Threats of assassination are not necessarily uncommon for elected officials and public figures; however, they must be taken seriously and handled accordingly.
For instance, a 19-year-old Maryland man has been indicted on charges for threats he allegedly made to murder progressive United States Sens. Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders along with threatening to carry out an attack on the youth-led “March for Our Lives" gun control rally held in Washington, D.C., back in March.
Nicholas Bukoski has been charged with two counts of sending death threats to the politicians and three counts of transmitting the threats across state lines by way of interstate commerce.
Bukoski allegedly sent the threats to the official Instagram accounts for Harris and Sanders and delivered an ominous text to Washington’s police tip line on March 24, the day the nationwide gun control march took place.
"Senator, I would watch your back as you're out today," a message sent to Sanders' Instagram account said, according to a memorandum released by a federal prosecutor. "You wouldn't want to be caught off guard when I use my second amendment protected firearm to rid the world of you, you stupid, crazy old fool."
His message to Harris read: "I am going to make sure you and your radical lefty friends never get back in power you will never run for president, because you won't make it to see that day."
Lastly, part of his text to the police tip line said, “I am intending to send the message that gun control, bomb control, or any other kind of weapons control will not stop attacks, it is an issue of the heart."
Upon receiving that message, the Washington police were able trace it back to Bukoski. They apprehended him and took him to a local hospital for an emergency evaluation at which time he admitted sending the correspondences.
Investigators later found that he had looked up how to contact the senators and the tip line on his laptop. He had also gone to a Wikipedia page titled “threatening government officials of the United States.”
As it appears clear that his actions were premeditated, authorities said they do not believe Bukoski had access to a gun, yet.
While he may not have actually gone through with attempting to attack anyone, he must be held accountable for his reckless behavior. The stunt Bukoski pulled must not be tolerated, especially during these times when acts of domestic terrorism seem to be rampant in this country.
Bernie Sanders image credit: Reuters, Brian Snyder
Kamala Harris image credit: Reuters, Gary Cameron