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water baloon terrorism
Oh the Terror
When Beheadings Fail
Response to the AquaTerror
Wow, well all I can say is, “Only in America.” Ok, so let’s take a minute to see why the overreaction. We’ll also have to take a moment to look at more contemporary issues and local current events.
This incident comes in the wake of “…four Meadowcreek High School students were arrested and charged with throwing a bleach-filled balloon at a 14-year-old middle school student on May 26, the last day of school.” (Habersham 2010). So as can be expected, there’s a bit of a crack down on similar incidents. It seems like all the pieces came together and Jerrod did the wrong thing at the wrong time and is being hemmed up by a legal system trying to do the “right” thing.
But is it really the “right” thing?
Under Georgia law, anyone who "shoots or throws an object at a conveyance which is being operated or which is occupied by passengers" commits a terroristic act. (Habersham 2010)
That’s such a random thing to put in the books, you have to ask what they were thinking. Well, apparently Georgia Code - Crimes and Offenses - Title 16, Section 16-11-37 is the law that governs terrorism and it surprising predates 9/11. The objective of this was to target gangs that often used terror tactics to keep the civilian population under their control and prevent the reporting of crimes or citizens providing information to police. This law was meant to prevent obstruction of justice (LexisNexis 1998).
By federal regulations, Terrorism is actually a political action that is geared towards influencing government action. It is defined by U.S. Code Title 22, Ch.38, Para. 2656f(d)(2) as:
“premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents” (Zalman 2010)
Based on these definitions, lacking any political agenda, this Tom Foolery, while immature and a violation of lesser laws against rabble rousing and miscellaneous chicanery, was by far, no act of terrorism. And if this guy really was a terrorist, he needs to join Al Qaeda or the Taliban and train them so we can end this war with Super Soakers and bring out troops home faster. There are too many real threats to our great nation to waste our time on nonsense like this.
The next question will be whether or not some jack in the box will act without thinking and blindly apply the letter of the law, or will the spirit of the law be maintained while true justice is upheld.
In other news, the terror plot by the KKK to dress up as ghosts for Halloween and run around saying “Boo!” at Trick-or-Treaters was averted thanks to a tip of by Tooth Fairy.
Habersham, Raisa. 19-year-old faces 3 felony charges for throwing water balloon. June 15, 2010. http://www.ajc.com/news/gwinnett/19-year-old-faces-549218.html (accessed June 17, 2010).
—. 19-year-old faces 3 felony charges for throwing water balloon. June 15, 2010. http://www.ajc.com/news/gwinnett/19-year-old-faces-549218.html (accessed June 17, 2010).
LexisNexis. Copyright (c) 1998 Georgia State University. 1998. https://litigation-essentials.lexisnexis.com/webcd/app?action=DocumentDisplay&crawlid=1&crawlid=1&doctype=cite&docid=15+Ga.+St.+U.L.+Rev.+80&srctype=smi&srcid=3B15&key=923d14f9f2e5e4482d61630085b9dc31 (accessed June 17, 2010).
National Journal. The Terrorism Enhancement: An obscure law stretches the definition of terrorism, and metes out severe punishments. July 13, 2007. http://shaneharris.com/magazinestories/terrorism-enhancement-obscure-law-stretches-the-definition-of-terrorism-and-metes-out-severe-punishments/ (accessed June 17, 2010).
Zalman, Amy. Definitions of Terrorism. Prior to June 17, 2010. http://terrorism.about.com/od/whatisterroris1/ss/DefineTerrorism_5.htm (accessed June 17, 2010).