I have been mulling over a topic over the internet for the past few days all centered around a nineteen year old that got into an argument with a friend on Facebook back in February. It concerns his interpretation of humor and sarcasm and how it was perceived by others including authorities. This is the story of Justin Carter…
“Someone had said something to the effect of ‘Oh you’re insane, you’re crazy, you’re messed up in the head,’ to which he 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.,” said Jack Carter (Justin’s father).
A unidentified Canadian woman saw the post and took it as a threat. She looked up Justin’s address, found out he lived very close to an elementary school and then called police in Texas. Justin is still in jail at the time of this writing. The charges he is facing is eight years for terroristic threatening.
Justin’s statment was two months after the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut. “Justin was the kind of kid who didn’t read the newspaper. He didn’t watch television. He wasn’t aware of current events. These kids, they don’t realize what they’re doing. They don’t understand the implications. They don’t understand public space,” said Jack Carter.
According to the reports I have read online there were no weapons were found in his home. There is no prior record of violence. There is no history of psychiatric problems. Nor is there anything negative being said by friends of Justin Carter. The only thing removed from the home was Justin’s computer.
There are so many tangents I can go on about. So please bear with me as I do so…
First off, the statement that Justin Carter made was insensitive, scary and downright timely considering that the Sandy Hook shooting happened TWO MONTHS before. So I don’t buy the whole “he wasn’t aware of current events” garbage. The kid had a Facebook account, of course he knew about the school shootings. Just yesterday my Facebook was all afire about how Justin Bieber urinated in a mop bucket in a kitchen and how the new Grand Theft Auto V trailer looked amazing… I believe a mass shooting at a school just might have come across his page just a few times.
Another thing… How come no one closer to Justin didn’t report his Facebook status to police? Let me reitterate this: A WOMAN FROM CANADA reported it. Doesn’t it seem odd that no one close to him thought this could possibly a threat? Probably not…
Please understand that expressing yourself with the written word can be very difficult. Things like “LOL” and “JK” are not part of the whole world’s venacular. Many people can take things out of context and sometimes people say and write things that they really don’t mean. Especially when engaging in smack talk on an online game like League of Legends. (The game Justin was playing prior to the incident.)
If everyone did exactly what they said they did online, then my mother should be rolling on a mattress made of money from all of the two dollars she was paid for services rendered for illegally selling her body to each of the adolecent teens that apparently also like to play Call of Duty and Halo. I should also really ask my parents to submit my birth certificate for testing to prove I was in fact concieved and born after they were actually married, that is… if my father is truly my father.
In my humble opinion this whole Justin Carter case screams a huge misunderstanding. Yes, he made a threat… he should be questioned and given a psychiatric evaluation of his mental status. But if he is mentally ok and not considered a threat, then what? Well in Texas he is going to be put on trial for his remark. Let me write that again in a different way… He will go to trial for a sarcastic comment to a friend. When this does go to trial what will this mean for the rest of us if he is convicted?
If he really is disturbed, he needs help and be removed from the public for the safety of all until which time he is reformed. However, if he messed up trying to convey sarcasm to a public audience…. then what?
Does the judge send him to jail for eight years for making an empty sarcastic threat to save face so the people that voted this judge in feel that he didn’t waste the court’s time and taxpayer money on keeping the kid locked up? Or does he make the kid do a crap ton of community service educating the high school and college kids that sarcasm has no place on Facebook. I’m glad that I’m not that judge… I am also very glad that it is not me sitting in jail. Which reminds me….
*NOTE* The author of this article did convey sarcasm when writing about his mother. His mother has never been, to his knowlege, a “lady of the night”. Nor has his mother ever had sex with any underage child. The author is also pretty sure that his father is in fact, his father. Also… the author would like to renounce to anyone that he has ever played online that he did not pay have sex with their mother… the ladies he has had sex with gave themselves willingly, without compensation and always with protection… And lastly, even if he impied it every 2 minutes… The author is not “Your Daddy”. Thank you.
So how do you feel about your posts? Do you always say what you mean? Let me know in the comments below. But be careful, there is always someone watching. Like the title states… Sarcasm isn’t safe anymore…