Friday, June 28, 2013

Jail Time Trolls

Not going to talk about Google developing a console. Because you can Google it and all of the info will be right there for at least 5 pages. But hey, it’ll be out sometime this fall with an Android based system. I already foresee it competing with the Ouya and bumping down some of Apple’s devices for developers.

What I wanted to direct this blog posting towards today is the power of words and how hypersensitive our society is becoming.  A teenager (though legally an adult at 19) in Texas (of course it would be Texas, if not then Alabama), is being held in jail over a comment made during an online rumble in League of Legends. He responded to another player’s comment saying he would shoot up school, followed by ‘lol’ and ‘jk’. That was enough for someone to call in, report it, and now he’s facing up to 8 years in prison for making a terroristic threat.

Now I understand that with the increase in mass shootings in the US that people are more on edge than normal. Are the words of this person should elicit some form of a response. Was it wrong for him to have been reported? No. Are the authorities being a little too up-tight with their response? Absolutely. In fact, I’m just waiting on Fox News to jump all over this story about “violence in games is causing real world violence” and “ZOMG!”. The overzealousness of the authorities to lock this man up without reviewing the facts is, well, silly. We slap the “terror” card down and the laws of the land are disregarded.

It also doesn’t excuse this person from not know that saying what he said was not a good idea. At all. His father comments in the story that he wasn’t the type of kid (person, he’s an adult afterall) that would read the paper, watch the news, or have any awareness of current events. “These kids, they don’t realize what they’re doing.” Absence of knowledge does not excuse absence of common sense. You don’t make a claim that you’re going to shoot up a school and expect to not have some form of repercussion. And given that he is 19, he would have most definitely have gone through several years (at least starting in middle school) of drills on what to do should someone attempt to take over the school. Hell, they began doing this in schools starting in 2000 after Columbine. I remember those drills thinking “this is not going to stop a shotgun from blowing a hole through the door.” That falls back on the person and the parents for not making him more aware of the world around him.

It’s a set of circumstances where multiple parties are at fault. But are we becoming a society that is so hypersensitive that nothing can be taken in jest anymore? Just the other day I overheard someone making light about the construction on one of the highways in the area (and it’s a 10 year project with no end in sight at this rate). But someone got so irate at their comments that they threatened to slap the person if they couldn’t show respect to the workers. I still don’t know how to comprehend that particular situation. The man made no judgments towards the employees. It was strictly about how much of a pain it is to drive through that traffic.

Something to think about…and wait while this story airs on Fox News.

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