I was away sailing in two model sailboat regattas at the end of May this year when I received a voice message on my phone.The message contained a male voice and originated from a phone number in Nova Scotia. The man was shouting and swearing and the message ended with a death threat.
My first reaction was puzzlement, I did not recall anything in my recent past that would generate a death threat. I googled the telephone number which generated a name and then I googled the name. I found his FaceBook page and picture, I did not know him. I thought it must be a misdialed number, but who knows?
I called Silvia at home to let her know what had happened and together we decided to call the police in Halifax. I called the non-emergency number and filed a report. The police took the information and treated it very seriously. They dispatched two officers to my home, talked to Silvia and then called me. I played the message for them over the phone and gave them the information I found online.
When I followed up with them a week later I learned it was a wrong number, I was not the subject of the threat. The man was angry with someone and made a stupid call. He was “spoken to” by the police but as I understand it no charges were laid. I have no quarrel with that result, people make mistakes.
I know that these kinds of calls and threats are a regular part of the landscape for the staff in the offices of our elected officials. I wonder if people become accustomed to it, or are they puzzled and concerned as I was.
I am left to wonder what kind of people think this is OK. Are they the same people that bully the cashier in a store, or go bananas when their special coffee order with 1-1/2 of this and 2/3 of that is not perfect?
Who are you people? What is wrong with you?