Feb 14, 2018 Update: This blog entry was posted Jan 10, over a month before the horrific Feb 14 Parkland Florida high school shooting of 17 students by a former student. Parkland is about 550 miles (over 8 hours) away from where where this school shooting drawing took place and the man who drew a school shooting image was not connected to the Parkland shooter. Gun violence in schools is horrific, but I still feel that an artist who draws a school shooting scene is not necessarily making a threat. It could have been drawn for his step son as a vision, as a warning, as something to avoid by staying aware and taking precautions.
There is currently an average of one school shooting every 2.5 days this year in the USA.
This is the 18th school shooting of 2018. We are seven weeks into the year. That means there’s a school shooting every 2.5 days. There have been 30 mass shootings this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The attack on a Florida high school on Wednesday, is the eighth school shooting to result in injury or death so far this year, and the 18th incident involving gunfire in schools.
Vía BlackListed News http://ift.tt/2o2EOfP
The original post:
The following bad drawing may put a man with scary face tatoos and poor grammar who drew it in prison for up to 15 years. Does that sound right? He wrote the word “Pew” three times and one must wonder, Florida, shouldn’t each “pew” be considered a separate fellony?
A Florida man is charged with making a violent written threat after school officials found a rudimentary drawing of a gunman shooting people outside a burning school on a kid’s homework, authorities said.
The man, Robert Paul Alexander Edwards, 33, of Mexico Beach, Fla., was arrested Friday on a charge of making a written threat to kill or do bodily injury, a second-degree felony, Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison said Monday.
Edwards is being held on $150,000 bond pending a Jan. 2 hearing in Gulf County Circuit Court. If he is convicted, he could face as long as 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
Harrison said he had no reason to believe that Edwards intended to carry through on the implied threat, which staff found in the homework of a student at Port St. Joe Elementary School in the town of Port St. Joe.
But, he said, “Our country has been affected one too many times with horrific school tragedies. We take matters like this very seriously.”
Robert Paul Alexander Edwards, of Mexico Beach, is facing multiple charges after staff at Port St. Hoe Elementary School contacted the school resource deputy about the picture, according to the sheriff’s office. The drawing showed a school house on fire, a person running from the school on fire and several others standing in a line being shot by an individual.
The drawing also included two people on the ground in what appeared to be a pool of blood. The words, “Pew, Pew, Pew,” were written next to the person with the gun.
We don’t know all the details, but, while protecting kids is a very serious matter, considering this drawing a credible threat feels like a possible stupid waste of police resources. Why do people assume the worst? Witch hunts piss me off. For all you know the guy had a vision, a bad dream, and with this drawing was trying to warn the kid(s) about potential danger (not from himself) to the school.
How did they get him as the person doing the shooting from this terrible drawing? This could be laughed out of court easily. Imagine this: The defense attorney lines up a bunch of very different looking people including the suspect, all wearing bell bottoms, and has the jury compare them carefully to the stick figure shooter in the drawing. Reasonable doubt? See what I mean. It’s not clear that he is holding a gun at the resolution we can see the drawing and it also seems that the “shooter” in the image is facing away from the kids and looking back over his shoulder.
To me this seems less like a threat and more like a political statement he was making about kid’s attention spans. The words coming from a flaming stick figure fleeing the scene that say, “Ahhh! It boring!” are ignored by everyone.
If he didn’t have those face tatoos, this might have gone another way, but he choose to make himself look scary. The root of it is that he is probably filled with unresolved fear or anger.
So, how many years should a man be put in prison for scary face tatoos? Life? We must think of the children. Our country has been through too much.
Another Side of the Story
Update: 1/31/2018. The artist has posted his side of the story on a GoFundMe page where he is attempting to raise bail. The statement there says in part:
The December 4th NY Times headline read: “Florida Man Charged With Drawing School Shooting on Student’s Homework” Similar headlines with the same story appeared in most major news outlets and social media sites, as far away as the UK and the far east.
Rob was arrested In the small town of Port St. Joe, FL at his workplace by deputies who were almost apologetic when they picked him up. “Don’t shoot the messenger,” said one. When they told him that he was being arrested for a drawing on the corner of his step child’s homework, he retorted with his famous quip “are you kidding me right now?” After being given time to gather his stuff and close up the shop, he was brought to the sheriff’s office (unrestrained) and booked. He signed a written confession that he had indeed drawn the doodle assuming that it really wasn’t a huge deal, and was told that he would appear before a judge in the a.m. and be out shortly thereafter.
But the following Saturday morning the judge set bail at $150K even after the sheriff’s office said that they didn’t consider Rob a threat or that he had any intention of carrying out the “threat” that they were charging him with. The public defender evidently put up little fuss at the bail hearing, since the entire local public defender’s office subsequently recused themselves from defending his legal rights. He has been sitting in the county jail ever since.
If the child in question was indeed his step-child, it seems even more ridiculous that he is in jail for a drawing.
Is this story really about prejudice, pre-judging based on a person’s appearance?
A poll by Pew Research Center found that nearly 40 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 have tattoos. Even though tattoos have drastically increased in popularity, those with tattoos still feel stigmatized by the untattooed population. A study published in The Social Science Journal took a closer look at tattoo prejudice and found some pretty interesting concepts. …
A team of researchers questioned 196 tattooed and 257 non-tattooed college students. They found that having a tattoo, having tattooed friends, and having a tattooed family member was correlated with fewer stigmas against tattooed people. Reasons, such as the belief that tattoos involve major health risks and cause large amounts of pain, were most frequently referred to the reason stigmas were formed.
Lesson: Choose Wisely and Be Lucky
People do still judge a book by its cover. If you decide to look like a rebel, eventually someone may assume you are a rebel, (or criminal,) despite your actual actions and intentions. For matters of appearance where you have a choice, you may want to seriously consider taking responsibility for knowing that. Life can be unfair. Manage your risks appropriately with good decisions.
No one wants to believe that bad things happen to good people, that any person could win the “now your life sucks lottery” even with a lifetime of positive actions and intentions. It is a depressing and/or stressful thought. Unless you believe babies are born with “original sin,” however, history is filled with examples. We each spin the wheel and take our chance. Every day. Usually, you get a slightly positive or slightly negative day. On rare occasions you get a life changing strong positive event, like finding the love of your life. You might also spin and get a disaster.
That we help each other through chaos and tragedy is one of the best features of humanity.