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Opinion

Opinion

Letter: Guth apologizes

October 26, 2013

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To the editor:

My Sept. 16 tweet following the Navy Yard shooting has caused a great deal of pain for many people, and for that I apologize. Some interpreted my tweet differently than it was intended: I don’t want anyone’s children hurt. The fact that my words were misconstrued is my fault — I am the professional communicator and I didn’t do a very good job. For that, I apologize. I also regret that my statements have had a negative impact on the university community. Finally, I am grateful for the support I have received from family, friends, colleagues and many others whom I have never met. It is much appreciated.

Comments

Richard Heckler 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Most of the misconstrued thinking was coming out of the Kansas legislator which is a monster problem for the state of Kansas. Kansas has way too many people over in the legislator that believe they live in a dictator type of government which MISCONSTRUES how our Kansas government should operate.

Believe me David Guth I did NOT misconstrue your statements into any more than they were. You were merely exercising your ability to drive a point home. Your choice of delivery has been applied perhaps a zillion times before you.

It is very big of you to shoulder the responsibility of restoring peace in the valley.

However it is the very heavy hand of big Kansas government that should be apologizing to David Guth for the pain this big Kansas government has placed into the life of David Guth. Your access to Freedom of Speech has been violated beyond reality.

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Scott Burkhart 11 months, 4 weeks ago

@Richard Heckler - I find it amusing how you call the Kansas Government heavy handed but you were so in favor of the ACA or even single payer, government run healthcare to be enforced by the IRS. The ACA was rammed through congress on strictly partisan votes and voted into law using a technicality where the vote was not even on the ACA but an accompanying bill. It won't be this way forever, Merrill, and what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

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Bob Forer 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The ACA was rammed through congress on strictly partisan votes and voted into law using a technicality where the vote was not even on the ACA but an accompanying bill.

Scott, if you agreed with the legislaton you would be touting it as "democracy in action." Obviously, you don't like the law, so you disparage it as based on "strictly partisan votes" with accmpanying trickery. Last time I looked, both parties were bound by the same rules.

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John Graham 11 months, 3 weeks ago

While no republican in congress voted for the ACA, there were a few house democrats that also voted against ACA. The methods the democrats used to get the votes needed while avoiding a possible senate filibuster were within the rules of congress though not commonly used. This allowed the democrats to bypass negotiating with republicans. It is a shame the democrats chose not to work out a bill that at least some republicans could support but that is the spoils of controlling both houses of congress and the White House at the time. While within the rules it might come back to haunt the president and the democrats in the long run for not working with the republicans. As only democrats voted for the ACA, they and the president can claim the praise if it actually lowers the budget and makes all the benefits to healthcare it claims. On the other hand, all failures of the ACA such as potential debit increases or failure in providing promised healthcare benefits will solely be the responsibility of the president and the democrats. It is a high risk strategy. If they had worked with the republicans to get a bill at least some of them could support, then they could include the republicans in sharing the blame if the ACA doesn't do all it was promised to do. The democrats and the president chose an all or nothing approach so lord help them if it fails because they will have nobody to blame but themselves.

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John Graham 11 months, 4 weeks ago

The Democrats get some credit for the government shutdown as well. You had a disagreement because both sides were refusing to compromise. I seem to remember someone saying "no negotiations". Oh yea that was the president.

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Bob Forer 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Why compromise with a gang of bullies? The law was properly passed by Congress, and was subjected to scrutiny by the highest court in the land. Yes, the President refused to compromise, and guess what? He won.

You can call it "refusing to compromise" or whatever term you desire. I view it as "sticking to your guns."

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John Graham 11 months, 3 weeks ago

It takes two people to have a disagreement. Certainly the republicans deserve some credit for the government's problems but the democrats and the president are not without fault in the matter.

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John Graham 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The problem is thinking someone "won". No one "won". Not the president, not the democrats, not the republicans and most definitely not the American people.

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Bob Forer 11 months, 3 weeks ago

When one calls the bluff of a bully and the bully caves in, I consider it a win. If you cave in to a bully, you are telling him that you are weak, and he will come back again and again, as you have painted yourself as a target.

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John Graham 11 months, 3 weeks ago

While winning in sports is a desired outcome, the stakes are much higher in political arenas. The "winners" often have a narrow majority. Which means there is an almost equally large group of "losers". Hard feelings happen and revenge is often planned. When the tide turns which it often does, the old "losers" are the new "winners" and want to stick it to the old "winners" which are the new "losers". The cycle repeats. When the republicans were in the White House and held congress they could have worked to be more compromising with the democrats. They didn't so the democrats had hard feelings. Once the democrats got in the White House and held congress, Pelosi made the statement about "it's our turn now". When the republicans complained about the democrats not compromising the Democratic Party response was essentially tough we won. Now the republicans have hard feelings. Everyone wants their turn to have it their way regardless of the concerns of the minority party. The majority needs to remember to be good "winners" and the minority needs to remember to be good "losers". Not trying to stick it to the losers and compromising if you are a "winner" even if you don't need to would be a good idea in the long run. The "losers" could help by not trying to obstruct everything and compromising. Things might then get done that both sides could be happy with and might benefit most Americans. Have the republicans been trying to obstruct everything they can, yes. Have the democrats been avoiding compromising if at all possible, yes. Remember just because you are a winner today doesn't mean you may not be a loser tomorrow. So treat the others as you would like to be treated. It just works better.

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Fred Mertz 11 months, 4 weeks ago

If Guth immediately regretted it he could have deleted the tweet or followed up with another one softening the first.

He did neither so I'd say he didn't immediately regret it, but only came to regret it when he took heat for wishing death on children.

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John Graham 11 months, 4 weeks ago

I don't remember wishing death on someone's children. That is classless.

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Fred Mertz 11 months, 4 weeks ago

James call to call BS on your allegation. LJW assured us that linking to FB accounts would assure only real people post here. Who am I to believe, the LJW or you?

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Richard Heckler 11 months, 4 weeks ago

David Guth was never wishing death on the children of anyone..... never.

The NRA should have their Tax Exempt status revoked if in fact it is a Tax Exempt organization. It is nothing but a political action committee. The NRA was converted by the right wing in order to skirt campaign donation regulations regarding limits on donations.

Then again I don't support tax exempt status for any political donations.

BTW FYI - it is the GOP that votes against Veterans benefits routinely.

David Guth's access to Freedom of Speech has been violated beyond reality.

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Fred Mertz 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Richard, Guth's words speak for themselves. You have nothing to back up your contention that Guth wasn't wishing death on children.

People died at the Navy Yard. Guth said next time let it be the NRAs children. What else could he have meant?

Dislike the NRA all you want but you should speak out against hate speech regardless of who is saying it an at whom it is directed.

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David Reber 11 months, 4 weeks ago

I don't share Guth's views about gun control, but "Next time let it be YOUR sons & daughters..." sounds like FIGURATIVE, not literal, speech to me. I don't interpret this to mean he wished for anyone to die. I read this as him saying some people's opinions might be different if it were their own kids who were killed.

It takes a certain level of intellectual prowess to deal in figurative terms rather than literal ones. Perhaps the politicians calling for Guth's firing simply can't do that....

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John Graham 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Guth said what he said. It is well documented. You are making assumptions about what he meant which you have no way of supporting. Maybe you are giving Mr Guth too much credit for "intellectual prowess". Someone with "intellectual prowess" should be able to get their point across without making any reference of any kind figurative or not about wishing harm to children. The first amendment protects free speech but it did not protect him from appearing as an insensitive jackass. He does not deserve to be punished for exercising his first amendment rights but he does deserve to be chided for doing so in such a classless way.

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Fred Mertz 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Something else to keep in mind. The NRA is not just some faceless lifeless corporation. The NRA is your neighbors, their children, sons and daughters of people you know.

Guth's words were directed not at some corporation but people like me.

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Bruce Weldon 11 months, 3 weeks ago

It took almost a month to issue some sort of apology? This guy is an idiot. How can someone who teaches at the collegiate level be so stupid, unprofessional and insensitive?

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Seth Peterson 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Because he made the mistake of trying to deal with the NRA on their level. Being stupid, unprofessional and insensitive is only allowable if you oppose basic gun control.

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Bruce Weldon 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I never said anything about this pertaining to gun control or the NRA! I am calling him out because he is an idiot and issued a HOLLOW APOLOGY forced upon him by KU.

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Seth Peterson 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't know the man personally, but what leads you to believe it was forced on him by KU and was hollow? I assume you called him an idiot because of what he said, which he said because of the NRA being the way that it is. You don't have to say it yourself, it's the driving cause behind the entire chain of events.

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Seth Peterson 11 months, 3 weeks ago

You make an unfounded accusation, once responded to in kind and asked where you received your information, this is your response? Well you've contributed mightily.

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Seth Peterson 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Only if you don't speak English very well - now, do you have any other information or insight to your previous comments in response to my question?

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Bruce Weldon 11 months, 3 weeks ago

You don't read "English" very well. Good luck with that.

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Seth Peterson 11 months, 3 weeks ago

So no. You have absolutely zero evidence for your claim or reason to believe it, you just like to spout off that someone is an idiot on a forum they'll never see. Thank you for your contribution.

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Bruce Weldon 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I have plenty of evidence. Open your eyes........read. You do not have a clue. How stupid can you be?

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Matthew Herbert 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I wonder if writing this letter was the first "special assignment" given to him by the University of Kansas while he continues to earn his $80,000+ income without having to assume any of his previous teaching duties.

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Greg DiVilbiss 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Who has not said something that was not taken as intended, whether it was through poor communication skills or by people misunderstanding. Either way the man apologized for the statement.

It is unfortunate that Mr. Guth made his statement in a forum that can easily be made viral. Let this be a lesson to each one of us to make sure before you hit "send" that this is really what you want put out in the world.

The tweet speaks for itself and though I think it is very clear in its message, I do not have any doubt, what it clearly says, was not the meaning that Mr. Guth intended.

Now, in my opinion the apology should have come immediately, yet never the less, the apology was given, I hope people accept it.

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James Canaday 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Not a real apology Mr. communications expert.

here let me spell it out for you.

a real apology goes like this:

I am sorry. what I did (wrote) was wrong. I won't do it again. Please forgive me for hurting you and for my bad behavior.

*there you go. and, we didn't misconstrue anything. we also considered what it might be like for the "children" of NRA members who might have to face you in class or on campus. also, what it might be like for NRA members themselves to have to face you.

if the shoe were on the other foot, you on the left would be calling such a professor a terrorist, demanding his/her firing, I'm quite sure. that is, if a professor had been pro-NRA and had said the same statement only RE the children of gun grabbers, that shoe would be on the other foot. .

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