The news recently has been scattered almost daily it seems with people being arrested for threatening to commit mass murder. A man in Clarksville, Jacob Cooper, was arrested on Aug. 21 for threatening to do just that.
This new system of actively holding individuals accountable for their threats has come under scrutiny, but it is completely ethical. It is the only step in stopping mass murders so far that does not include stricter gun control. It should be something that both parties agree on, if someone says they are going to kill people then they should face the law.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>A 20-year-old man from Tennessee was arrested on Wednesday for posting messages on an internet forum threatening to open fire in a Planned Parenthood facility in D.C. and threatening federal agents. Jacob Cooper, who goes by the username “Jacco” on the website iFunny,….</p>— Jhawn Paul (@PinkSheepNews) <a href=”https://twitter.com/PinkSheepNews/status/1165019500208672771?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>August 23, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
Federal and state law supports this practice and is why Cooper was arrested. He wrote on Ifunny on Aug. 13 “Make sure you tell them about how I plan to shoot up a planned parenthood facility in Washington D.C., on Aug. 19 at 3p.m..” This is a very clear and defined threat which he continued by stating he would attack law enforcement as well. This was taken seriously as it should have been and lives may have been saved with his arrest.
As a society we need to make these individuals face the consequences for breaking federal law when putting online that they plan to cause the ultimate harm to others. It is not something to make excuses for and it is not something to do knowing it is wrong.
There has been controversial arrests as well though that are harder to brush off as someone who absolutely should face jail time. A 15-year-old boy was arrested in Florida on Aug. 16 after he threatened to use a “M15” to kill “seven people at a minimum” while playing games online.
In the now viral video of an interview with his mom and police, the boy and his mother insist he was joking. The police point out that even if he was joking it is still a felony to make these comments. It is not okay to joke about murdering people anyway, especially considering how many people have died due to mass shootings in recent years.
The recent arrests followed the shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas that killed 31 people in one weekend. The shooters in both Ohio and Texas expressed violent extremist views online before the attacks happened. It is only logical to use this pattern to prevent more devastation.
Radical views have lead to an increase in domestic terrorism and something needs to be done about it. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have to investigate and arrest people who admit to having these extreme ideologies. These recent arrests are a great first step, but other things have to be done as well to continue to combat this epidemic of violence.
Democrats and Republicans have to start working together to develop policies to stop more deaths from happening. There are different things that might help, they might not fix everything, but less is still better than more in this situation.