Joined: May 2002
240. An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present
ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.
In practice, "unlawful attempt" includes threats, so that if someone were to say "I have a gun, and I'll kill you" that could constitute assault. It would not matter if you really had a gun. The point was that painting threats are prosecuted as "hate crimes" rather than simple assault becasue of the religious, or ethnic nature of the crime. It would still be a crime regardless.
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."
L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"