Surprise surprise: a “tolerant”, non-violent liberal is being investigated for posting potentially threatening remarks towards others on the Internet.
James Pearce is a professor at Southern State Community College, and as such is given a platform that, while not as great as celebrities’ and politicians’, is given more consideration than most people. Part of this enhanced platform is Facebook, where he shares his thoughts with not only friends and family, but colleagues and students as well. Although you might think this facilitates greater communication between professor and student, Pearce has instead opted to use it to engage in inflammatory rhetoric.
On June 13th, a day after the terrorist attack in Orlando that left 49 people dead, Pearce called for his fellow “anti-gun types” to take up arms and attack the NRA’s headquarters. As if this weren’t disturbing enough, the professor made it a point to say they should “make sure there are no survivors.”
Despite the obviously horrific nature of Pearce’s proposal, he concludes that it is necessary because he imagines that it will result in “legislative action on assault weapons.” Ironically enough, the only the professor’s post has provoked is a federal investigation, with authorities currently looking into whether Pearce’s comments constitute a credible threat or not:
“‘In general, the college would alert local authorities about any threats that were made known to the college, especially any threats made to students, faculty or staff,’ she explained. ‘We have a good working relationship with the police jurisdictions covering each of our four campuses, and trust they would follow their protocols for reporting to other agencies. As I understand it, a report does not necessarily mean an investigation.’
Pearce’s comments were reported to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security on June 17 by administrators at Southern State Community College. The college’s Security and Emergency Response coordinator Gary Heaton claimed that ‘the Attorney General advised [SSCC Vice President] Dr. Roades to take no action until the Feds had completed an investigation.’”