Whenever something really appalling happens -- the kind of thing that ought to shock us all out of our petty factions and unite us in horror and grief -- somebody always has to step up to show us how cool they are by being an asshole about it.
This week, that asshole is Travis Corcoran, a/k/a tjic, founder of the Arlington-based heavyink.com online comics store. In his blog, Corcoran put up a post entitled "1 down, 534 to go." He quoted an account of the shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, in which 20 bystanders were shot and six killed: "Giffords was talking to a couple when the suspect ran up firing indiscriminately and then ran off."
Apparently, this part irritated Corcoran. He wrote:
It is absolutely, absolutely unacceptable to shoot “indiscriminately”.
Target only politicians and their staff, and leave regular citizens alone.
While it's nice to know Corcoran doesn't condone the death of, say, 9-year-old Christina Green or 79-year-old Phyllis Schneck, his words might be less than comforting to the parents and fiancee of Giffords' outreach director, Gabriel Zimmerman, 30.
In the following twitterstorm, plenty of people made it clear that they were not cool with Corcoran's views; over on heavyink.com's forum, some customers said they'd be jumping ship, and one comics creator, Nick Spencer of Morning Glories, asked heavyink.com to stop carrying his work. Others defended Corcoran, using the increasingly inane "free speech" defense. (Note to these people: no one has said Corcoran doesn't have the right to state his opinions, just that he's an asshole). "Maybe in the future a bit more tact could be used in the wake of a mass shooting," one subscriber posted.
Corcoran, for his part, put up the inevitable tl;dr clarification post, using 1966 words to explain his position as a libertarian and a Catholic, yet failing to explain how that makes it okay to condone the shooting of public officials and/or their staff.
Luckily, one reader offered a suggested condensation of Corcoran's post: "I'm a douche."