A journalism professor at the University of Kansas has been put on “indefinite” administrative leave after he made controversial remarks about the “sons and daughters” of National Rifle Association members after Monday’s mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.
Bernadette Gray-Little, the university’s chancellor, announced the decision about David Guth Friday morning, KMBZ-TV reported.
“In order to prevent disruptions to the learning environment for students, the School of Journalism and the university, I have directed Provost Jeffrey Vitter to place Associate Professor Guth on indefinite administrative leave pending a review of the entire situation,” the chancellor said. “Professor Guth’s classes will be taught by other faculty members.
As of this writing, it is unclear whether Guth will continue to collect a paycheck in the interim.
In a tweet Monday, Guth implied that he wanted to see the next mass shooting happen to people connected to the NRA.
“The blood is on the hands of the #NRA,” Guth, an associate professor at the university’s William Allen White School of Journalism, posted. “Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you.”
The higher education news site Campus Reform made contact with Guth Wednesday to ask him about the tweet and whether he thought it was a bit over the top.
“Hell no, hell no, I do not regret that Tweet,” he said. “I don’t take it back one bit.”
He added: “A pox on our Congress and a pox on the NRA” for not passing stricter gun laws.”
“It absolutely appalls me that after Newtown, we could not have come to some kind of sane agreement on something as simple as the number of bullets in a magazine or the availability of assault weapons,” he said.
Guth later took to his blog to explain his anti-NRA tweet: “I don’t wish what happened today on anyone. But if it does happen again — and it likely will — may it happen to those misguided miscreants who suggest that today’s death toll at the Navy Yard would have been lower if the employees there were allowed to pack heat.”
Timothy C. Caboni, vice chancellor for public affairs, in a statement Thursday characterized Guth’s tweet as “repugnant and in no way represent the views or opinions of the University of Kansas.”
“Like all Americans, he has the right under the First Amendment to express his personal views and is protected in that regard,” Caboni said. “But it is truly disgraceful that these views were expressed in such a callous and uncaring way. We expect all members of the university community to engage in civil discourse and not make inflammatory and offensive comments.”
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Featured image via the Associated Press.