Every government that ever existed sought to equate criticism of government with ‘terrorism,’ ‘treason’ or threats.
Prior to the American Revolution, Brits could be criminally prosecuted for merely imagining the death of the king. (Numerous figures in English history were executed for merely imagining the death of the king in poetry or prose.)
In the United States the First Amendment has provided something of a barrier to such prosecutions. The Supreme Court, in Brandenburg v. Ohio (and many other cases) held that no American can be prosecuted for his speech unless such speech calls for imminent lawless violence.
Nonetheless, countless cops and prosecutors have pursued criminal charges against people who merely mention violent ideas about government agents.
During the second Nevada Bundy trial in 2017, federal prosecutors actually suggested that defendant Eric Parker committed the crime of “threatening federal officers” by simply bobbing his head up and down from behind a Jersey barrier.
Now an Ohio teen is being prosecuted for threatening federal agents for posting a light-hearted remark suggesting people should “shoot every federal agent on sight” in an online discussion about the 1993 Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Texas.
The teen is also alleged to have posted “don’t comply with gun laws, stock up on stuff they could ban.” “In fact, go out of your way to break these laws, they’re (expletive) stupid.” See here.