A man slowly ascends the stairs of a tall building. He has an assault rifle strapped to his back and carries a megaphone in one hand. When he gets to the roof he looks down on the hundreds of people walking down the street and calls for their attention. He watches carefully as they gather around in the street below and when just enough people are listening he lifts the assault rifle in one hand and puts the megaphone to his mouth and says, “Ladies and gentlemen… I own an assault rifle illegally!” Within minutes he is arrested and nobody is surprised. Why then would someone do the online equivalent and provide photographic evidence to the world, including the police that eventually arrested said someone?

It was a high school student, to make matters worse. We live in a post-Columbine world and you cannot just be a high school student with a gun in your hand in a photograph that you show to anyone who wants to see it and think that you are going to do it with no consequences whatsoever. That is not the world in which we live. We live in a world where there are more towers watching us on every corner. It is true that plenty of crimes go unnoticed but this was just too blatant.

It is in fact the age of Placenta Helper, the kind of world where people set up complicated devices to transmit Twitter updates when their toilet is used and we have to wonder why people feel the need to share absolutely everything with the entire world without filter? Bear in mind this is coming from someone who has a Livejournal account, Twitter, and more… and even I think people are taking it too far.

As a general rule, you should not do things that are illegal where you are. If you do find yourself committing a crime, it would behoove you not to get evidence of this crime and share it with the world. If you do share this evidence, be ready to get arrested because that is exactly what happens when you give the police all the reason they need to arrest you.


  1. Chilling story, Gordon. Sometimes I think people act out in these public ways to get help — they can’t ask for it for whatever reason, so they seek out help by having it forcibly applied.

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