Archive for Friday, September 20, 2013

Guth’s tweet puts him in middle of political firestorm

September 20, 2013


A tweet by David Guth has propelled the longtime Kansas University journalism professor into a political firestorm.

On Monday, following the shootings that left 13 dead at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C., Guth wrote on Twitter: "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."

By Friday, Guth was placed on paid administrative leave by KU officials who had sharply criticized his comment. Powerful legislators were calling for his firing, and KU was in the crosshairs of a political battle.

Guth responded to some questions from the Lawrence Journal-World in a short email. But aside from that, he was unavailable for interviews. He said he was not advocating violence and that his comments have been deliberately distorted.

On Twitter, Guth, originally from Maryland, described himself as "An Eastern Shoreman turned professor and historian. A devoted husband, father and dog owner. Most important: an independent thinker."

Guth has been teaching at KU since 1991, instructing in a wide range of courses including the media and politics, strategic communication, message development, and ethics and the media.

Before coming to KU, he worked in various government positions in North Carolina. In the 1970s and 1980s, he worked for a number of television and radio stations, according to his resume.

He writes a blog called Snapping Turtle that covers daily news events. "I am a content guy. Whatever this blog may lack in flash will be more than made up for in substance," he wrote.

In his blog, Guth criticizes Democrats and Republicans. In one, he says he feels that President Barack Obama's handling of the crisis in Syria shows Obama "just isn't up to the job." In another, Guth blasts Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, for Merrick's comments criticizing KU and higher education.

The Navy Yard shootings produced a blog entry calling for gun restrictions.

"The time has passed for niceties and tact. The blood spilled today is on the hands of the National Rifle Association. I don't care how the NRA tries to spin this. One fact is undeniable: The NRA has championed a gun culture that is shredding our nation's moral authority like armor-plated bullets ripping through flesh," he wrote.

In 2010, Guth was censured for engaging “in unprofessional, threatening, and abusive behavior towards another faculty member," according to KU, although the school did not divulge the details of the incident.

Censure is the third-most severe punishment a faculty member can receive, behind suspension and dismissal, and requires approval by the university chancellor as outlined in the university’s faculty rights code.


patkindle 4 years, 8 months ago

for a professional gentlemen to vent his feelings on a social media site is a bit immature regardless if it is his right or not. regardless of freedoms he has a responsibility to his employer not to embarrass them by putting him self in the spotlight with kiddie postings

avarom 4 years, 8 months ago

Well. let's hope the people that are in charge of evaluating the disciplining on Guth, don't forget Virgil Peck's remarks and his insensitivity in the Capitol Building. Many were Offended by Peck's actions, his remarks and his lack of judgement, and he was in the Capitol Building, at work. Guth was not! Disparity and Unfair Treatment, just creates a Hostile Working Environment.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 8 months ago

Like armor-plated bullets? I think I know why he got out of the actual profession and into the educational industry.

Fossick 4 years, 8 months ago

If he loses his job at KU, he may have a future at CNN

Cheryl Nelsen 4 years, 8 months ago

So, you are suggesting the educational "industry" is filled by people unqualified for "real" work? You so do not understand the profession.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 8 months ago

I will rely on the mantra of people insisting there was not an implicit threat in Mr. Guth's comments: read what I said. It was specific to him and not the education industry. I have had many fantastic professors - you know, ones with PhDs - over the years. They have been hardworking, dedicated individuals who have spent their lives in education.

Armored_One 4 years, 8 months ago

I feel safe in assuming that if it is not in alignment with your own ideologies, you would object...

weeslicket 4 years, 8 months ago

good example of adopting the "24 hour rule" (for all: individuals, representative samples, official samples)

when topics are that emotionally powerful for you: think a little bit harder (at least 24 hours), and think a little bit harder.

Bike 4 years, 8 months ago

The time would appear to be upon our country when we decide if a minority of freaks/fundies are really going to decide our path.

Jason Johnson 4 years, 8 months ago

Exactly, which is why I'm fighting the anti-gun-nuts at every turn!

Bill Getz 4 years, 8 months ago

First the Fundies, now the enablers of murder. Also, let's not forget about the blue-nose hypocrites who got Dennis Daley's sexual education class taken out of the curriculum.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 4 years, 8 months ago

I did not know about that. I thought he simply retired. I heard him speak and answer questions at a church singles group many, many years ago. I thought he was outstanding.

Hoots 4 years, 8 months ago

In the U.S violent crime and gun crime as two separate groups has dropped by roughly 50% since 1992 as compared to today. Why does everyone act like the sky is falling and why doesn't the media ever talk about it? They just love to frighten people. They rarely talk about anything positive. Meanwhile in Piers Morgan"s jolly old England violent crime has done nothing but go up...up...and...up. Piers doesn't talk about that either.

Corey Williams 4 years, 8 months ago

Source? Everywhere I looked, crime in all aspects has been dropping in the UK. Or: where it says that violent crime has fallen 21%, total homicides have fallen 28%, and weapons crime has fallen 34%

Beate Williams 4 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for the information Corey. These wingnuts throw out statistics and no one challenges them and all of a sudden their made up numbers become facts to the right wing tea baggers.

Hoots 4 years, 8 months ago

There is some question in England as to how crime is being reported today as compared to the past. Theft from the person, rape and fraud have increased (by 9%, 2% and 27% respectively). Other crimes are being dealt with differently in terms of how they are reported or the fact some crimes are downgraded to a lessor offense as compared to years past. This has some wondering if the UK government has changed reporting standards due to tightening of budgets for police. With these new reporting standards it's possible to make the people feel safe while changing the method of reporting crime. You can call an orange and apple all you want but it doesn't change what it is. The Telegraph and other news sources have reported this. This wouldn't be the first time a government played a shell game by changing the way numbers are crunched. The way our unemployment rate is calculated is a prime example of fluffing the numbers.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

What is the NRA? The National RightWing Association.

Why did politicians need to get involved? It's none of their business and for the most part they are not the moral giants of our time.

What is the NRA? A political action committee for the Right Wing Party that most likely is making more work for law enforcement. Too damn many politicians see nothing wrong with making military style assault weapons readily available to anyone who can afford to buy them.

So this university professor is not allowed to demonstrate his opinion which in no way advocated violence against anyone. Becoming more like Russia,China and Saudi Arabia.

I would say the issue has been distorted beyond reality. Censorship is the rule it appears.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 8 months ago

Define a "military style assault rifle," Merrill. Not that you'll respond...

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

Under the guise of what was once a family level organization a PAC surfaced in order to launder special interest political campaign dollars. Is the NRA tax exempt? I say it should not be.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 8 months ago

Blah blah blah cut-and-paste. I don't think you want to get into the business of deciding which organizations can and can not be tax exempt.

IreneAdler84 4 years, 8 months ago

His words were ugly. But, even ugly words are protected by the first amendment.

fiddleback 4 years, 8 months ago

They are indeed, and as has been discussed, the words alone would not be grounds for dismissal. However, I'm rather baffled as to why people rally to 1st amendment truisms when there are the following specifics to justify KU's action:

  1. In its direct provocation and spiteful wish of death and suffering for a certain group, the tweet is essentially hate speech. The risk of retaliation in the immediate aftermath makes the administrative leave seem like a fitting precaution if nothing else. Posters invoking the 1st amendment seem loathe to admit that this distinction between hate speech and an unpopular or distasteful editorial, but it is there. Sufficed to say, if we were talking about the "the time has passed" blog post above, it would become a non-issue with neither KU's intervention nor this discussion necessary.

  2. The abandonment of scholarly and journalistic ethics inherent in making such a tweet calls into question his fitness to teach, and whether such lack of judgement already significantly affects his interactions with students. I suspect they will assess this question during his leave.

Bill Getz 4 years, 8 months ago

The University has been sucking up to these crypto-fascists for years, and where has it got us in terms of funding and support? If the administration would take a stand in defense of Guth we could be proud of her again. The University wont, of course, as its motto remains "Nolo ofendere." Shameful, cowardly.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 8 months ago

The Chancellor needs to issue a statement. If the Administrative leave is for Dr. Guth's Protection and for the security of his students and The University, that should be made clear. If this leave is indeed punishment for his recent actions, that needs to be made clear as well. It already sounds to me like they agreed it would be safer for everyone to put Dr. Guth On leave. That is probably prudent at this time.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 4 years, 8 months ago

How can it be punishment? It is paid administrative leave.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 8 months ago

Agreed, but the longer KU says nothing officially, the worse the optics get.

Cheryl Nelsen 4 years, 8 months ago

So, to be inactive and not able to teach equates a good thing? How ridiculous.

Cheryl Nelsen 4 years, 8 months ago

So, to be unable to teach is something desirable? Some people prefer to be active, contributing members of society.

Paul R Getto 4 years, 8 months ago

Both the first and second amendments still matter. His comments were immature and stupid, but he has a right to make a fool out of himself.

fiddleback 4 years, 8 months ago

Yes, but his right does not extend to risking operational disruption with inflammatory hate speech. That's when the university has a right to limit the potential adverse impact to its basic functioning.

oldexbeat 4 years, 8 months ago

The Board of Regents, recently taken over by Brownback, should have stated that they back the University process. The University should have stated what the process is, and followed it. Period. The rest is politics. This is one statement by one tenured professor. There are larger issues on how the University is expected to respond.

oldexbeat 4 years, 8 months ago

OK, KU -- follow your lawyer's advice. Read this -- great letter -- great points -- they apply. Get over it.

racerx 4 years, 8 months ago

Dang, I clicked the thumbs up button 100 times, but only registers once. ;-) Still, bravo on your post and link, my friend, BRAVO!

fiddleback 4 years, 8 months ago

Again, apples and oranges.

That letter and KU's refusal to publicly react or disassociate regards Burkhead's reasoned (though intolerant) newspaper editorials. KU's current reaction regards what is essentially hate speech, with no other content than to confront and provoke a group and wish death and suffering upon them.

Silverhair 4 years, 8 months ago

Sounds like it is a personal blog and he wasn't representing the University. He is also a citizen and has the right to exercise freedom of speech and I certainly don't see the need to censor his personal opinion because of where he works. I don't believe he should be terminated or demoted for voicing his opinion in his personal blog.

Ceee 4 years, 8 months ago

We live in a society that largely puts it's faith in guns. Time, energy and treasure are expended in promoting unfettered access to lethal weapons at the expense of common sense restrictions. How many of us were as offended at the legislature's cutting food stamps for the poor as we were about Mr. Guth's words? What are our values that we get extremely upset about the blathering of a prof but are not even irritated when the state makes life more difficult for those who are hungry? Nasty hateful words are to be abhorred. But the next time our legislature acts against the interests of the least among us, please join me in being as vigorous in expressing condemnation for their actions.

Maggie Morrissey 4 years, 8 months ago

He has a right to make a fool of himself; he has a right to say whatever he wants, as do us all. If I was controversially, openly verbal in the same manner I would not be on "leave" from my job; I would be shown the door and told to leave. Say what you want, live as you choose but as adults we are all aware of things such as consequences of our actions, good and bad.

HOWEVER - I don't think KU should be strong armed into action against the professor, follow policy and procedures..... Thanks for your opinions "Powerful Legislators" but this is being handled by the University of Kansas. Do us all a favor and puff out your legislative chest for matters that directly concern the people who voted for you!!!! You cannot watch/read the news and NOT think SOMETHING has to be done! NRA member/advocate or not, something has to be done to curb the epidemic of gun related violence in our country. Go to work! Get it done for all American people.....and their sons and daughters!

Brad Greenwood 4 years, 8 months ago

Funny how all these R-legislators are screaming for Guth's removal while Peck (remember him?) is still pulling down income from our state coffers for a quote he made in the legislature as a representative. Ah... the sweet smell of double standards...

Brock Masters 4 years, 8 months ago

But isn't it also a double standard when people called for Peck's resignation but defend Guth?

People should be consistent in their beliefs regardless of party affiliation or subject matter.

patkindle 4 years, 8 months ago

he should have posted his childish rant anonymously on the jw website with all of the gutless no name posters, it would never have been an issue

patkindle 4 years, 8 months ago

he should have posted his childish rant anonymously on the jw website with all of the gutless no name posters, it would never have been an issue

SilenceDogood 4 years, 8 months ago

While I don't share professor Guth's desire that the violence happen to NRA members (or anyone for that matter), I do understand where this is coming from.

Today, a small, well-funded, highly vocal minority of Americans advocate for wide-open ownership of guns. They push for the elimination of all gun laws, and in some states, have even passed legislation that criminalizes the enforcement of any federal gun law (clearly unconstitutional). They do anything they can to prevent any debate or discussion on the issue that does not agree with this opinion.

There is also another small, well-funded, highly vocal minority of Americans that advocate for extreme restrictions on gun ownership. They push for the virtual elimination of all guns, and in some places, have even passed legislation that arbitrarily restricts the ownership of guns (clearly unconstitutional). They do anything they can to prevent any debate or discussion on the issue that does not agree with this opinion.

And finally there is third group of people -- the large majority of Americans who's opinions on the matter fall between these two groups. They are not funded at all, and have been mostly forgotten by elected representatives who are more concerned about appeasing donors and party officials than the people they were elected to serve. When voices from this group emerge, they are quickly drowned out by the shouts from the other two groups.

Most of these people support protecting gun ownership while at the same time enacting appropriate laws to ensure that gun owners exercise their right to own and bear arms in a way that is balanced with the other rights that citizens have. Most of the people in this group are tired of hearing about mass shootings and background check loopholes. They are tired of the neoconservative majority that currently controls the policy decisions (and to be clear, would be equally appalled if the far left were in control).

Isn't it time, as a nation, that we have a debate about guns (among other things) that, in the end, creates an environment where we are doing everything we can to ensure appropriate, constitutionally protected gun ownership that fits into the scope and realities of the nation we all share?

oldexbeat 4 years, 8 months ago

true double standards -- state corrections employee & administrator standing outside thanking god for the death of us soldiers

Yes, a Phelps -- did I miss the outrage from the legislature ? Waiting.

Armstrong 4 years, 8 months ago

I see Guth has now made headlines on Yahoo and MSN. Just looking at the comments on the articles, yes you guessed it Guth is not popular. How proud is KU now of having some liberal loon amongst faculty. Yes Guth supporters you do hold the minority view.

racerx 4 years, 8 months ago

KU has NUMEROUS liberal loons amongst the faculty. And as a two-time graduate of KU, I'm proud of all of them.

justoneperson 4 years, 8 months ago

Are you actually implying that comments on yahoo and MSN are representative of US public opinion?

Try looking at an actual public opinion poll. Here's some on gun control:

justoneperson 4 years, 8 months ago

Let’s take a moment and break this down…because it’s Saturday, and I’m done with my chore list. Also, if understanding logic and logical fallacies (or extreme logical leaps and assumptions) makes me a liberal, fair enough—I’m not inclined to think that is an insult (even though I am not, as far as US politics is concerned, a liberal). But assume away!

Your logic: 1-“I see Guth has now made headlines on Yahoo and MSN. Just looking at the comments on the articles, yes you guessed it Guth is not popular.” . . . n-“Yes Guth supporters you do hold the minority view.”

Reality, part 1: From 1, let’s say that you (a) read all the comments on yahoo and msn about this tweet, (b) coded them as ‘supportive’, ‘neutral’, and ‘not supportive’, and (c) ensured that each person was only coded once (that is, only counted one comment per person).
As of yesterday, when I saw one of the yahoo stories on this, there were over 1500 comments. But, you have plenty of time to read and code all the stories on these sites, so we’ll assume you have. Now, after coding, let’s say you found that less than 50% of the comments on were ‘supportive’—the only thing you could say is, “a minority of the commenters on yahoo and msn are supportive of Guth’s tweet.” It tells us nothing about anyone else but those that commented on yahoo and msn.

Reality, part 2: Working backwards, Guth supporters hold the minority view. That means less than 50% of people (let’s say people in the US) support Guth’s tweet. So, in order to say that, we would need a representative sample of people in the US, where less than 50% of people (taking into account the margin of error) said they were supportive of the tweet. We don’t have that, so we really can’t say anything about whether supporters, non-supporters, or even those that are neutral are in the minority view.

A little logic and some knowledge about the representativeness of internet comments and public opinion polling goes a long way. Regardless of my opinion about the tweet, or KU’s reaction to it, the conclusion in your comment is not supported by any fact or evidence. So there’s that.

Armstrong 4 years, 8 months ago

You got all that from - " Just looking at the comments on the articles, yes you guessed it Guth is not popular." Someone has a bit too much time on their hands.

justoneperson 4 years, 8 months ago

No. I got that from, “I see Guth has now made headlines on Yahoo and MSN. Just looking at the comments on the articles, yes you guessed it Guth is not popular. How proud is KU now of having some liberal loon amongst faculty. Yes Guth supporters you do hold the minority view.” Your unwillingness and/or inability to see the logical fallacy in your own comment doesn’t mean it’s not there. So, instead of addressing the critique of the content of your post, you continue to lob ad hominem attacks (another logical fallacy, by the way…). Seems productive!

William Ed 4 years, 8 months ago

It is a truly sad state when our wonderful Chancellor must cow tow to the Board of Regents and State Congressional members, who are Tea Party would be's, and take administrative action on a faculty member, to protect her University's funding. Only in Dorothy Land.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 4 years, 8 months ago

Let's change the topic slightly. Instead of the children of NRA members Huth writes, on a private blog, that he feels the black students are inferior and unable to measure up to the standards expected of white students. Does he have a right to say it? Certainly. Is it "repugnant"? Yes. Is it irrelevant to his job at KU? Not at all.

How can minority students feel comfortable in his class knowing his feelings about them? In fact, how can a student feel comfortable expressing ideas contrary to his/her instructor's strongly held and publicly expressed opinions, regardless the nature of those opinions?

Now let's turn it back to the matter at hand. No matter how you interpret it, there is a great deal of hostility in his tweet towards the NRA and towards the children of NRA members. In Kansas do we really believe that none of his students are either the sons and daughters of NRA members, or even NRA members themselves? How can they feel free to express their ideas to a faculty member who has already been censured for his abusive conduct and who has expressed himself so violently toward their very existence.

KU's policy is flawed. Private blogs still reflect on the writers and if those writers hold teaching positions they potentially reflect on their relationships with their students. Blogging hateful and inappropriate comments, whether they suggest violence, homophobia, sexism, racism, or a bias toward a specific group cannot help but negatively impact the educational mission of the university and they, like any published matter, should be evaluated as part of the faculty member's work product and dealt with accordingly.

IreneAdler84 4 years, 8 months ago

This isn't a KU policy issue. This is the "policy" of the United States. Political speech, even when repugnant is protected from repercussions by the state. by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. There is explicit case law on this particular point, even the hypothetical scenario that you have concocted, thinking erroneously, that the First Amendment only applies to tasteful speech. See Rodriquez vs. Maricopa Community College District.

Think about it for a minute, do you REALLY want state legislators deciding what passes as an acceptable public opinion?

a34123h9038419 4 years, 8 months ago

I had Prof. Guth for my capstone class in the J-School 10-odd years ago. I remember him to be very thorough, no-nonsense, and incredibly outspoken (obviously). These attributes make for a very good journalist, but the University might not always appreciate those same qualities in a professor. I was struggling pretty badly my senior year, and put a lot of effort in to help keep me above water and get through it. You tend to remember Profs like that.

I can see both sides of the arguement. Prof. Guth is walking the walk. His job is to teach students to exercise their 1st amendment rights; why would he feel the need to censor what he wants to say?

On the other hand, the University, being a State entity, is a political minefield right now. A professor of Strategic Communications should have known better. Politicians are always looking for fodder... ALWAYS. A platform such as Twitter is not the appropriate place to fight that fight.

Beat them with facts and reporting. Not with Tweets.

Pamela Shanks 4 years, 8 months ago

I think most are missing the obvious. Free speech is protected by law no matter what we think of what he said. Our personal opinions about the content of the tweet matter not at all. On the other hand, I am tired of social media in general. As I tell little ones in my classroom all the time, just because you think it doesn't mean you should say it out loud. As a society, we have abandoned the filter that allows discourse in favor of 10 minutes of "fame." If Guth had expressed his sentiments without resorting to wishing death upon children, the focus would be on the sentiment, not the ramification for the University. Or this would be a non-story and Guth would have missed his 10 minutes. Which brings me back to my original point, just because you are thinking it doesn't mean that we all want to hear it, even if you have the right to say it.

IreneAdler84 4 years, 8 months ago

Agree, with the exception of the word "wish". Saying "let it be" means something different than "I wish" X would happen. But, yes the prudent thing would have been to leave kids out of it.

FarleyM 4 years, 8 months ago

And yet groups like the Taxed Enough Already party are attacked by the government IRS for their free speech. All of the arguments made in this thread for free speech is nice. It would be really nice, if it was used for all speech by all people.

oldexbeat 4 years, 8 months ago

That isn't correct -- their tax exempt status was questioned when they were clearly very partisan politico groups. Nothing to do with free speech, just non-profit status. And it wasn't just TEA Party groups that were questioned.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 4 years, 8 months ago

Many universities have policies regarding hate speech, a category I think most of us would agree this comment falls into. We cannot sacrifice the principle of combating hate speech just because we think it's OK to hate the NRA.

a34123h9038419 4 years, 8 months ago

I do not disagree at all that he chose his words poorly. Once again, a professor of Strategic Communications should have known better. With social media, the thoughts you put out there are public and able to be dissected many, many ways.

The biggest danger of social media is the lack of editorial process. If this was an opinion piece, an editor would have caught this verbage and toned it down.

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

It's a government school. They can't regulate speech like a private corporation. He may be a professor, but he is also a citizen, and therefore afforded first amendment protection.

Just hold your nose and send him back to work. He is the price we pay for free speech.

Scott Morgan 4 years, 8 months ago

Mr. Guth is a tax-paid Kansas employee. Besides the ignorant statement, I wonder how the "independent thinker" as he believes himself to be, grades/evaluates student hunter/fisher-people?

I knew this type instructor back in my undergraduate days. They can really make a person miserable.

voevoda 4 years, 8 months ago

If you read the comments Prof. Guth's students have posted, they all agree that he is exceptionally fair-minded and helpful to his students--including those who identify themselves as "conservative" and "pro-gun." See this piece, for example:

So, wissmo, your inference is completely wrong. It is not right to malign someone's reputation in this manner.

Scott Morgan 4 years, 8 months ago

voe, I expect you would be the type to believe online product reviews.

Modern publicists often post these kind of kind of love fests. Why didn't the former student leave his name if he or she was so pro. ?????

You do realize the guy is in big big big trouble. I would not trust an out of the blue conservative supporter's glowing love for the prof.

lwctown 4 years, 8 months ago

First his tweet was simply ignorant. The NRA isn't responsible for other peoples actions just as Twitter isn't responsible for what other people tweet. It is interesting that he wants his tweet to be protected speech under the 1st amendment but wants the 2nd amendment rights of others ignored. I would expect more critical thought out of a university professor. I would think he would have tweeted for increased attention and increased services for mental health care services if he really wanted to affect society in a positive way.

ikuyasu 4 years, 8 months ago

I really don't understand why NRA needs to be demonized so much. I don't think they have ever advocated the violence whatsoever at least to kill totally random people. They can be criticized but they are no way bad people at all. Nevertheless we know someone gets political benefit if a mass shooting like this in the Navy happens. Someone or some people usually are found in east coast area, the small district...

Armored_One 4 years, 8 months ago

Because the NRA was the primary force behind the scrapping of the attempted revisiting of Second Amendment rights, namely the whole registration and mental health evaluation system that was included in the bill.

So yes, this does rest directly on their heads, since the shooter's doctors would have been required to report him to the system to be flagged because of the anti-psychotics that he was taking.

The frustration Mr. Guth was/is feeling is completely warranted in my opinion, however, he should have tempered it, one because he's an adult and should know to speak better, and two because he's a state employee, and thus under a tad bit more public scrutiny than I am, as an example.

smileydog 4 years, 8 months ago

It isn't what he said, it's when he said it. On September 16, at 2:52 pm the professor tweeted his message. Was he working when he tweeted or was he off the clock? That would be key.

MajorTravis 4 years, 8 months ago

There are an awful lot of people in this thread who are pitifully confused about 1st Amendment rights. The 1st Amendment protects us from THE GOVERNMENT MAKING LAWS TO PROHIBIT FREE SPEECH. It is designed to protect us from armed government agents beating us with truncheons when we speak our mind

It in no way, shape, or form protects a man from being disciplined, censured, CENSORED, or even terminated from his EMPLOYER if he acts in a manner unbefitting their expectations. Free speech does not eliminate any manner of social consequences for being an outspoken idiot and shooting your mouth off in public.

If the FBI or even the state police were battering down Mr. Guth's door to take him to prison for his words, then we could have a discussion about his 1st Amendment rights. But the 1st Amendment does not protect you from anyone other than the US Congress and, since 1925, the state legislatures as well. Which also means that it does not protect anyone from the various state or US LEGISLATORS making critical comments about speech. So long as they aren't trying to pass LAWS to prohibit it then no one's rights are being violated.

Seriously, people, it is the duty of every responsible American to know and defend their rights. But speaking about them while not understanding them AT ALL makes you look pathetically ignorant. This is NOT a 1st Amendment issue here, so stop trying to make it one by reiterating that Guth had the 'right' to say what he wanted. I don't know the man at all, but based on his reputation I am sure he would be the first to curse you for your (well meaning) ignorance on his behalf.

Armored_One 4 years, 8 months ago

The NRA is a politically active group. Looks to me, although I admit I am nowhere close to being a Constitutional law expert, that he was challenging the ideological stance the NRA takes in matters concerning the political arena. That makes it protected speech, because it is addressing an aspect of the government, namely lobbyists, which impacts the country as a whole despite only directly benefitting a direct few, not to mention the political endorsement concept which brings in needed financial backing at election times.

Lacking in taste the Tweet might be, it is still protected speech, nonetheless.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 8 months ago

At least you admit you aren't a constitutional law expert early in your post so one can stomach the rest of it.

Armored_One 4 years, 8 months ago

So are you denying that the NRA has, very recently, spread bald faced lies concerning the issue of registering firearms, background checks, or the recent attempt to halt production of new firearms?

Shall I quote, directly, from the bill that was presented for a vote in Congress that says nothing in the least about confiscation of firearms, nor a voluntary surrender of any, simply a ban on production of any from a prescribed date forward?

I'm a tad bit bored at the moment, so if you'd like, I'll even up the ante, so to speak, and not simply quote the passages I am referring to, but I will also provide page numbers and paragraph numbers on those stated pages where my quotes originated, so they can be read in their full context.

I read the bill, front to back, multiple times before I started forming my opinion. If there had been any mention of seizure of property without cause or prosecution for owning the affected firearms, I would have emphatically been against it. There was no mention of any of that, though, in the bill as it was introduced. It was, however, said almost verbatim in multiple NRA advertisements that ran about the issue, not to mention multiple quotes from the leader of said organization, recorded for all posterity in multiple news sources, from AP News to the New York Times and everything in between.

I don't take the side of liars. I have no issue with the NRA lobbying for their interests. I do have severe issues when those lobbyists lie to my face and then pretend that it never happened, just for a little proverbial lemon juice.

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