need to happen to install a totalitarian regime. And the Xians won't fight against it because they are aiming to be the ones in charge of it, frighteningly.
But these are just a few paranoid thoughts of mine, hopefully. Ignore me.