In the wake of the Navy Yard mass shooting, a University of Kansas professor posts a tweet critical of the NRA; professor placed on leave

By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings

 

From the New York Daily News, written by Michael Walsh –

The University of Kansas placed a tenured journalism professor on
administrative leave Friday after a controversial Tweet in which he
suggested victims for the country's next mass shooting: children of
National Rifle Association members.

"The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons
and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you," tenured associate
professor David Guth said in the wake of the Navy Yard shooting in
Washington, D.C.

A snippy of the tweet at issue, courtesy the same article –

When
asked about the tweet, Guth stated that his tweet was in no way
threatening or advocating violence, and upon reading it, I agree.  

I
would have phrased it differently, something along the lines of "if the
NRA's adherents and families were doing the dying instead of the
killing, maybe their reaction to calls for better gun safety measures
would be more thoughtful and reasoned than their current standard of
reflexively hysterical."

In
other words, if they were directly experiencing the same tragedies and
losses as civil society, maybe they would be a little less enthusiastic
about the effect of their attitude that the best way to deal with gun
violence in society is to introduce more guns into society

However,
Republicans in the Kansas legislature aren't fans of free speech,
especially when they disagree with the speech in question.  

They are calling for the University to fire Guth and threatening the school's budget if it doesn't accede to their demands.

While
the university has taken steps against Guth, Republican state
lawmakers want Guth fired. If he isn't, they say, the school could face
consequences. State Senate President Susan Wagle (R-Wichita) and Senate
Majority Leader Terry Bruce (R-Hutchison) have both issued statements
calling for Guth's dismissal. State Sen. Greg Smith (R-Overland Park)
released a statement Friday saying that unless further action is taken
against Guth, he will react.

"As a public educator in the Kansas high school education system, I
am often consulted by my students as to which college they should
attend," Smith said in his statement.
"As long as Professor Guth remains employed by the University of Kansas
I will no longer recommend the university as an institution worthy of
attendance by any of my students nor, as a state senator, will I support
any budget proposals or recommendations for the University of Kansas."

Much
of the rightwing echo chamber has leaped on this, twisting Guth's words
in ways ranging from "he wants to kill the children of NRA members" to
"he wants to take the guns of, and kill the children of, NRA members".

Guth,
to his credit, hasn't backed down from his tweet, saying that perhaps
his words were too "nuanced" for certain segments of society.

For what it's worth, I don't think that his words were nuanced, not even a little bit.

I think that they were words very obviously filled with outrage, frustration, and grief.

I
also think that certain segments of society have deliberately
misinterpreted them in order to cover their own bloodlust with a mask of
false equivalency.

Guth has a blog here
While I don't agree with everything that he's published, I give credit
where it is due – he's not afraid to call people out for their BS as he
sees it.

2 responses to “In the wake of the Navy Yard mass shooting, a University of Kansas professor posts a tweet critical of the NRA; professor placed on leave

  1. Wow, how amazing is that- the 2nd Amendment is able to kill figuratively also. As we just saw how it “accidentally” discharged and shot buckshot all thru Mr.Guth’s 1st Ammendment right!

  2. Let’s home that Democrats don’t do what they normally do and throw Professor Guth under the bus. Funny how the first reaction of Kansas Republicans, who control the entire state, try to violate Professor Guth’s First Amendment rights.