Topic: Terrific Essays On Terrorism – 570733 | BMW …
Cheapening the word "terrorism" is great. It means that we'll eventually get back to treating crime as crime, policing as policing and we'll be able to assess all of the "anti-terrorist" measures rationally.
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I completely agree that cheapening the word "terrorism" is a bad thing and I additionally agree with the post above that we don't need to color crimes with emotional words and should just address the crimes that are actually being committed without the added witch burning.
Great point about the cheapening of the word terrorist. How about when the Maryland State Police put two Dominican nuns Sr. Ardeth Platte, 72, and Sr. Carol Gilbert, 61 in a terror database? They were labelled terrorists. This sort of thing is happening all over the country. The term terrorist is being misused courtesy of the USA Patriot Act on US citizens opposed to certain political policies.
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I think there's a difference between someone yelling "I'm going to hurt you" and someone yelling "I'm going to hurt you" while they're brandishing a weapon. Trucks and axes, when used as weapons, are pretty terrifying. Maybe I'm biased because I'm a cyclist, but I'm ok with someone using a truck or an axe to scare the shit out of someone else being charged with 'uttering terroristic threats'.
This is a terrific quietly honest beautiful essay ..
My point isn't that there's just one definition of "terror", it's that there is a fairly precise legal one for "terroristic threat" in any given jurisdiction. Here in MN (where this event took place), it is not necessary for the threat to be public or against a group of people, and in fact it is a common charge in domestic abuse cases. None of this is new, or has anything to do with 9/11. This law and its application have been the rule for decades.
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Despite my clearly glib opening, I do respect your fastidiousness (especially on the topic of evolution). However, the application of a law can, and often does, vary greatly from its intent at inception. While 'terroristic threat' is, as you state, a relatively well defined term within many legal contexts, Bruce's point (which I share) is well taken.
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Funny enough, those "domestic" crimes that happen in everyday circunstances, when the press publishes them, turn into "terrorist", as they cause terror in a significant fraction of the population...
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Unfortunately, lobbying to restrict the use of "terrorism", "terrorist", "terror", etc. to their traditional meanings won't be effective because that's not how languages evolve. Words and expressions fall out of favor, but rarely if ever retreat from inflation of usage back to a more limited prior usage.