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Cops seize guns from Arlington comics-store asshole

You may recall Travis Corcoran, erstwhile blogger and founder of the online comics store, the guy who saw fit to post some advice to would-be assassins immediately after the Giffords shooting. Under the title "1 down, 534 to go" Corcoran wrote (on his now-defunct blog):

It is absolutely, absolutely unacceptable to shoot “indiscriminately”.

Target only politicians and their staff, and leave regular citizens alone.


The twittersphere ignited, customers dropped their subscriptions, and most importantly, police took notice. After Arlington cops found an article about Corcoran's asshole remarks, they deemed it a "credible threat" against the rest of Congress. They suspended his firearms license, and seized a "large amount" of guns and ammo from his Arlington home. The investigation is ongoing. To quote twitter commenter @DrSchadNFreude, "I guess you'll choose your words a bit more carefully next time, huh, dipshit?"

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  • word said:

    i like the use of proper language to describe the perpetrator


    January 19, 2011 8:43 AM
  • Johnny Drama said:

    SO reguardless of how stupid ones comment might be, there is no more freedom of speech?

    January 19, 2011 9:51 AM
  • halo cyn said:

    wow i guess freedom of speech just got tossed out the window

    January 19, 2011 10:04 AM
  • Mark said:

    Really?  Freedom of speech?  I bet you are the same assholes that if this guy went out and killed people and this article he wrote came up afterward, you would be bitching that nothing was done to stop it.  This goes far beyond freedom of speech, and if you think taking this nut cases guns from him was not a warranted and 100% necessary reaction, you are a retard of the highest degree.

    Fucking zombies, the lot of ya.

    January 19, 2011 10:28 AM
  • Free Speech said:

    You can say what you want. But if you threaten someone's life expect a visit from the police. Especially when you threaten politicians right after one is shot.

    January 19, 2011 10:31 AM
  • duh said:

    Freedom of speech does not cover inciting violence or panic. Same as yelling "fire" in a crowded building.

    January 19, 2011 10:33 AM
  • John Kensmark said:

    That is not how freedom of speech works.  

    In any case, they didn't stop him from talking.  What he said was deemed a credible threat, and everything else follows from due process.  He might still get his guns and license back later.

    January 19, 2011 10:36 AM
  • JuanGigante said:

    There are limits on the 1st amendment, just as there are on the 2nd amendment.  Threats are generally not considered free speech.  This guy is advocating the shooting of US Legislators and he is being justly investigated.

    January 19, 2011 10:39 AM
  • Teufelaffe said:

    @Johnny Drama & halo cyn:  Freedom of Speech does not protect speech that incites violence.  "1 down, 534 to go" is practically a textbook definition of incitement to violence.  You're not protected if you yell 'Fire' in a crowded theater, and you're not protected if you tell people to go do violent things.  This is not a new development; the Supreme Court ruled in 1969 (Brandenburg v. Ohio) that the "...government cannot punish inflammatory speech unless it is directed to inciting and likely to incite imminent lawless action."  (source:

    January 19, 2011 10:43 AM
  • JoHanson said:

    So when George Washington , Benjamin Franklin and other spoke out against England. They should have been arrested as the traitors they were. Instead they took up arms against a legitimate government and then set up their own government through force to help themselves and their rich buddies and at the cost of thousands of colonist's lives who were forced to fight against the British.

    January 19, 2011 10:46 AM
  • SSJ3_Priest said:

    A good lawyer will have this reversed and suing back for wrongful percecution in a heartbeat...

    There was no threat mad in that statement noted above... what is the government going to raise Sun Tzu from his grave and arrest him for the comments made in "The Art of War", are they going to charge Mel Gibson and the makers of the movie "The Patriot" for giving us the idea to target officers at the outset of a conflict?

    Was it in bad taste...? maybe, was it por timing...? for sure, was it worth violating his rights and everyone else's...? hell no

    January 19, 2011 10:49 AM
  • dumb said:

    shutup with the freedom of speech argument! freedom of speech does not allow you the right to target or instigate violence with no recourse

    January 19, 2011 10:50 AM
  • Funk Thompson said:

    Freedom of speech doesn't mean you can make death threats - no matter how well veiled.  Had the guy said that, but not had a bunch of guns and ammo, he would not be under arrest.  It is the combination of "veiled death threat against public servants" and "owns a bunch of guns and ammo" that got this guy.

    Also, Freedom of Speech means you are free to say something, but the rest of society is free to shun you and despise you if what you say is offensive or stupid or both.  It isn't a license to incite violence.

    January 19, 2011 10:55 AM
  • GreedyDrunk said:

    Freedom of speech has always been limited and should be.

    January 19, 2011 10:55 AM
  • jay said:

    seems he had the right idea

    January 19, 2011 11:03 AM
  • Jon said:

    Saying "1 down, 534 to go" is *not* a threat or inciting violence. It's akin to saying Eagles 14, Jets 7. It's a tally. An observation or update on statistics.

    I said a similar thing when an in-law died and although the statement may indicate my willingness to see the rest go, it doesn't imply that I intend to have anything to do with it, or that I'm encouraging anyone else to do anything at all.

    What is stupid about the comments from Teufelaffe is that you fail to criticize his statement "target only politicians." Now *that* is actually instructive and is easily seen as inciting.  Duh.

    January 19, 2011 11:08 AM
  • TheDude said:

    Totally agree with Teufelaffe. I hate you retarded ass holes that think you can spew hate and start shit with your mouths and think it's protected speech. Hey Johnny Drama and Halo... DON'T LIKE IT? Move elsewhere fuck tards! (see that's FREE SPEECH right there... I didn't threaten you... I didn't encourage anyone to harm you but I called you guys dipshits... ya get it?)

    January 19, 2011 11:18 AM
  • Albert911emt said:

    Freedom of speech doesn't protect you if you say something violent or threaten someone. It's one thing to say "I hope you get your head chopped off moron", it's another thing entirely to say "I'm gonna chop your head off". This idiot crossed the line.

    January 19, 2011 11:27 AM
  • HairlessOtter said:

    Please, move along comrade. There is nothing to see here. Our actions are for the children.

    January 19, 2011 11:39 AM
  • neil said:

    Arresting someone who is suggesting that people actually kill politicians is not the suppression of freedom of speech. Dipshits.

    January 19, 2011 11:57 AM
  • Dan said:

    It is also worth noting that he has not had his liscence revoked but merely suspended until the investigation is complete. His weapons would be returned and his licence restored if he is shown not to be a credible threat. It is just a precausion while they check him out.

    January 19, 2011 12:00 PM
  • alex said:

    @tufefagdude the 1 down comment should be kept in context, obviously a bad attempt at a joke considering it came from a fucking comic writer. it should be protected. hes not inciting shit and anyone that puts that to question is as retarded as him.

    January 19, 2011 12:10 PM
  • BigBob said:

    last I check the people voted these folks in. This douche is really what's wrong with the US today. Why kill folks when we can vote them out? this is what makes America great.

    If we use guns on the very people we freely chose elect then what's the point? Might as well just be like Somalia!

    January 19, 2011 12:26 PM
  • p-dawg said:

    Thought police in full effect. Yelling "fire" in a crowded theater is actually fine. Unless it starts a riot. Did anyone go shooting people because of this guy's post? Nope. Crimes used to require victims and damages to be actual crimes. But who cares about that? Arrest people for their posts on the internet. That isn't frightening AT ALL.


    January 19, 2011 12:45 PM
  • cletus said:

    I see.  So bad taste is now against the law?

    January 19, 2011 12:49 PM
  • Really? said:

    Who specifically did he target?  No one?  Then it's freedom of speech. Also, this sounds more like a failed attempt at humor than assassination. Either way, it just goes to show you that we don't really have any rights. The gov stepped in, arrested him & stole his legally obtained proprty. Sounds more & more like 1984...

    January 19, 2011 1:02 PM
  • Fun time!! said:

    Somethings in life should be left unsaid, if he had a personal remark he should of left it with love one's not the world to see or take judgement on.. If you have the moxy to open your mouth and feel no pitty over people's love ones then you have to get what's coming to you..If I am across the street and yell hey!! your girl is a hoe..then I must face who ever takes ofense.

    January 19, 2011 1:29 PM
  • Keith said:

    @Teufelaffe By your logic then Palin and a good number of our elected officials should be under arrest.

    January 19, 2011 2:00 PM
  • Cart before the horse... said:

    Teuf, you're absolutely right. But where is the due process here? Are we now giving ordinary police officers the power to determine what speech incites violence? What is the yardstick for this? If I comment that someone is to too stupid to breathe, can that mean that I am encouraging someone out there in the world to find that person and suffocate them? I read the same article you did, and my first thought was not "Gosh, I should take his advice and start killing people". My thought was "Wow. That's in very poor taste." I must be a very strong willed person to be able to resist his inciting me to violence. In any case, if AFTER he made that comment, someone shot a politician, I could see charging him with a crime, and then trying to PROVE that the shooter ready his blog and THEN trying to prove that the shooter did the crime BECAUSE of the blog. But to strip this man of his rights because he made a tasteless comment is pretty scary to us regular folks.

    January 19, 2011 2:57 PM
  • Captain Obvious said:

    Where is the loss of free speech?  The great thing about free speech is that it allows you to say anything you want (minus fire in crowded theater or threats of violence) without the government stomping you down.

    Much like a driver license, a gun ownership license likely has many stipulations on it where you can lose it.

    You could make a claim that they are treading on his second amendment rights, which is a whole debate of its own.  However they are not stopping him from saying what he wants.

    Come back to me when they press charges, then maybe I'll be outraged...

    January 19, 2011 3:02 PM
  • BPM said:

     So, it's OK for GOP and Tea Party members to say things on nationally broadcast television and radio which might incite violence against Democrats, but it's not OK for private citizens to voice such personal opinions on their blogs?  So, people like Palin and McCain have MORE of a right to free speech than non-famous citizens do...  Yeah, that guy was definitely a dumb ass for speaking his mind without the backing of the Tea Party or the GOP.

    January 19, 2011 3:47 PM
  • Derp said:


    You may want to look up how "imminent lawless action" is defined. Advocacy of illegal action is not incitement.

    January 19, 2011 3:54 PM
  • AK-59 said:

    Teufelaffe- first mistake using Wikipedia as a source, second mistake Freedom of speech means that you have the right to say dumb things. This is as close to a police state action as one can get

    January 19, 2011 3:59 PM
  • Ryan said:

    Here's the thing kids.  It has to be done in a certain manner such as standing at the rally yelling "shoot them".  Commenting on a blog or social networking site just after that incident makes his comment relevant to the incident and not a call to arms.  What he did is not a direct incitement of violence and is therefore a violation of free speech.

    January 19, 2011 5:21 PM
  • Derek said:

    Gee, thanks Teufelaffe.  If I recall correctly, the Declaration of Independence was not only inciting imminent lawless action, but a lawless action in itself in the eyes of the British Crown.  I think most people know what this guy was trying to express, and now they know what will happen to them if they open their mouths in public.  You redcoat B@$7@56.

    January 19, 2011 5:24 PM
  • aelfheld said:

    Teufeldreck, there is no 'incitement to violence' in Corcoran's comment.

    January 19, 2011 5:50 PM
  • J said:

    I always fear reading comment sections on sites because I'm irked by knee-jerk reactions by uninformed commenters.

    @Teufelaffe: kudos for replying with an informed, rational and calm comment.

    Regardless of if you agree with the license suspension or not, please not that (regardless of how serious he was - even if he sounds pretty serious), he wasn't kidnapped and locked away or prohibited from expressing his opinions; he was merely made (temporarily) not legally permitted to hold weapons, which could be used to enact the violent acts he supports and preaches about.

    January 19, 2011 8:35 PM
  • DB said:

    Teu, you are an idiot!

    January 19, 2011 9:45 PM
  • DB said:

    He isn't inciting violence. It appears you can read and write, but clearly you can't is a general statement to morons who do stupid things all by themeselves. And, i swear, idiots can twist that supreme court ruling around until it is a totally different meaning. Maybe, you should jump off of a bridge! What kind of speach is that?

    January 19, 2011 9:48 PM
  • robkellyj said:

    You are absolutely protected if you "fire" in a crowded theater - if the theater is on fire.  What you're not allowed to do is endanger life and/or limb by creating a false panic.

    January 19, 2011 10:43 PM
  • TMN said:

    Freedom of speech is just fine. There's no law stopping him from saying this, and the right to free speech was never meant to absolve you of all consequences for whatever ridiculous thing you might say. I guarantee you he won't see a charge simply for saying stupid stuff, and that's the most you've ever gotten from freedom of speech.

    January 20, 2011 12:40 AM
  • Daniel said:

    How have his right been violated here? He has no been jailed for what he said. He has just had his toys taken away because he might hit someone with them.

    January 20, 2011 1:05 AM
  • strawberry said:

    Hey Johnny Drama and halo cyn:

    did you miss the "asshole" part of the title?  Nobody here has any sympathy for this asshole.

    January 20, 2011 8:53 AM
  • Jon said:

    @DrSchadNFreude, "I guess you'll choose your words a bit more carefully next time, huh, dipshit?"

    What a completely immature and moronic summary. "Ha! That's what you get for having an opinion I don't like!" I'm goingto have a bit of schadenfreude myself when it's this asshat getting police-stated next time.

    January 20, 2011 12:28 PM
  • Vlad said:

    What happened to "I do not agree with a word you say but i will defend to the death of your right to say it."? Oh wait, it was a French guy who said it, not American.

    Inciting violence? Give me a break! The meekest tea party politician incites more violence than a blogger, no matter how popular his blog is. They should have just let people bury that jerk with their comments.

    January 20, 2011 1:17 PM
  • S.I. Rosenbaum said:

    rob: True. I also like to think you can't shout "fire" in a crowded theatre full of gun nuts. But that's me.

    January 20, 2011 1:23 PM
  • Wayne said:

    You have freedom of speech, but not freedom from consequences.  So go ahead and make death threats against politicians, but don't be surprised at the results.  

    January 20, 2011 5:45 PM
  • BillRM said:

    Come on there was no immediate threat from this guy and I do not care for a government that can siezed your property if you dare to say anything that they do not care for.

    I hope they are sue for a few millions.

    January 21, 2011 8:03 PM
  • Paul said:

    So, I give up.  What's happened?  How's the investigation going?  What are the charges?

    February 18, 2011 8:06 AM
  • MattR said:

    First of all, he didn't make a threat and what he said wasn't illegal.  Go find a dictionary and look up the word "threat".

    Second, no, taking his guns was neither legal nor appropriate. Perhaps his concealed carry permit because MA is a "may issue" state.

    March 11, 2011 5:21 PM
  • Rick said:

    @Wayne:  spoken like a true sheep. No, government may NOT impose "consequences" for legal speech. It's that pesky outdated Constitution thing.

    This is just like when G. Gordon Liddy advised people to shoot jack-booted thug ATF agents in the head because they wear body armor. Tasteless but not illegal.

    March 11, 2011 5:25 PM

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