, Salem, MA

May 7, 2013

Our view: There's a price for stupidity

The Salem News

---- — “Bein’ a idiot is no box of chocolates,” says the title character in Winston Groom’s 1986 novel “Forrest Gump.” Bein’ a idiot is no crime, either.

But when one’s particular form of idiocy involves making threats to outdo the Boston Marathon bombings, to go insane and make the news and beat any murder charge against him ... well, that’s a different box of chocolates altogether.

Methuen police last week arrested 18-year-old Cameron B. Dambrosio and charged him with communicating a terrorist threat. Police say the Methuen High student posted on his Facebook page that he would outdo the marathon bombings that killed three and left more than 200 wounded.

“(Expletive) the Boston bombing, wait til you see what I do. I’m going to be famous,” police Chief Joseph Solomon said Dambrosio wrote. “And (Dambrosio wrote) he’s going to beat every murder charge brought against him.”

The charge against Dambrosio is serious, and for the time being, he is being held without bail.

So is Dambrosio a terrorist whose plans were nipped in the bud? Or is he merely a stupid kid who does not understand the consequences of what he says and writes?

Dambrosio, like every other American, has the protection of the First Amendment guaranteeing his freedom of speech. But limits on free speech have long been established in law.

Let an investigation and the justice system run its course. If there is any credibility to Dambrosio’s threats, let him be put on trial and, if convicted, sent to prison for a long time.

If there is nothing to the threats, then let Dambrosio’s short time in a jail cell serve as a lesson on the consequences of idiocy.