Bryan ClarkFormer Managing Editor, TNW
Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.
A Virginia judge just ordered Kyler Schmitz, an Uber driver from the same state, to “not tweet at all for any reason to anyone” after a series of threatening tweets to at least two US senators.
According to court documents, Schmitz — upset about the Orlando shootings — threatened to shoot Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO). The (now deleted) tweet read:
@RoyBlunt I’m going to shoot you in the head for allowing someone to murder my loved ones. pic.twitter.com/76Lcc6xctj
More gun violence seems like a completely rational way to deal with gun violence, right? Yeah, the judge didn’t think so either.
Schmitz’s suspended Twitter account also included more threatening tweets, like:
“I am literally going to buy a gun shoot you in the face I watch your brains splat (sic)”
“I am coming for you”
“I can’t wait to shoot you in the face one by one”
The tweets were mostly aimed at Senator Blunt, and Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), although there were additional GOP House and Senate accounts targeted.
Paul Cianciolo, Schmitz’s fiancé told NBC that the tweets were meant as “parody” and intended to be satire. Schmitz’s attorney echoed the statement, calling the tweets “inartful political discourse” on the issue of gun control. The judge, however, said he didn’t know “how to read these tweets in any way but as threatening” before handing down the conditions of his release to home detention, pending trial.
In addition to being unable to leave the premises other than for work, education, religious services, attorney visits and court appearances, Schmitz was ordered to undergo mental health testing, not to enter Washington DC and not to make contact with government representatives.
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