ARLINGTON (CBS) – 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.First thought: I had no idea TJIC is in MA.
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.That is all.
Second thought: I've actually had folks e-mail me about this same sort of scenario. "Aren't you afraid your opinions will get you in trouble in MA?" It's something I've struggled with, because as the above story shows, they can - and will - revoke your ability to legally exercise your Second Amendment rights for exercising your First Amendment rights. I expect the ACLU to be all over this case any time now - if this is not a clear and egregious example of the government infringing on this man's First (and Second) Amendment rights, then we have no rights in this country.
It all boils down to this:
Police are investigating the “suitability” of 39-year-old Travis Corcoran to have a firearms license.
There's that "suitability" again. For any reason whatsoever, the licensing authority in your town of residence can decide that you are no longer suitable and revoke your MA LTC. You will have to surrender your firearms, handing them over to an FFL who will most likely charge you for the service until you can find suitable homes for them. At best you can apply for an FID card which will allow you to own shotguns and low-capacity long arms - those are "shall issue" - but any handguns and "high capacity" semi-automatic rifles are gone (and some folks consider the Ruger 10/22 to be a "high capacity" rifle).
They point to his blog postings as evidence that he is unsuitable - hogwash. What he wrote is distasteful to some - advocating the assassination of members of Congress immediately following a senseless shooting is in poor taste IMHO - but it's not treason. It's not inciting violence - he does not advocate the shooting of congress critters, he makes (what I assume to be) a tongue-in-cheek assessment that care needs to be taken to avoid collateral damage. It's in poor taste, that's for certain - but a threat? Hardly. There's nothing threatening involved.
For now, Dispatches from TJICistan is down; it's unclear if this is from TJIC's work or from others. If he has taken it down to prepare for a legal battle, that is one thing; if it is down as a result of a police investigation/court order that's entirely another. What's happening here should frighten all freedom-loving Americans - right and left - although I fear that the wrong message will be taken. The Left will look to this as yet another right wing teabagger lunatic getting what he deserves; the Right will don the hair shirt about another pore conservative voice being silenced by the intolerant left (but he shouldn't have said those awful things).
Having such draconian steps taken against someone who has done nothing more than post their opinion is bone-chilling. While it's not at the level of being dragged off to a re-education camp or icy gulag - yet - it's a step on that slippery slope. To those of you on the left applauding the actions taken against TJIC: how would you feel if that were a left-wing blogger in Texas getting audited over something unflattering they wrote about GWB three years ago? The Bill of Rights is a sum-total package; we take all the freedoms enumerated therein or we take none of them. For far too long both the left and the right have viewed the BoR as a buffet, where some rights are added to the dinner plate with gusto while others are left to languish - or worse, removed entirely from the menu.
"We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. "