Threat of Massacre is No Misdemeanor
The report sounded as though it came from somewhere else. Police arrested a man who threatened to kill as many people as possible at a mosque before killing himself.
In fact, the mosque is in San Antonio. The arrest — and the deadly threat — occurred here. San Antonio police charged the suspect with making a terroristic threat, a Class B misdemeanor. A judge set his bail at $2,000.
Both the charge and the bail seem extraordinarily light.
Any threat of violence is repugnant. In this case, however, the alleged threat was made not against a single person, but rather against a group of people.
Irrational hatred — based on religion, race or anything else — can’t be outlawed. But society can send a strong message by bringing the full weight of the law to bear on those who act on that hatred or even threaten to do so.
That doesn’t appear to have happened in this case.
The local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic relations has called on federal authorities to consider bringing more serious charges. But local residents shouldn’t have to look to federal officials for help.
San Antonio has an admirable history of tolerance, cooperation and coexistence. Classifying a threat to carry out a massacre at a house of worship as a misdemeanor offense does an injustice to that history.
Original post: Threat of massacre is no misdemeanor