Terroristic Threatening

What in the world is "terroristic threatening"?

The woman was also charged with one count of terroristic threatening for pointing a handgun at an officer, said university police Maj. Kenny Brown. The woman gave her handgun to a counselor at the health services building, he said.

We are all hurt by the application of the word "terrorist" to everything we don't like. Terrorism does not equal criminality.

Posted on April 4, 2008 at 11:19 AM • 50 Comments

Comments

Brandioch ConnerApril 4, 2008 11:41 AM

Here's a link to a page that may not be correct:

http://www.getmemylawyer.com/...

"(1) Except as provided in KRS 508.075 or 508.078, a person is guilty of terroristic threatening in the third degree when: (a) He threatens to commit any crime likely to result in death or serious physical injury to another person or likely to result in substantial property damage to another person; or (b) He intentionally makes false statements for the purpose of causing evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation. "

But the two definitions above that are FAR more entertaining.

Remember kids, it's legal if you BELIEVE that it's real.

HALApril 4, 2008 11:56 AM

hawaii.gov says:
§707-716 Terroristic threatening in the first degree. (1) A person commits the offense of terroristic threatening in the first degree if the person commits terroristic threatening:

(a) By threatening another person on more than one occasion for the same or a similar purpose;

(b) By threats made in a common scheme against different persons;

(c) Against a public servant arising out of the performance of the public servant's official duties. For the purposes of this paragraph, "public servant" includes but is not limited to an educational worker. "Educational worker" has the same meaning as defined in section 707-711;

(d) Against any emergency medical services personnel who is engaged in the performance of duty. For purposes of this paragraph, "emergency medical services personnel" shall have the same meaning as in section 321-222; or

(e) With the use of a dangerous instrument.

(2) Terroristic threatening in the first degree is a class C felony. [L 1979, c 184, pt of §1(2); am L 1989, c 131, §1; gen ch 1992; am L 2006, c 230, §31; am L 2007, c 79, §2]

Case Notes

For purposes of establishing subject matter jurisdiction, defendant who placed threatening telephone call from California to Hawaii engaged in conduct occurring within Hawaii. 72 H. 591, 825 P.2d 1062.

Court erred in concluding section requires threat to be communicated directly or indirectly to person and that communication of threat to third party was insufficient. 75 H. 398, 862 P.2d 1063.

Section not unconstitutional where threats sufficiently unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey a gravity of purpose and imminent prospect of execution. 75 H. 398, 862 P.2d 1063.

Double jeopardy clause of Hawaii constitution did not bar terroristic threatening prosecution of defendant who had been found guilty of abuse under §709-906. 75 H. 446, 865 P.2d 150.

Terroristic threatening not a lesser included offense of intimidating a witness within the meaning of §701-109(4)(a); multiple conviction of terroristic threatening and intimidating a witness not barred by §701-109(4)(c). 75 H. 517, 865 P.2d 157.

Where no evidence was presented that any "dangerous instrument" other than a firearm was involved, which established an element of the underlying felony under this section, §134-6(a) did not apply. 83 H. 229, 925 P.2d 797.

Defendant's first degree terroristic threatening conviction remanded for new trial where instructions did not sufficiently inform jury that, to constitute a "true threat", defendant's threatening utterance was objectively susceptible to inducing fear of bodily injury in a reasonable person at whom the threat was directed and who was familiar with the circumstances under which the threat was uttered. 95 H. 465, 24 P.3d 661.

Defendant's first degree terroristic threatening conviction remanded for new trial where trial court failed to instruct jury that it could consider relevant attributes of both the defendant and the subject of the allegedly threatening utterance in determining whether the subject's fear of bodily injury, as allegedly induced by defendant's threatening utterance, was objectively reasonable under the circumstances in which the threat was uttered. 95 H. 465, 24 P.3d 661.

Neither the free speech clause of the U.S. Constitution nor that of the Hawaii constitution impose a temporal "immediacy" requirement that must be met before words become subject to criminal prosecution as "true threats". 95 H. 465, 24 P.3d 661.

The offense of terroristic threatening in the first degree does not require a nexus between the alleged threat and the threatened person's status as a public servant where the threatened person is a government officer or employee; thus, trial court did not err in failing to give a nexus instruction. 111 H. 327, 141 P.3d 974.

Trial court's failure to instruct the jury that it could consider the relevant attributes of both the defendant and the subject of the allegedly threatening utterance in determining whether the subject's fear of bodily injury, as allegedly induced by the defendant's threatening utterance, was objectively reasonable under the circumstances in which the threat was uttered, was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt because there was a reasonable possibility that the error contributed to defendant's conviction. 111 H. 327, 141 P.3d 974.

Terroristic threatening in second degree can be an offense included in terroristic threatening in first degree; trial court's failure to instruct jury on the lesser included offense was not plain error, where defendant contended there was a rational basis in the record for jury to decide that, although defendant made a terroristic threat, defendant did not do so with a dangerous instrument as defined in §707-700. 10 H. App. 584, 880 P.2d 213.

Terroristic threatening charge under paragraph (1)(d) remanded for prosecutorial misconduct and where evidence of defendant's violation of furlough was not a fact of consequence to any material issue under this section. 82 H. 517 (App.), 923 P.2d 934.

One may be charged with a violation of subsection (1)(d) when a dangerous instrument is employed in connection with a threat to property as proscribed by §707-715. 88 H. 477 (App.), 967 P.2d 674.

Subsection (1)(c) was not unconstitutionally vague when applied to defendant's conduct of threatening to kill public servants because of their performance of official duties; this section gave defendant fair notice that defendant's conduct was prohibited and afforded defendant the opportunity to choose between lawful and unlawful conduct. 105 H. 261 (App.), 96 P.3d 590.

Where there were no jury instructions requiring unanimity as to the person or persons threatened, thus allowing each juror seven choices as to the persons threatened and not requiring all jurors to agree on no less than one person, trial court violated the rule requiring a unanimous jury regarding the person or persons threatened, which was necessary to prove the offense charged. 114 H. 135 (App.), 157 P.3d 574.

mphApril 4, 2008 12:17 PM

"Making terroristic threats" has been a crime since long before 9/11/2001. A search of the NYTimes archives shows people being charged with this crime at least as early as 1985.

It is an error to presume that this crime, or its name, is a product of the current climate.

SteveJApril 4, 2008 12:30 PM

@ESD

Well, no. Logically a threat intended to cause terror would be a "terrifying" threat.

Terrorism does not mean "causing terror". It is not synonymous with "terrifying".

To the extent that "terrorism" means anything, it means the use for political ends of terror of violence. Armed robbery is not terrorism, even though it relies on the victim being afraid of your threats of violence.

Except that apparently, according to this law, armed robbery probably is terrorism. Which is kind of stupid, because by defining terms this way, we lose the ability to distinguish between someone who threatens to blow up civilians at random until American troops are out of Iraq, and someone who threatens to stab you unless you give him your mobile phone.

I would like to be able to draw that distinction, because while the former is much rarer than the latter, they pose a rather different sort of threat to me.

AnonymousApril 4, 2008 12:30 PM

@mph

"It is an error to presume that this crime, or its name, is a product of the current climate."

It is an error to assume that the "current climate" began on 2001-09-11. In particular, there are other jurisdictions with the usual proscriptions against threats don't feel the need to use the "terroristic" adjective.

SteveJApril 4, 2008 12:34 PM

"it means the use for political ends of terror of violence"

Oops. With my cynical hat on, I should add to that definition "by a non-state actor". With my non-cynical hat on, I should add "against victims which are not recognised as legitimate military targets".

Specifically, threatening to invade a country is not (necessarily) terrorism as generally understood, although possibly it should be...

HALApril 4, 2008 12:38 PM

Maybe the terrorists will all start drinking vodka by the gallon and end up like the communists.

DavidApril 4, 2008 12:39 PM

mph at 12:17 is correct.

"making terrorist threats" has been a pretty standard crime for a long time. I don't think it is commonly understood to imply you are a capital T Terrorist. It probably simply reflects the archaic language of many penal codes.

AnonymousApril 4, 2008 12:43 PM

@SteveJ

"Specifically, threatening to invade a country is not (necessarily) terrorism as generally understood, although possibly it should be..."

Sovereign's are against all forms of "retail terrorism" -- killing a few tens or hundreds of people here and there. Mom-and-pop stuff, corner convenience store level of activity. This kind of thing side-steps the usual propaganda/control mechanisms the sovereign has installed, and we can't have that, can we?

However, "wholesale terrorism" is always perfectly fine. When the death toll is into the hundreds of thousands or more, the sovereign recognizes that as just another kind of internal propaganda/control mechanism. Rather than focus on the differences and all the acrimonious talk that can generate, isn't it better to simply celebrate them (cf. 2008 Olympics)?

SkippernApril 4, 2008 12:45 PM

I remember somebody tried to pass a law in Europe with the following deffinition of terrorism:

A small or large group of people gathered or moving in a public area with the intent of frightening or manipulating the opinion of persons.

Think any politician can enter this category...

BetaApril 4, 2008 12:46 PM

@SteveJ "To the extent that "terrorism" means anything, it means the use for political ends of terror of violence."

I learned a slightly different definition long ago: the practice of attacking randomly selected members of a target group in order to keep the entire group in a state of constant fear (and thereby coerce it). The US/USSR nuclear standoff and Bush's power grabs were terrorism by your definition but not by mine, and the V2 attacks in WWII and the lynching of black men in the southern US were terrorism by mine but not by yours (unless we stretch the word "political").

HALApril 4, 2008 12:46 PM

Cuba started eBayofpigs. Basically eBay for people with stuff to sell with no value.

Over at eBay
Tower of Terror is a 1997 television film, directed by D.J. MacHale. It is based on the theme park attraction The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney-MGM Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida and was originally a presentation of The Wonderful World of Disney.
Plot
Buzzy (played by Guttenberg) is a tabloid reporter, who along with his niece Anna (played by Dunst) are trying to investigate the famous disappearance of five people at the Hollywood Tower Hotel in the 1930s. The five people had been in an elevator when it collapsed, and they now lingered as ghosts.

They meet an old woman called Abigail, who tells them that if they find a possession that belonged to each of the five people on the elevator, they will then be freed. However, the story is just a ruse so that Abigail can destroy all the ghosts in the hotel.

Say what you will. Terror sells.

HALApril 4, 2008 12:49 PM

You can sell terror. Disney can promote terror and it makes millions. Go figure kids.

William April 4, 2008 12:50 PM

From your expressed position I can only assume that you have not been threatened by someone specifically intent on terrorizing you. If you had then you most likely would want some civil or criminal legal recourse for contending with such an individual. Sadly in our society there are bullies that are specifically intent on terrorizing people. What else should they be called other than 'Terrorists'? How else should their behavior be characterized other than criminal?

AnonymousApril 4, 2008 1:04 PM

@William

"From your expressed position I can only assume that you have not been threatened by someone specifically intent on terrorizing you."

Are you serious? Every civilized country has laws against making threats to people or property.

Every single one.

Here, try the one in Canada on for size:

http://laws.justice.gc.ca/fr/ShowDoc/cs/C-46/...

Look at that! No "terroristic"! Yet, at the discretion of the prosecutor, you can still go to jail for it. Exactly what more do you need?

BobApril 4, 2008 1:21 PM

Bruce, I'm disappointed in you. "What in the world is 'terroristic threatening'?" A few seconds with Google would have informed you. Your blog post smacks of... um... theater.

As other people have said, "terroristic threat" is an old legal term that means (in my lay non-lawyerly understanding) verbally threatening someone. People shouldn't have to live in fear, so if I tell someone, "I'm going to sneak in your bedroom when you're asleep and slit your throat", and it's credible, I go to jail.

It goes back a long way. I don't know how long, but I heard about people getting dinged for it when I lived in Texas in the 70s and 80s.

And it's not just a pile-on charge. I knew a 19-year-old guy who went to county jail in the Bay Area just for saying "I'll kill you" during a mall-rat argument back around 1998. (Stupid, but the local DA was up for re-election and wanted to seem tough on crime.)

AnonymousApril 4, 2008 1:28 PM

Definition from some Senate transcript ( http://www.govtrack.us/congress/record.xpd?... ): Terrorist threatening: intentionally making false statements regarding a weapon of mass destruction such as placement on a government or school property--essentially placing a fake WMD on government property without permission; threatening to cause death or serious injury for the purpose of terrorizing others, their property, school, or teachers; a false statement that could cause dangerous evacuation from buildings or airports. It could be bomb threats, threats of poison-laced letters, or threats of mass shootings at school.

Examples from real life --

For writing a story about zombies overrunning a high school: http://www.lex18.com/global/story.asp?...

For being drunk (as a flight attendant): http://www.wbko.com/news/headlines/8952232.html

For shooting a dude who beat him up: http://castleofhopeforlostsouls.org/...

For a bomb threat: http://www.wtopnews.com/index.php?...

There is *some* logical disconnect here in all cases but the last one which almost meets the criteria.

TSApril 4, 2008 1:35 PM

Didn't they enact those laws after actual "terrorist" activities by the SLA in the 70's?

AnonymousApril 4, 2008 1:56 PM

@TS

"Didn't they enact those laws after actual "terrorist" activities by the SLA in the 70's?"

I second the question. What is the legislative history? I've been trying to go as far back as I can, but can't find anything conclusive. A close hit for Arkansas:

http://www.aardvarc.org/stalking/states/...

What did the 1975 version law look like?

K. Signal EingangApril 4, 2008 1:59 PM

Reaffirming what's been said repeatedly above, "terroristic threats" is pretty common legalese, I know it's on the books here in Minnesota and has been for a long time. It's a common charge in domestic abuse cases where the abuse is more psychological than physical - threats of violence rather than violent acts.

There's absolutely no legal implication that the perpetrator of terroristic threats is, themselves, a terrorist, and no, this has nothing to do with Al Qaeda or the SLA, the IRA, or any other politically motivated group. The hysteria here is all on the part of people who think ordinary thugs are going to somehow wind up in Gitmo for this - it's kind of like assuming that being "charged with battery" is the same thing as being tased.

I suspect the use of "terroristic" is meant to make it sound more clinical and descriptive, and less emotional. "Terrifying threats" has kind of a ring to it, but I'd say it's less accurate - the crime is in making a threat intended to cause fear, not in whether or not the victim is actually frightened.

timApril 4, 2008 2:13 PM

@Bob

Why spend the 5 seconds looking it up when you can just post it on your blog and watch a dozen other people look it up for you?

CGomezApril 4, 2008 2:20 PM

I think we mean "criminality" does not equal "terrorism"... because merely the act of pointing the gun is not a terrorist act.

There is definitely terrorism, and definitely criminal action. Whether the former is the latter is kind of irrelevant.

SethApril 4, 2008 2:21 PM

HAL, interesting court decisions there.

A threat made by phone from California is deemed to be "conduct occurring within Hawaii".

But in order for the law to be Constitutional, the threat must be "sufficiently unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey a gravity of purpose and imminent prospect of execution."

It's hard for me to see how someone 2400 miles away can make such a threat (at least, someone lacking in ICBMs).

AnonymousApril 4, 2008 2:24 PM

@K. Signal Eingang

"I suspect the use of "terroristic" is meant to make it sound more clinical and descriptive, and less emotional."

You suspect? A threat is, by definition, terrifying: it's the whole point.

Further, as far as I know, there isn't any jurisdiction that has a specific law against "horrific murder". The unadorned ones are good enough as is.

We need more history here. The use of the adjective suggests that there is another kind of "threat", but I can't locate it in Kentucky's code. There is a law against "menacing" (Kentucky Revised Statutes: 508.050 MENACING), but that is just an overlap with this "terroristic threat" (only double jeopardy keeps the prosecutor on their leash). There are other laws that mention threats, but one would be (for example) charged with "stalking in the second degree", and not the threat-making itself.

NaughtApril 4, 2008 2:36 PM

IANAL, but this looks about right:

08.080 Terroristic threatening in the third degree.
(1) Except as provided in KRS 508.075 or 508.078, a person is guilty of terroristic
threatening in the third degree when:
(a) He threatens to commit any crime likely to result in death or serious physical
injury to another person or likely to result in substantial property damage to
another person; or
(b) He intentionally makes false statements for the purpose of causing evacuation
of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation.
(2) Terroristic threatening in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor.
Effective: June 21, 2001
History: Amended 2001 Ky. Acts ch. 113, sec. 3, effective June 21, 2001. -- Created
1974 Ky. Acts ch. 406, sec. 72, effective January 1, 1975.


Seems to be an established term of law that pre-dates 9/11 by many decades.

John JenkinsApril 4, 2008 2:50 PM

The Kentucky Statutes in question were enacted effective June 1, 2001, before September 11, 2001, therefore are clearly not a reaction to that event.

My (limited) research shows statutes on the books in Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, and Kentucky that criminalize "terroristic threatening."

In this case, the person probably committed terroristic threatening in the second degree by threatening someone who worked at a school (university police officer).

She probably could have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, as well.

BryanApril 4, 2008 2:58 PM

When I was in middle school, pre-9/11, there was once an incident where a student on the school bus threatened to "beat up" another student if they told on them for something. The student who received the threat told their parents and their parents called the police. The police took statements from students who witnessed the threat and charged the student who made the threat with "terroristic threatening".

This isn't new.

briancaApril 4, 2008 3:10 PM

My girlfriend back in the early 90's was arrested for terroristic threats for threatening to kill her dad. (long story) This was in atlanta. It's been around for a long time.

K. Signal EingangApril 4, 2008 4:44 PM

@Anon -

There are plenty of varieties of threat that don't imply terror, as it's used in law. Coercive threats such as the threat to cause damage to one's livelihood, reputation, or finances for example -- forcing someone to do something to keep their job is handled differently from forcing them to do something at gunpoint in every code of law I know of. The language is clearly there to distinguish threats of extreme violence and physical harm from other types of threats which may be illegal, but which are not "terroristic".

gmanterryApril 4, 2008 6:03 PM

My thoughts:
The more I think about it, the more I tend to believe that the ultimate goal of the U.S. is to find a crime for each of it's citizens and put them all in prison/jail. They are much easier to control that way. You have probably never heard my most repeated rant of why this country cannot continue to exist:
Everyday cities make new laws. Everyday Counties make new laws. Everyday States make new laws. Everyday the Federal Government makes new laws. Every one of these laws is something you were allowed to do/say yesterday that you cannot do/say tomorrow. They never remove old laws. At what point will all these government entities have passed enough laws that we have no freedom left at all? All you have to do is look at what was allowed when we were young and what is not allowed now. I tell my 33 year old son, Scott, that this is NOT the country I was born into.

AntonApril 4, 2008 7:35 PM

> For terroristic threatening in the first degree:
> http://www.lrc.ky.gov/KRS/508-00/075.PDF
> In the second degree:
> http://www.lrc.ky.gov/KRS/508-00/078.PDF
> In the third degree:
> http://www.lrc.ky.gov/KRS/508-00/080.PDF

Some of these definitions are so broad, Some of these definitions are so broad, Bruce, you come close to being a terrorist threatener!

When checking in at Australian airports we are reminded by signs everywhere that jokes about airport security will be taken seriously. (Translation: you make a joke about our silly security procedures and we will charge you as a terrorist threatener).

When any society together with their political leaders outlaw satire or a sense of humor, we are in big trouble.

McCarthyApril 4, 2008 10:01 PM

I guess "terrorist" joined "communist" and "witch" on the list of "things that scare the crap out of Americans".

AnonymousApril 5, 2008 8:46 AM

K. Signal Eingang

"There are plenty of varieties of threat that don't imply terror, as it's used in law."

As I said, if there are such distinctions, I could not find them in the KRS. Can you? The closest I could find is "menacing", but that's exactly the same kind of thing as a "terroristic threat", except, ironically, the sense of danger to the victim is clear, immediate and compelling. That is to say, if the victim is truly fearful -- that is, terrified -- for their life, you are charged with "menacing" (see http://www.e-archives.ky.gov/pubs/Public_Adv/... for further discussion).

And I'm glad you raised the "aggravated assult" point, since it plays to mine perfectly. You will find, at least in jurisdictions that define it, a clear distinction in law between the aggravated, sexual, and other forms of assault.

That is to say, the adjective is necessary.

Anyways, it appears that this whole "terroristic" stuff is lifted from what is called the "Model Penal Code" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_Penal_Code). Alas, I can't find an online version to make absolutely sure though, or tell if it was their invention or some earlier one, or why there is only "terroristic threatening", instead of just a plain "threatening", with a scale (1st, 2nd, etc).

JohnApril 5, 2008 9:33 AM

I don't know about Kentucky, but here in Texas "terroristic threatening" is legislative grandstanding and prosecutorial piling-on.

Laws like this are so offensive beyond my ability to express. The legislators who voted for this crap should be locked in a dungeon for the rest of their lives.

Maybe it's just me who is offended by abusive criminal law.

I was called to jury duty several years ago on just such a case. During voir dire I protested the law. The defendent was mad about something in a store, and so far as I could tell, may have been blowing off steam. Of course the details were withheld from us during voir dire, so what do I know? I told the court I would not convict if I thought the defendent was blowing off steam. I objected that the law was unnecessary, legislative grandstanding, and piling-on.

I said if there really were an offense, there were other charges that should be used, not this snazzy new law.

I was excused from the jury.

raiApril 5, 2008 10:20 AM

Terror is terror. unreasoning fear felt by some and often spread by others with something to gain. the media and the corrupt party have been whipping this dead horse for 7 years after being caught like a deer in the headlights, when bush was shitting and running all over the midwest looking for clean underwear on 9.11.01.
Terror---istic means 'like a terrorist' just as guerrilla means 'little warrior' the distinction from actual warrior, is this one dosent have a million dollar jet to deliver the bombs so his bombs are smaller or tricky.
war is politics by other means, thats why we needed a war to reelect the junta. it was just politcs, pulling the wool over the uninformed sheeple who just want to be sheared.

none53April 6, 2008 4:32 AM

Maybe this is interesting for some of you.
In Germany, "terrorism" was quite well defined by the Supreme Court. "Terrorism" is a crime, that is targeted at
1.) the abolition of the current constitutional order incl. the rule of law based on universal human rights
2.) deeds, that cause fear and damage on a massive scale (beyond that of simple murder e.g.)
3.) the deed commited or intended to be commited must *actually* be *able* to threaten the existence of the state or be able to cause massiv fear and/or damage.

Esp. #3 is quite a nice thing, I think. Spraying leftist, right-wing or whatever kind of opinion on a subway train e.g. does not fullfill #3 and therefore is not "terrorism" but simple damaging foreign property.

Nice thing, having a good Supreme Court.

greetz, none53

JohnApril 6, 2008 8:01 AM

gmanterry commented:

Everyday cities make new laws. Everyday Counties make new laws. Everyday States make new laws. Everyday the Federal Government makes new laws. Every one of these laws is something you were allowed to do/say yesterday that you cannot do/say tomorrow. They never remove old laws. At what point will all these government entities have passed enough laws that we have no freedom left at all? All you have to do is look at what was allowed when we were young and what is not allowed now. I tell my 33 year old son, Scott, that this is NOT the country I was born into.
>

Indeed. In my youth I tried to count the number of laws passed annually. At that time, late 70s, Congress introduced about 20,000 bills per year, of which a couple of thousand were enacted. I haven't checked, but I think Congress has the same rate today.

There was one year in which Congress enacted only 256 bills, glory be.

At the time, I lived in California which enacted nearly all the bills introduced in the Assembly or Senate, at a rate of about 1500 per year.

What were these laws? Well, many of them originated in the state bureaucracy to enable state offices to change procedures. Few of them were of general interest.

In contrast, federal law is in two parts, an enabling act that tells the Administration to do something; and regulations which the Administration writes and changes in order to carry out the mandate. It wasn't always that way. In the early days of the Republic, Congress wrote both law and regulations. Congress spent so much time revising previous law that it reluctantly let the Executive write the regulations.

I came across a quip by the columnist Ed Quillen that sums up the content of state level lawmaking:

"The more time the Legislature spends arguing about concealed weapons, the less time it has for its traditional work of subsidizing millionaires, advancing real estate development, and outlawing the lifestyles of the poor." -Ed Quillen

I have one quibble with gmanterry: It is too the country you were born into. That is the way it has always been as far back as I have looked.

JohnApril 6, 2008 8:04 AM

Hmm. Last comment didn't get gmanterry's quote posted.

gmanterry commented:

"Everyday cities make new laws. Everyday Counties make new laws. Everyday States make new laws. Everyday the Federal Government makes new laws. Every one of these laws is something you were allowed to do/say yesterday that you cannot do/say tomorrow. They never remove old laws. At what point will all these government entities have passed enough laws that we have no freedom left at all? All you have to do is look at what was allowed when we were young and what is not allowed now. I tell my 33 year old son, Scott, that this is NOT the country I was born into."

WolfgerApril 7, 2008 6:52 AM

Pointing a weapon at an armed and uniformed agent of a government isn't even remotely terrorist. Terrorism involves doing harm (or threatening to do harm) to unarmed civilians. Sheesh.

JanetApril 7, 2008 4:18 PM

The Delaware law on terroristic threatening, 11 Del. C. sec 621, was passed on July 6, 1972.

The other states' laws seem to have been passed around the same time.

justiceJuly 24, 2008 5:16 PM

Ladies and Gentlemen, i have been recently threatened with weapons such as shovels and metal pipes during an argument that i was having with these people. I was pushed and punched in my chest, but i kept my hands to myself. As i was walking away from the conflict i said "bang bang mother you know whats i'm not from around here- bang bang!" I said this out of rage i had no weapons on me at all just my hands, and i never intended to literally go back with a gun and shoot someone, but i admit i was pissed off so i opened my mouth without thinking. Get this though, 5 minutes later i get arrested for terroristic threats and nothing is done to those clowns who brought weapons at me! am I guilty?

jimmMarch 29, 2009 1:50 PM

I was recently convicted of terroristic threatening in HI......I had a disagreement with a cop who came to my house by mistake....said he was on a domestic disturbance call.....it was actually a noise complaint by a nieghbor....and the noise did not come from my house......but he entered, tackled me and proceeded to hit me and punch me in the ribs to which I replied " if you weren't a cop I would kick your ass"
I admitted as much in court thinking I have every right to express my opinion about an unprovoked attack..but guess what? Guilty! as charged ..one year i jail and 5 years felony probation...

No witnesses, no corroborating evidence just the officers word against mine......what country am I living in?

viAugust 12, 2009 9:10 PM

I was threatened by a cop with having charges filed on me because I kept complaining about a school crossing guard this this cop supervised. The crossing guard had shown stalking behaviors towards me, continually drove by home, made weird comments, propositioned me, and finally beat with his fists on my vehicle at the school. The cop would not help or even listen to me. The last I saw, the guard was oddly touching little girls on their exposed arms as he crossed them at the intersection. The complaint I made about that resulted in the threats against me. I guess it's okay when cops make terroristic threats and stalkers who terrify women and children get off scott free and keep their jobs if they work for them.

Leave a comment

Allowed HTML: <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre>

Photo of Bruce Schneier by Per Ervland.

Schneier on Security is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Co3 Systems, Inc..