MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Brickbat: Sending a Message

RifleRaytags / Dreamstime.comOfficials with Indiana's Owen Valley High School contacted police after sophomore Marcus Padgett posted an anti-gun control message on Snapchat. Padgett posted an image of a rifle and the caption, "Waiting for it to go out and start killing people ... it still hasn't moved." Cops quickly determined Padgett wasn't threatening anyone, but he and his family say people in the school and in the town they live in now treat him as a potential school shooter.

Photo Credit: Raytags / Dreamstime.com

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Cops quickly determined Padgett wasn't threatening anyone, but he and his family say people in the school and in the town they live in now treat him as a potential school shooter.

    Maybe they already treated him as a potential rapist, and this seemed appropriately logical.*

    *Nothing than decentivizes reproduction is biologically logical. More guns and penii just makes sense, y'all.

    **Wrath of Nikki should be a weather forecast. But there's prolly three people left who remember that tiara. *melancholy Billy Corgan guitar riff*
  • Griffin3||

    Nikki was the worst.

  • DiegoF||

    Er, in fairness, they're probably right to be scared of this kid.

    He's something a hell of a lot more dangerous than a school shooter. He's a young person who's learned to think for himself and value his rights as an American. (This is only half tongue in cheek. I think the authorities are genuinely, viscerally freaked out by him, for essentially this reason.)

  • Rat on a train||

    Knowing what he knows now, Marcus says he probably would not post the picture again.


    He's learned a valuable lesson. Don't express unapproved thoughts. Freedom isn't free.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Officials with Indiana's Owen Valley High School contacted police after sophomore Marcus Padgett

    Why'd they bother? Once they heard that he doesn't use his middle name, that should have told them all they needed to know.

  • Rat on a train||

    Does it need to be the name or is an initial sufficient?
    What about first initial with middle name? Do I need to fear Michael J Fox and H Jon Benjamin?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Gotta be full names. You can come out from your hiding spot in the luggage compartment now.

  • Rat on a train||

    Thanks. I feel safer knowing John Quincy Adams, William Henry Harrison and William Howard Taft are dead.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    As do alligators, speech attendees and bathtubs everywhere.

  • DiegoF||

    Imagine if ol' Taft lifted up one of his rolls to find this little Marquis still stowing away! If it was still alive and hadn't been suffocated, he could've gotten the ghost of Old Tippecanoe to bore it to death.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Sadly, T.R.'s stay in the building put an end to the century-long alligator infestation, as part of the general local extirpation of all wildlife in a 60-mile radius.

  • DiegoF||

    Doing some more sleuthing into the matter. It seems that this was a case of the standard "citizens, report even the vaguest suspicion; authorities, investigate every report" protocol that our communities have adopted to deal with rare-but-unsettling-because-of-their-randomness threats like terrorism and mass shootings that have, if anything, taken on more relative prominence in our minds as total violence plummets along with our threshold of tolerance for it.

    On this occasion, at least, all authorities seem to have subsequently done somewhat right by the young man by recognizing that the tip was a false alarm, period; that he posed no threat; and made that fact crystal clear to themselves and the public...

  • DiegoF||

    ...Mom is saying that the whole town (pop. 2,217) is nonetheless treating him like a shooter and making him miserable; and she wants him registered as a dropout so he can get his GED. This is a horrible idea. GEDs are worthless nowadays and everyone who matters knows it; GEDs are treated like dropouts in every circumstance except where the HS requirement is only nominal. She should have her kid tough it out if he is being bullied, or request a transfer on that basis if there's a right to do that. Maybe don't run to the 11 o'clock news about the matter. (Especially since she says the kid wants to join the military.) I think in a tiny town in rural Indiana she is likely to find some folks who (after all, like the cop chief and school superintendent) understand a standard gun rights argument when they see one.

  • Brandybuck||

    A GED will get you into college, and once you get a degree, no matter how minor, no one cares that you didn't actually attend a high school graduation ceremony.

    Thirty plus years after graduating, NO ONE has ever asked to see my high school diploma.

  • DiegoF||

    Yep. If you can stick it out and get a degree (presumably at least starting at a community college, because again, good luck getting into a selective one--things are not what they used to be) you'll have demonstrated all you need, and be in the clear. But then it's that or bust; you're cutting off all other options. And that's always something you want to avoid. (He can't delay it either, since the only job he'll get in the interim are the shit ones.)

  • Cloudbuster||

    A GED will also get you into the military.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    See something. Say something?

  • DiegoF||

    I had my hipster lady put it in both our languages just to be sure.

  • Griffin3||

    I see something. I see that guy's an idiot. And I said it.
    No offense, brah.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "We might have been on the scene for 20 minutes. We conveyed to him how important it is to think before you post that kind of stuff on a social media site," Officer Austin Combs, Spencer Police Department.

    This ends now. No one needs Snapchat. It's causing too much harm and there's no legitimate use for it. Raise the minimum meme-posting age to 21 and ban Snapchat altogether. Take the Snapchats first and worry about due process later.

  • Rhywun||

    If the Great Gun Freakout of 2018 leads to the end of social media, I'm all for it.

    Where do I sign up? #resist oh wait no more hashtags

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Clearly the lefties have decided to declare war on the 1st and 2nd Amendments.

    I still don't understand why taxpayers are having to pay for school officials to spend their work time browsing Snapchud, FaceFriends, and Instacrap.

  • DiegoF||

    Just as long as they keep their filthy commie hands off the 3rd!

  • Rat on a train||

    And the 18th!

  • Jerryskids||

    Speaking of sending a message, I note the statute of limitations has passed for charging Clapper for lying to Congress about whether or not the NSA collects any information on Americans. What sort of message is being sent there?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Government rarely goes after its own. To do so would send the wrong message and potentially prevent people from wanting to be employed in government.

  • sarcasmic||

    Nobody in government wants to be prosecuted for their crimes, so they don't set precedent by prosecuting others. Cops especially. And no legislator wants to see any of their hard work repealed, so they don't set precedent by repealing bad legislation. That is why we will never see police reform, nor will we ever see shitty laws repealed. People in government have too much invested in being wrong to admit to being wrong. That and the people might stop treating them like deities.

  • Cy||

    Thank you for your service.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Once those idiots lose to the other looter by 2% while the LP candidate walked off with a 3% spoiler vote, you will (and always have in the past) see platforms change and laws get repealed. It is the rise of the Invisible Club revealed in "Spotting Fake Libertarians" and in the Lamb election just now... Dokuro-chan says "Resistance is utile!"

  • FlameCCT||

    Seems the Libertarians had an issue in spotting the fake libertarian during the last President election cycle. Anyone could have easily seen that Johnson was a Progressive Republican not much different than his Progressive Democrat tovarisch.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    That Clapper has dirt on every member of Congress now?

  • sarcasmic||

    people in the school and in the town they live in now treat him as a potential school shooter

    Well, duh. Only government angels should be comfortable with guns. Everyone else should be afraid of them, because absent a government priest to keep the evil spirits at bay, that gun could possess a mere mortal and turn them into a mass murderer. People don't kill people; guns kill people.

  • Cy||

    "guns kill people" and capitalists and people who read the constitution."

    Ok kids, now lets turn to page 16 of our approved reading of The Motorcycle Diaries.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    And if you don't agree it's because you don't fucking love science.

  • Rhywun||

    My morning news had a featurette interviewing this Korean guy who runs the last gun range in Manhattan. You could see the anchors desperately looking around for their fainting couches. "Here in liberal NYC, my word!"

  • Hank Phillips||

    But don't men with guns protect politicians? And aren't politicians people too?

  • Longtobefree||

    So the conspiracy theorists are correct.
    First they go after the second, then the fourth, then the first; which one is next?
    (The fifth doesn't count, because everyone has always assumed if you take the fifth, you are guilty of something)

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Marlin model 1895 45/70; nice rifle preferably if made before Marlin was sold out ["JM" models]; wouldn't mind having one of those.

  • AustinRoth||

    So, this gets investigated by the police.

    Cruz? Nothing to see here. Move along you lookie-loos.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Lemme guess... people (especially mystics) kill people?

  • Cloudbuster||

    Why don't kids use anonymous accounts?

  • Don't look at me.||

    How are you going get famous with an anonymous account? Do you even social media, dude?

  • DenverJ||

    The kid (or really his parents) should sue the police for harassment. Nothing he did was in any way illegal or even worrisome.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online