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