Saturday, November 2, 2013
Eugene Volokh has this post at The Volokh Conspiracy decrying an arrest for a post stating, in essence, "maybe I should take a toy gun to [a particular school] to show it has lapses in security.":
This strikes me as ridiculous, and clearly unconstitutional. As the New Haven Register reports (see alsohere), Appi has indeed been pointing to lapses in school security, and made the “maybe I have to walk in with Toy guns just to prove a point” comment (apparently without the exclamation point) to express his frustration with the school not taking security seriously. He wasn’t threatening to attack anyone. He wasn’t threatening to illegally bring a gun anywhere. He wasn’t even expressly threatening to bring a toy gun anywhere — but if he was, then it’s at most a conditional threat that “maybe” he might bring a toy gun somewhere. Even if this is enough to justify the police investigating Appi and his intentions, it can’t justify prosecuting him for his speech.