A Massachusetts teen, Cameron D’Ambrosio, 18, was just arrested for posting rap lyrics to Facebook in which he made threats against the White House and saying that he would make a bigger explosion than the Boston Marathon bombings. He was busted after a fellow high school student brought the post to the attention of the vice principal. The post included the following:
“I’m not in reality, So when u see me (expletive) go insane and make the news, the paper, and the (expletive) federal house of horror known as the white house, Don’t (expletive) cry or be worried because all YOU people (expletive) caused this (expletive),” … “(Expletive) a boston bominb wait till u see the (expletive) I do, I’ma be famous rapping, and beat every murder charge that comes across me!”
D’Ambrosio, who also posts rap videos to YouTube under the name “Cammy Dee,” could possibly be put in prison for up to 20 years if found guilty of making a “terrorist threat.” The real question is, how ridiculous is this?
“Incidents” like this need to be handled on a case-by-case basis. On the one hand, the youth of America seem more out of whack now than ever. After Sandy Hook, Columbine, Aurora, Boston, et al, we do need to accept that teenagers are capable of horrid acts of violence and terror. On the other hand, come onnnnnnn … he’s just a stupid kid saying crazy shit in a rap song. He’s like a little tone-deaf Eminem. Detain him, determine that he is utterly incapable of achieving anything more than a job eating butter at the county fair, and release him back into obscurity, hopefully a wiser idiot. Of course, there is the extenuating circumstance that he did once get arrested previously for threatening his sister with a knife, which prompts me to say, “Take a good long look at this one before releasing him.”
A further extenuating circumstance is the case of the kid in Virginia who posted a message to 4chan detailing a shooting spree, minutes before he did it. How much difference is there between rapping about something and simply writing about it? It gets into the thornier subject then of “how sacred is our freedom?” Should I have to censor my thoughts and actions because a few (and if you play the numbers game, it really is a fraction of a fraction of a percent) lunatics have shown themselves unworthy of the privilege of freedom? Granted, I don’t go making threats against the White House or tell 4chan I am going to murder people, but in my other career as an author, I do delve into some pretty dark, sick fodder. And yet, for all my tough talk, innuendo and blather, I am harmless.
Currently, the statistics are on our side — the number of psychos to non-psychos is laughable. Sure, the damage done to innocent people is no laughing matter, but we live in a world where accidents and natural disasters happen on a daily basis. Tragedies, to a certain degree, fall into the same category of “shit is going to happen.” Even working on upping the mental health research in this country (something I am a HUGE proponent of) people are going to fall through the cracks. Sure, you can arrest the ones who stick out ~ a la Cameron D’Ambrosio, but the stark reality is that we will be so busy arresting the perceived threats, we won’t see the real ones until it is too late.
For more on social media’s interaction with crime, check out these links: