Police have seized a Boston-area comic book dealer’s arsenal and suspended his gun license over a blog post that suggested other members of Congress and their aides should be targeted in the wake of the shooting of Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
In a post titled “1 down, 534 to go,” Travis Corcoran of Arlington, Mass., wrote: “It is absolutely, absolutelyunacceptable to shoot ‘indiscriminately’. Target only politicians and their staff, and leave regular citizens alone.” The blog,TJICistan, is no longer accessible, but affiliates have emerged.
“We certainly take this as a credible threat, and credible until we prove otherwise,” said Arlington Police Capt. Robert Bongiorno. Officers confiscated a “large amount” of weapons and ammunition, he said, without offering specifics. A source told WBZ-TV 11 guns were taken.
Corcoran, 39, who runs the online comic site HeavyInk and calls himself an “anarcho-capitalist,” has not been arrested or charged with any crime. Local and federal authorities are investigating.
I don’t know how specific his threats became. Personally, I don’t think what Corcoran wrote above should be criminal, but it’s certainly stupid, ill-advised and, frankly, immoral.
Corcoran calls himself an anarcho-capitalist. Which is fine I guess. I’ll leave it to anarcho-capitalists to figure out if they want him. But he isn’t remotely libertarian, an ideology where the non-initiation of force is a pretty fundamental principle.
That said, someone under the handle “TJIC” has posted comments here numerous times. I vaguely remember deleting some comments under that handle in months past, and I know I ultimately banned the user “TJIC” last month after an inflammatory comment he made to this post. (I deleted that comment, too, although you can see it referenced by someone else in the thread.)
But I will say this case is illustrative of the dangers of trying to draw connections from idiots like Corcoran to the people they read, follow, or claim as an influence. Cue this post about Corcoran by Alex Seitz-Wald at the lefty site ThinkProgress. I obviously join Seitz-Wald in condemning Corcoran’s stupidity. But Seitz-Wald goes further. He also notes that on his Twitter account, Corcoran once re-tweeted another Twitter user’s comment about Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and civil liberties.
He also appears to be a fan of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), re-tweeting a positive message about him in May: “Lefties: Before you start fringe-baiting Rand Paul, note that he’s better on civil liberties than most Democratic senators. And Obama.”
As it turns out, I’m the one who wrote that original tweet. It was a reference to Paul’s positions on the drug war, torture, indefinite detention, and a number of other issues–issues where Paul at the time was closer to leftists like those who work at ThinkProgress than Obama was. (Unfortunately, Paul has since walked back or abandoned his libertarian inclinations on many of those issues.)
So I’ll ask Seitz-Wald straight up: What exactly was your point in including that retweet in your post about Corcoran? Do you believe my praise of Paul for what I thought at the time were admirable positions on civil liberties was “dangerous rhetoric”? Do you think the positions I take on civil liberties are extremist, and prone to incite people to assassinate politicians? Do you think I should stop writing about and documenting government abuses of civil liberties, lest like Corcoran get angry and commit an act of violence? Do you hold me personally responsible for the fact that Corcoran followed my Twitter feed, once reposted something I wrote, then later called for the assassination of elected officials?
If your answer to all of those questions is no (and Jesus, I would hope it is), then I don’t see how to interpret your mention of Corcoran’s retweet as anything other than a cheap, partisan, and groundless attempt to link an idiot who endorses political assassinations to a prominent Republican politician.