Robot 6

Police investigate Heavy Ink president, seize weapons

Police in Arlington, Mass., have seized a “large amount” of weapons and ammunition from a comics retailer who last week sparked controversy with his comments about the Tuscon shooting that left six people dead and 13 others, including a U.S. Congresswoman, wounded.

The Boston Globe reports that Arlington police suspended the firearms license of Heavy Ink president Travis Corcoran on the grounds of “suitability” pending the results of an investigation whether comments he made in a blog post titled “1 down, 534 to go” were intended as a threat. (There are 535 members of Congress.)

Corcoran surrendered his weapons and ammunition to police at his home on Thursday. He has not been charged with a crime. According to The Arlington Advocate, Corcoran has a 90-day window in which to appeal his license suspension.

The 39-year-old, who describes himself as an “anarcho-capitalist,” had written that, “It is absolutely, absolutely unacceptable to shoot ‘indiscriminately.’ Target only politicians and their staff, and leave regular citizens alone.” Following online outcry, Corcoran elaborated on his political beliefs in another post, explaining that “I dislike Representatives and Senators, and I think that each and every one of them is doing grave harm to the United States, and to the freedoms of the citizens of the US.” He has since taken his blog offline.

The Globe reports that police consider the threat to be credible until proved otherwise. Federal law enforcement agencies have been notified of Corcoran’s comments.

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Comments

36 Comments

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I think it’s a little bit overboard, but my reaction is basically Sean’s.

I would not be surprised to see this fellow get his weapons back, once the investigation is completed. But I doubt he’ll ever shoot opinions from the hip ever again.

Oh Travis, you were too sweet.

themightylayman

January 18, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Got no sympathy for this fool.

He kinda drew it upon himself with that one. Even as someone who is pro guns and anti gun control I think their actions seem valid. even if no charges are filed and he gets everything back, it’ll be a lesson that timing is important.

And another Galt-wannabe gets smacked with the hard cold reality of their place in the world. Priceless.

I WISH those Rand loving fools would ‘go Galt’, they’d soon realize how replaceable 99.9999% of them are.

You aren’t that smart, you follow the beliefs of a woman who died hated by everyone who had ever personally dealt with her. A raging sociopath.

He is welcome to his beliefs as abhorent to me as they are, but is he martyring himself on purpose. Did he think through the repercussions of his actions in connection to his business? Was he hoping most people would look past his diatribe and still continue purchasing from him? I’d be curious to know if this was a calculated risk on his part or if he just decided to throw caution to the wind to speak his mind.

Good. Glad to see his hate-spewing got the better of him, frankly, because advocating the murder of people just because their opinions differ than yours is ridiculous and sickening. Anarcho-Capitalist? What a crock of s**t.

Benjamin Fischer

January 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Speaking from a liberal perspective, I’m not sure if this is quite as funny as other people think it is.
Let me state a few things for the record, that I think everyone will agree to:
1. Travis Corcoran’s opinions concerning the death of the Senator are absolutely despicable.
However,
2. Travis Corcoran’s opinions, as judged from the perspective of the average, competent reader, do not imply any sort of personal or group threat against any other persons: they describe feelings of approval towards harm, at most. (morally despicable, in and of itself, though.)

We might say that Travis’s opinions concerning the legitimacy of political representatives are so uniquely pernicious, and indicative of a person what is willing to commit violence immediately, that they merit taking away his legal right to own a weapon. But this seems to be unlikely, given that the actual content of the statements do not indicate an immediate desire or inclination to commit any further acts of violence. We might also wonder whether Travis’s comments or opinions are uniquely suited towards causing immediately violence, such that we are justified in taking away a legal right temporarily, given that there are other right-wing opinions that are spoken every day in the mainstream, that are on the whole more morally reprehensible then Travis’s brand of Anarcho-Capitalism (neo-conservatism, radical evangelism of the Sarah Palin brand, ect.). Are we justified in temporarily suspending the legal right to own a weapon, for everyone who engages in such actions? Why don’t the police do something more about this then? Or are they just picking on a person who holds a particularly unpopular viewpoint, as a means of looking like they are doing something?

Looked it in this light, we might wonder whether the actions taken against Travis in the legal realm are morally justifiable. Travis may certainly deserve some punishment in the long term karmic view, but should we really be sanguine about the suspension of a previous legal right in the absence of good information that he really is about to commit a violent action?

It should be noted that the qualms I raised about the actions taken here are logically independent of whether one should boycott Travis’s comic book shop in light of his opinions or whether anyone ought to be able to own a firearm legally. Even if we think one ought not hold certain legal rights, it should still bother us when the law arbitrarily restricts them in one person. Since there is a decided lack of evidence that Travis is guilty of anything more than bad timing, bad taste, and abhorrent opinions, the urge to laugh at this seems to me like picking on the weak rather than any sort of righteous comeuppance.

@Benjamin Fischer:

I disagree. This quote is over the line.

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

If I threaten someone with violence, I have committed a crime. When he said that people SHOULD target politicians and their staff, then he is no longer entitled to the full suite of rights that everyone else has, as a citizen, in my opinion.

If someone avows the virtue of a crime, encourages it’s commission, I no longer feel the need to extend to them the rights covered by the second amendment. In my view they have now opted out. It appears that the local authorities agree with me, at least on first blush.

“…on the grounds of “suitability” pending the results of an investigation…”

I don’t know if that’s the “law”, but that’s an opinion that I feel has a lot of common sense behind it. I’m well aware of how often the “law” and “common sense” are incongruous. We will have to see how this plays out.

I’m no lawyer, but from my beyond-amateur understanding of the law, if you post on your website that people should kill politicians and their staff, I’m pretty sure legally speaking you cross a line.

Regardless, my guess would be while this is probably fairly uncomfortable for Corcoran in the short run, in the long term it will just give him more ammunition.

Wow. I find it ever so strange that the most ‘compassionate’, ‘progressive thinking’, ‘open-minded’ members of our society will find it in their hearts to defend and try to protect the ‘rights’ of every imagined, crackpot ‘minority’ group they can find, but will be venomous in their hatred and attitude towards the majority of this Country that disagree with their views. You know, did this guy go a bit far in his posting, oh hell yeah! However, are the authorities going a bit overboard in their response, absolutely. This guy has no history of violent behavior, no history of violent acts, he made a stupid public comment. I am not about to defend what he said, it was indefensible, but I will defend his right to say it and defend his right from the illegal seizure of his property by the police for saying it. That is what is scary here, not what this dumbass said, but that the authorities feel justified to storm in and remove this man’s legally owned property, for no other reason than a stupid comment that he made. What’s next, are the authorities going to come in and remove my driver’s license due to ‘suitability’ questions if I get angry at someone on the road and express a bit of anger, say at a restaurant afterward, and someone hears me and reports me? Is that what this Country has been reduced too?

Please keep in mind that Corcoran’s license has only been temporarily suspended. Yes, he has rights as a citizen, part of that is due process. He made statements advocating violence against elected officials and he possesses a large, however large is defined, arsenal. He has not been convicted, nor has he been punished. He has not even been placed on trial. He is being investigated. As far as anyone knows, his civil liberties have not been violated.

Plenty of people are investigated without being charged. Plenty of people are charged without being convicted. It will be up to police, prosecutors, and perhaps the court to determine if Corcoran was inciting a spate of political assassinations, or whether he is simply a loud-mouth prone to constitutionally protected crazy-talk.

I second ussescort’s post in its entirety. Is it “liberal” to stereotype, trivialize, demonize, silence and outlaw dissenting opinions? Is it “progressive” to reject new solutions to problems that attempt to conform to the particulars of our current circumstances in favor of political dogma that has failed repeatedly over the past 100+ years at tremendous human cost? Is it “reality-based” to substitute echo chambers for discussion, talking points for research, and non sequitur personal attacks for actionable criticism? Is it effective or mature to take every trait and action you despite in those you disagree with and do it yourself only twice as much, just to make sure that you’re the one being heard regardless of what you’re saying?

Advocating violence engages people’s strong emotions, both positive and negative, and guarantees that they won’t listen to and consider the actual substance of your message either way. Considering the available evidence, I think that’s punishment enough.

I think the truly frightening possibility is that the authorities may one day swoop in and confiscate our sarcastic quote marks.

They’ll only get my sarcastic quote marks when they pry off my cold dead fingers.

Tom, I must have missed the part where he was being sarcastic or used quotation marks.

Victor Von Doom

January 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm

ROTFLMFAO

Did you guys miss the statement about a ‘large amount’ of weapons’? This guy was another Tuscon waiting to happen.

Is there no recognition that there is no legitimate need for such a cache—other than killing significant numbers of people?

And we’ve got a country full of these nutcases. Did anyone notice HOW MANY cases of weaponry involving high schools has happened in the last week?

Would you like to be fearful of being shot when you were a student going to high school?

Nobody has tried to take away his right to free speech. Massachusetts has very strict gun laws and most of us that live here appreciate them. This asshole made more than one public comment about shooting and killing politicians in the wake of a very real shooting that left several people dead, and that should be enough to get your gun licence reviewed.

Sir Manley Johnson

January 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm

anarcho-capitalist, = lost boy

Sir Manley Johnson

January 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm

PS America. Time to grow up. Seriously.

“Did you guys miss the statement about a ‘large amount’ of weapons’? This guy was another Tuscon waiting to happen.”

The number of firearms one possess is an indicator of psychosis?

Guy in Tuscon had one. I’ve got three. So I’m .. three times as likely to shoot my congressman and a judge? A guy with 11 is 11 times as likely? Don’t be absurd, fella: the number of firearms is just that, a number.

Intent matters.

No, the number of firearms is not an indicator of psychosis. Stating that certain people deserve to be killed because of who their employer is, defending such killings as moral and patriotic, right after an actual killing, WHILE owning a large number of weapons, is an indicator of psychosis, This is not the belief of a sane mind, or of one that should be allowed access to deadly force.

Right. So owing ‘a large number of guns’ (who defines large?) while espousing an opinion that does not meet with your approval is .. psychosis.

Minorities everywhere are glad you’re not in charge.

Yeah! These slaves of the state need to know their role, amirite Gareth?

This guy doesn’t understand Anarcho-Capitalism if he thinks the Non-Aggression principle can be stretched to justify assassination.

“if he thinks the Non-Aggression principle can be stretched to justify assassination.”

If you follow that principal to it’s logical conclusion, allow for real-world conditions, it certainly does.

What a douche. I read his “justifications” for the quote (on his now defunct blog), but I guess that wasn’t enough for local and federal law enforcement to ignore it. Maybe if he bakes the FBI some cookies, they’ll leave him alone. Not so much.

“I guess that wasn’t enough for local and federal law enforcement to ignore it.”

Federal cops have yet to stick their oar in.

A blog post allegedly threatens federal lawmakers, which should prompt a visit from the FBI. Local police take action instead. I like the smell of vendetta in the morning.

Captain Librarian

January 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I understand why you’d look into a guy who says these sort of things publicly, and have no sympathy for his statements, but I’m still uncomfortable.

Should the police investigate all the people who tweeted “Death the Sarah Palin?”

http://vimeo.com/18733744 (NSFW)

What about the folks months back who told John Byrne to “Die in a fire?” Think the police would get your World of Warcraft reference? That they’d care?

Like I said, I’m concerned that people aren’t thinking of the full implications here. But if it causes people to be more civil online, maybe it’s a good thing.

Seems to me anyone who gets pleasure from the deaths in Arizona as he sure did and makes threats to kill elected officials isn’t dealing with a full deck and shouldn’t be allowed to own a gunlet alone a large chache of guns . Everyone seems to be more worried about their rights to own a gun above the protection of public servants ,which to me is a pretty selfish way of looking at this issue when you consider this guy wanted to kill people and was actually happy about all those people killed in Arizona and the serious wounding of a Congresswoman. What sane person would be happy about those deaths ? IMHO if you think that is sane then I question your own mental stability .

Freedom of speech and expression. No longer exists in Massachusetts and the people there love it! Because God in his wisdom, never created a more ignorant and stupid people.

All you people indicting Corcoran clearly don’t own a dictionary. He made no threat. A threat is a statement of *intention* to cause harm, and legally speaking must also reference immediate, unconditional harm. What he said was stupid and tasteless but *not* illegal. By supporting his persecution and the loss of his rights, you’re more dangerous than he is.

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