The plot sickens

For those of you just tuning in, a paragraph of background:

“It is absolutely, absolutely unacceptable to shoot indiscriminately. Target only politicians and their staff and leave regular citizens alone.”

A bit of gallows humor from Travis J. I. Corcoran, proprietor of, recently 403ed into silence for reasons possibly having to do with this:

A blog threatening members of Congress in the wake of the Tucson, Arizona shooting has prompted Arlington police to temporarily suspend the firearms license of an Arlington man.

It was the headline “1 down and 534 to go” that caught the attention. “One” refers to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in the rampage, while 534 refers to the other members of the U.S. House and Senate.

Police are investigating the “suitability” of 39-year-old Travis Corcoran to have a firearms license.

Which is rather like having mice investigating the suitability of your pantry, but that’s not what I wanted to bring up.

Rather, I’m wondering if The Powers That Be are trying to gin up a news blackout. As noted, is 403ed for the moment; Mark Alger put up a post about Corcoran’s plight, which I noticed first as a Facebook link from NetworkedBlogs, which I vowed to go back to when I had some free time. That link is gone, though Alger’s actual post is intact, and Guy S., who posted something similar, noted at Alger’s place:

Mark, my post was also “deleted” on [Facebook], via the Networked Blogs app. However, the WordPress app, which does the same thing, is still showing the post.

Sounds suspicious to me. Perhaps WordPress doesn’t have an political agenda — or if they do, they keep it to themselves, thank you very much.

(Update: Guy S. says it’s not a scheme by NetworkedBlogs. See comments.)

In the meantime, there’s this:

It’s not like there isn’t a ton of case law on how the First Amendment applies to threats of political violence. Arlington will lose this, if it ever gets to trial. Post Heller and McDonald, they’ll lose even worse. Idiots.

But this is, as JayG points out, an attack not only on the First Amendment, but on the Second as well. An attack of this sort — groundless in logic, and arguably mendacious in nature — is an attack on all.

Corcoran’s one mistake, if you ask me, was not titling it 2 down and 533 to go, thereby giving them a wild goose to chase. I’m told they’re quite good at that in Taxachusetts.

But the exasperating aspect of it all is this:

We live in a world where a significant proportion of the population thinks speech that makes them uncomfortable is the same thing as shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre.

Nor is there any cure on the horizon, unless you want to herd them into a theatre and burn it down, which strikes me as ultimately counterproductive.

And one other thing: “firearms license”? Isn’t that just a hair incompatible with “shall not be infringed”?

If it can happen to one guy in New England, it can happen to any of us, anywhere.

Spartacus updated

“There ought to be one day — just one — when there is open season on senators.” — Will Rogers (1879-1935)



  1. Dwayne "the canoe guy" »

    21 January 2011 · 9:59 am

    Didn’t know that Will Rogers was such an advocate of hate speech. I think we need to purge all of his writings from society so that small children won’t be influenced.

  2. Man of the West »

    21 January 2011 · 11:40 am

    Well said. First thing through my mind when I saw the story was, “What? Did he actually threaten anybody?” The answer apparently being, “No,” I couldn’t help but conclude that what was really going on could best be characterized as an over-the-top reaction to rhetoric that, if allowed to stand, would have very negative effects on the ability to speak one’s mind.

    Too bad the guy doesn’t live in Oklahoma, where a popular e-mail has it that, “He needin’ killin'” is a valid legal defense against a murder charge.

  3. Guy S »

    21 January 2011 · 2:54 pm

    Charles, From what I could find, the Networked Blogs issue was happening to a lot of different blogs on a lot of different subjects. According to my wife, the effervesent DebS., this appears to be the case, and not one of them (dare I say it? … I do! I do!) targeting one particular blog or another.

    It is important to note on the “Travis Affair”, as of yet (as far as I know, I have not checked on anything since getting off work) he has NOT been formally charged with anything. So we have a case of (and one could argue this) poor choice of words being said, where upon the local LEOs (with or with out guidance … anyone have a clue on that?) elect to “take pre-emptive action” on an addmitted owner of firearms, oh and have his site shut down too (or demand he shut it down…more research is needed on that point as well). Damn that pesky Constitution and all those hanger on amendment thingies!!

    Finally, thanks for adding your hat to the ring!!

  4. Borepatch »

    21 January 2011 · 4:04 pm

    Clearly, Will Rogers was influenced by the violent, eliminationist rhetoric from Sarah Palin’s “crosshairs” map.

  5. Musings from Brian J. Noggle » Blog Archive » Another Blogger Visited »

    21 January 2011 · 4:22 pm

    […] comment about this case at View from the Porch, Baby Troll Blog, Borepatch, and Dustbury.  This post cross-posted at 24th […]

  6. Penalty for Being Tacky « Ric's Rulez »

    21 January 2011 · 5:19 pm

    […] on his store, confiscated his stock, and got his ISP to “403 Forbidden” his Web site. Dustbury, Roberta X, and others around the blogosphere have taken notice, with the gun blogs in the lead […]

  7. TJIC »

    21 January 2011 · 8:23 pm

    Thanks for your support!

  8. Mark Alger »

    22 January 2011 · 8:01 am

    Found it. It never got published by Networked Blogs. So I posted it manually, along with a few others that never got pubbed. So I go to the NB control panel — I’m logged in, by the way — to change the syndication settings and understand why some posts get pubbed automagically and some don’t. And the moron system asks me to LOG IN! Then the login button sends me to an expired link. AARRRGGG! I’m surrounded by idiots!

    Somebody is offering Facebook for sale. Facetiously, I think, though it’s sometimes hard to tell. I might win with a bid of a plugged nickel, but then — like the dog who used to chase cars until he caught one — what would I do with it?


  9. I Am TJIC « NoOneOfAnyImport's Blog »

    23 January 2011 · 2:20 pm

    […] I don’t have the full scoop, but caught wind of this story over at Wraith’s and at Dustbury.  Go see ’em for more […]

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