“This Outta Make The Snowflakes Melt, Aye?”: Student Charged With Terrorism After Posting Photo With His New AR-15

Lake Superior State University student Lucas Gerhard is facing terrorism charges after he posting picture with his new AR-15 on Snapchat with a taunting message for “snowflakes.” Another student objected that she felt threatened by the posting and ultimately the police arrested Gerhard for what was clearly a simple taunting message.

In August 2019, Gerhard posted the picture with the caption: “Takin this bad boy up, this outta make the snowflakes melt, aye? And I mean snowflakes as in snow.” It was a private chat room but someone showed the picture to another student who reportedly had had conflicts with Gerhard in the past. The family says that she was the only complaint. Moreover, guns are allowed on campus.

A former eagle scout, Gerhard found himself under arrest with a $250,000 bond and a 20-year potential sentence. He also has Type 1 Diabetes, requiring glucose levels monitored as well as prescription insulin.

I fail to see the basis for the criminal charge or how any prosecutor could have signed off on the charges. The current provision states

“Sec. 543m. (1) A person is guilty of making a terrorist threat or of making a false report of terrorism if the person does either of the following:
(a) Threatens to commit an act of terrorism and communicates the threat to any other person.
(b) Knowingly makes a false report of an act of terrorism and communicates the false report to any other
person, knowing the report is false.
(2) It is not a defense to a prosecution under this section that the defendant did not have the intent or
capability of committing the act of terrorism.
(3) A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 20 years or a fine of not more than $20,000.00, or both.”

Michigan lawmakers are discussing changing the law in light of the case with a new bill. The proposal would change the existing bar on a defense challenging the intent of the statement. The proposal states ““The statement would cause a reasonable person to conclude that it was meant to threaten the person who heard the statement, or another person close in physical proximity to the person who hear the statement, with violence or damage to substantial property.”

The greatest problem however is a complete breakdown of discretionary authority by police and prosecutors. Everyone seems to have failed at every stage in recognizing that this was not a criminal case. Notably, it does not appear that the school itself concluded that Gerhard was a threat. More importantly, nothing in the posting clearly states a threat.

What do you think?

193 thoughts on ““This Outta Make The Snowflakes Melt, Aye?”: Student Charged With Terrorism After Posting Photo With His New AR-15”

  1. Why isn’t this an egregious example of free speech suppression by the state of Michigan? Gun ownership is obviously a current subject of much political speech. The young man expressed his position on the subject and for that he was subject to State intimidation. Seems like a pro-free-speech advocacy group ought to jump on this with both feet. Is there a reasoned counter argument?

    1. You know what he meant by Snowflake as does everyone else. He even admitted as such to the police. So quit trying to canonize this kid and just admit that he was being a smart ass and it backfired.

  2. What I find most disturbing is a Michigan law maker, Rep. Beau Lafave, wanted the Chippewa county prosecutor to drop all charges. Why he felt that was his responsibility is beyond me. Of course, this is the same politician that thought it was a great idea to bring his AR 15 into the State Capital before the State of the State address. But unfortunately for poor Beau, the same AR 15 and another weapon were stolen from him 2 days later. They were taken from his underwear door. I guess his the double knot he had them secured with failed.

  3. I think the little boy is a idiot but a criminal, no. He just wanted to show off his new rifle and that being said probably has never shot it.

  4. Speaking of terrorism, when is the woman who started the “boomer removal challenge” going to be prosecuted for attempted mass murder and terrorism?
    The woman is openly stating she is committing attempted mass murder by deliberately trying to spread coronavirus in public places by licking toilet seats.
    This revolting act is the same as if she recklessly opened fire on the people on the plane with a gun. Just as someone would eventually be hit and die from bullets, someone will eventually contract the virus and succumb if she continues her attempts to distribute the virus unchecked. Now hundreds, maybe thousands of millineals are participating in her “boomer removal challenge” and attempting to spread the virus with the intention of infecting an older more vulnerable population.
    The toilet seat lickers proudly post their terroristic acts on facebook and twitter complete with disgusting videos, photos and posts exhorting others to take advantage of the current crisis to selectively cull the “useless and undesirable” from society.
    As of yet no one has faced consequences. This makes it seem like the current lawless justice system is a silent co-conspirator in what is becoming a more overt desensitizing of the idea of removing the elderly and selected others from society.

  5. JT does not know enough to say the suspect’s post was “clearly a simple taunting message.”

    GIven the ownership of an actual AR15 by the suspect and it’s importance to the incident, it would be irresponsible to not report and investigate it. Charles Whitman was an eagle scout.

    1. OOOOOH , “given the actual ownership of an AR-15 ” !
      IDIOT , half of America owns AR-15s .
      And many of us post funny stuff on websites .
      This guy made NO threats , at all , NONE !
      I’ll bet YOU check under your bed every night , looking for monsters .
      GROW A PAIR , ya pansy . And maybe grow a brain too .

      1. ELF, I have a pump shotgun because I can handle the recoil and I don’t think chicks pick guys by how cool their toys look. Well, not the ones worth my time.

      2. Half the people in the US own AR’s ? There are about 325 million Americans and somewhere between 5 and 10 million AR’s. I guess that’s a Republican half

  6. So, let me get this straight…

    She is being charged under (1)(b) and he is being charged under (1)(a).

    As far as I am concerned she knowingly reported a false report of terrorism.

    1. Also, seeing as it was a false report to begin with, he could not have been threatening terrorism to begin with…you could only threaten terrorism if it was not false, meaning it to be true, but it cannot be true, if her report was false.

      Case closed…where’s my lighter. Everyone needs to calm down, go home.

      1. And I don’t actually think she needs to be charged, but his need to be dropped…this is just
        …plum silly…but very serious….life ruining for the young man…

        1. The complainant didn’t say “Oh, I’m dropping the charges, I”m not made of snow after all!” She is perfectly comfortable getting local law enforcement to settle a personal grudge for her, $20,000 fine, lengthy prison sentence, and all.

          No. She filled charges under this law knowing Gerhardt didn’t voice a terrorist threat. In doing so, she broke the same law she used to get back at Gerhardt. She belongs in gen pop in a women’s prison.

          1. Charges weren’t for her to drop, for starters. She reported to the Dorm’s RA. He reported it to Campus Police. They reported it to the Local police. They turned it over to the District Attorneys office. The DA turned it over to the Judge who deemed it plausible. So at least five different parties besides the girl thought his post was worthy of investigation. Mind you, anyone of these parties could have ended it. I suggest if you think he’s so innocent, cough up cash for his defense fund.

  7. “The statement would cause a reasonable person to conclude that it was meant to threaten the person who heard the statement, or another person close in physical proximity to the person who hear the statement, with violence or damage to substantial property.”
    The problem may be age old; Finding an honest or reasonable person.

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