I allow a pretty free range of discussion in the comments section. I generally only delete comments that are gratuitously bigoted or gratuitously insulting. That is, if you make an actual point, I’ll let most things stand. I’ve only banned about 20 people in nine years, most for habitual trolling.
All of that said, I won’t tolerate death threats. This site hits public officials pretty hard, I like to think only when it’s merited. Threatening to kill a public official is never merited. It isn’t an argument, and it taints everything we try to do here. Do it on this site and you’ll be banned. Immediately.
Something else: I’m not sticking my neck out for you. When you make a death threat here, you put me in potential legal jeopardy. In most cases, I’d go to jail to protect a source who gives me information that’s important to a story. I won’t do that for you. If you abuse the platform I’ve provided for you by playing Internet tough guy in a way that results in me getting harassed by Johnny Law, I’ll turn over your IP address and any other identifying information I have on you in a heartbeat.* If that makes me a hypocrite or a bad libertarian (and I don’t think it does either), so be it. These are the conditions for you commenting here.
I don’t want to give the impression that this is common. It isn’t. But it has happened twice in the last week. So I want to be sure we’re clear.
(*Note: I’m only talking about actual death threats, here. I’d of course oppose any government attempt to get identifying information for other purposes, though I doubt it would ever happen)