Just for the record

Even if that fired comics guy had stood on a table in the middle of the office and hollered "I'm gonna come in tomorrow and shoot all yo' asses!", he would not have been making a "terroristic threat".

He would have been threatening to commit mass murder.

If the purpose of your murderous act is just to commit murder, not to scare anybody into doing anything (generally of a political nature), then it's... murder. Not terrorism.

Thank you.

3 Responses to “Just for the record”

  1. Zerotime Says:

    You can't bring logic into these sorts of things! Not when there's terrarismists!

  2. supagold Says:

    I don't think that charge actually has anything to do with terrorism as we think of it. I remember a person who threatened violence against a woman I knew was charged with terroristic threatening, and this was at least 5 years before 9/11. I think it's some kind of weird legal speak, like when they changed the charge from DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) to DUI (Driving Under the Influence), because the former implies full intoxication where the legal standard for DUI in most jurisdictions is just two drinks.

  3. Daniel Rutter Says:

    "Terroristic threatening" crimes may have been on the books in US states before 2001, but 2002 seems (amazingly enough) to be when many of them were beefed up and started being over-enforced in the ridiculous ways with which we're becoming so familiar.

    The core definition for a terroristic threat seems to be a threat made that may result in the evacuation of a building or area (i.e. a bomb threat, or conceivably a threat that you'll be coming to work tomorrow with a bag full of guns). Nobody previously responsible for these kinds of threats - kids trying to shut down their schools, the Irish Republican Army, et cetera - has ever issued them by means of oblique Webcomics, creative writing assignments or LED-lit signs resembling Aqua Teen Hunger Force characters, on account of how that would be a completely stupid way of threatening someone.

    This fact does not appear to concern the offices responsible for arresting people for having done such things. This is because War On Terror statistics appear to be front-loaded, like Enron's accounts. You get paid based on the arrests you make, not on whether any of those arrests even lead to a trial, much less a conviction.

    Every time a kid's thrown in jail for writing a story about zombies attacking his high school, another gold star goes on someone's curriculum vitae.

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