Archive for Friday, September 20, 2013

KU journalism professor Guth placed on leave as school reviews comment he made on Twitter on shootings

September 20, 2013, 10:55 a.m. Updated September 20, 2013, 6:30 p.m.


KU journalism professor David Guth.

KU journalism professor David Guth.

Who is David Guth?

Read the story here.

— Kansas University on Friday placed journalism professor David Guth on administrative leave over comments critical of the NRA that he wrote on Twitter regarding the shooting this week at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

Guth said his comments had been deliberately distorted and misunderstood, but top state legislators — Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, and Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson — called for Guth’s dismissal from KU.

“Any attempt to continue employing this individual as an educational leader is offensive to taxpayers,” Wagle said.

The incident also left some wondering if KU, whose relationship with conservative Republican legislators is already strained, would suffer further. Republican leaders cut $34.3 million in state funds to universities last session and will conduct information-gathering meetings on campuses next month to prepare for next year’s budget discussions.

State Sen. Greg Smith, R-Overland Park, who also teaches in high school, spelled it out: “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.”

The dispute was over a message by Guth on the social media site Twitter, and it exploded across the Internet.

In the aftermath of the shootings in Washington on Monday in which 13 people were killed, Guth tweeted: “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.”

KU officials strongly criticized the comment and Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little announced that KU had put Guth on paid leave and would conduct a review of the situation.

“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. Professor Guth’s classes will be taught by other faculty members,” Gray-Little said.

In an email to the Lawrence Journal-World on Friday, Guth said he had met earlier with university officials and agreed to take administrative leave “in light of the abusive email threats I and others have received.”

“It is in the best interests and peace of mind of our students that I remove myself from the situation and let cooler heads prevail,” Guth said. “It is unfortunate that my comments have been deliberately distorted. I know what I meant. Unfortunately, this is a topic that generates more heat than light.”

Guth, in an interview on Thursday, said, “I did not advocate violence against anybody.” He said he was, instead, trying to make gun advocates see shootings like the one at Navy Yard from the point of view of the victims and their families. “I was getting tired of hearing comments in the media and Twitter that, ‘Gee, this wouldn’t have happened if the office staff at the Navy Yard had been armed,’” he said.

As for the “May God damn you” comment, Guth said: “I think they are on the wrong side of the angels on this issue. I wasn’t cursing them. I was stating that I would like to see God put judgment on them.”

Senate Majority Leader Bruce said he was appalled by Guth’s tweet.

“Wishing death and damnation upon parents and their children is reprehensible and is not befitting of an employee of such a distinguished university,” he said. He said Gray-Little needed to remove Guth from KU’s faculty “immediately.” Bruce added, “Had he tweeted against a liberal advocacy group, a protected class, there is no question in my mind, that he would be removed.”

The Kansas State Rifle Association President Patricia Stoneking said the state arm of the NRA “will do everything possible to see to the removal of this man. He should be fired immediately.”

Stoneking said that while the KSRA believes in First Amendment rights of free speech, Guth was inciting violence.

“Is this who you want teaching your children? I certainly do not want him teaching mine,” she said.

The Kansas Board of Regents held a hastily called closed session on the comments made by Guth.

After the meeting, Andy Tompkins, president and chief executive officer of the regents, said, “The Board of Regents expresses its disgust and offense at the statement made by David Guth.”

The board said KU was keeping it informed on the situation and expressed its appreciation to Gray-Little for responding to the controversy.

According to KU’s Code of Faculty Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct, “Freedom of inquiry, expression, and assembly are guaranteed to all faculty members.”

KU spokesman Tim Caboni, however, said people who engage in public discourse “have a responsibility to be civil in the way we comport ourselves.”

State Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, said KU acted appropriately by placing Guth on leave while officials investigate the situation further.

Francisco said Guth’s tweet probably would hurt KU in its relationship with some legislators. “Unfortunately, I think when people are already critical they take new information in through that filter,” she said.

She added, “I would hope we all remind ourselves that we are working together to make this a great community and a great state and can try to look at each situation on its own and wait to get as much information as we can before we take action.”

Senate Majority Leader Bruce said the dispute with Guth should not impact higher education budget decisions.

“I want this (Guth) to be treated as its own situation, not an extension of any sort of public funding issue that took place last session,” he said.

But Smith said if KU doesn’t dismiss Guth then it is saying it supports Guth’s position.

“The University of Kansas receives tax money from the state of Kansas. I do not condone using tax money to urge others to take violent action,” he said.


Michael Capra 2 years, 9 months ago

well ljw everyone else reported this on Monday as for guth he should be fired him wanting kids to die what was ku thinking on this one thanks terry bruce for calling ku

MarcoPogo 2 years, 9 months ago

^^^ The First Amendment in action. ^^^

guacamole 2 years, 9 months ago

since when does the First Amendment protect fighting words?

gatekeeper 2 years, 9 months ago

Probably not that many since there aren't really that many NRA members nationwide. All their money and clout comes from the gun manufactures. They only have 3 milion members total.

LakeShawnee 2 years, 9 months ago

So the Minister for Magic doesn't like what's being said at Hogwarts? I anticipate a bill next spring calling for a High Inquisitor to be placed at KU. Sorry Trelawney, you're just not fit to teach Divination any more.

asixbury 2 years, 9 months ago

He didn't say he wanted anyone to die. That is distorting his words. He said "next time let it be your sons and daughters," which means maybe if it were the NRA's relation, they might know how it feels. He did not say he wanted them to die in any way. This has been so hugely overblown, it's ridiculous. The NRA is just mad because someone talked back to them. They have the right to say whatever they want, and so does Guth.

Mark English 2 years, 9 months ago

Who's to say it wasn't anyones son's or daughters in the NRA?

Jason Johnson 2 years, 9 months ago

Except folks in the NRA are fully aware that bad things (shootings) can happen to good people. That's why us gun owners have guns, to try to even the playing field.

With just two exceptions in the 63 years since 1950 (the Gabby Giffords attack in Tucson, AZ and a an attack an IHOP in Carson City, NV, both in 2011), every mass murder with a gun where more than 3 people were killed occurred in a so-called “gun free zone.”

Mari Aubuchon 2 years, 9 months ago

So I guess the 2nd Amendment trumps the !st in this state. Appalling.

gphawk89 2 years, 9 months ago

"Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech..." This is not a 1st amendment issue. Even with the 1st amendment in place, there are still plenty of unintended consequences for saying something really stupid.

Jason Johnson 2 years, 9 months ago

The Second Amendment protects the First. :)

Sam Crow 2 years, 9 months ago

Interesting hypothesis. Now show how.

Liberty275 2 years, 9 months ago

The first also protects the second. Without public disapproval more states would be going the way Colorado went. If we don't speak up and defend the second amendment, the democrats will try to neuter it at every level of government possible.

When a leftist say's "gun", the first word to cross your mind should be "no".

ikuyasu 2 years, 9 months ago

The second Amendment is there to protect the first. So this is correct.

Sean Livingstone 2 years, 9 months ago

Other than the 1st Amendment.... tenure is to protect academic freedom.. as long as it doesn't hurt anyone... where is the freedom?

Hoots 2 years, 9 months ago

I think his academic freedom stops at the end of the Legislatures fiscal pen. Like it or not cash talks and BS walks.

Sean Livingstone 2 years, 9 months ago

Are we as Americans, too obsessed with threats (of words) that carry no substance, but neglect real threats (with real weapons) that come without words? Often times, I do not have statistics to back me up, nutjobs that spread bullets at people, do not send threatening messages to anyone... they just show up and shoot.... you know people who speak like Guth do not have any potential threat... and yet we choose to focus on him, and neglect the real threats of people who want to use their weapons to hurt someone....

Hoots 2 years, 9 months ago

If you say something stupid you might...get in trouble. If you do something stupid with your gun you might...get in trouble. He shot his mouth he's in trouble.

Sean Livingstone 2 years, 9 months ago

We've freedom of speech... but we don't have freedom of action.... if such freedom of speech imposed on him is imposed on everyone, a few news stations should have been closed...

Gotoit 2 years, 9 months ago

This article did not include all of Senator Bruce's press release, but Bruce based his call for removal on the precedent set in 2005 with the removal of Paul Mirecki. Someone should probably tell Mirecki about this since he is probably on the KU campus right now since he is still a faculty member. Either that or Senator Bruce should probably check his facts.

Bruce Bertsch 2 years, 9 months ago

I know this Prof. He is not my favorite, but his tweet is no worse than many others. Much ado about nothing.

patkindle 2 years, 9 months ago

I suspect guth will never miss a paycheck this was just window dressing to appease the rednecks move on folks, nothing to see here, it is all covered up

Matthew Herbert 2 years, 9 months ago

because only rednecks would be offended by state employees wishing death and damnation upon other people's children? I can just see it now - Jeff Foxworthy stand-up "You might be a redneck if you think it's inappropriate for a state employee to hope your kids die".

Seth Peterson 2 years, 9 months ago

Considering they vote for people who do it wouldn't surprise me.

asixbury 2 years, 9 months ago

He didn't wish death on anyone. What he said amounts to "if it were your children, then maybe you would know how it feels." He just said it in a more simplified way.

gl0ck0wn3r 2 years, 9 months ago

Not exactly. He goes a bit further than that, particularly on his blog. Essentially he is saying if a shooting a event happens again, he would prefer it happen to the children of NRA members. The suggestion is implicitly violent even if he doesn't make a threat. Try reversing it or changing the participants in the comments and it becomes even more clear.

Gary Anderson 2 years, 9 months ago

The blood IS on the hands of the #NRA. Next time,PRAY IT'S NOT YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you. There...I fixed it.

gatekeeper 2 years, 9 months ago

As I posted above, I doubt very many. There's only 3 million members nationwide (they claim more, but all members get their magazines and there are only 3M on the circulation list.

Considering that the population of the USA is 3.14M, that means less than a percent of the population are NRA members.

Brian Conrad 2 years, 9 months ago

wow really like your sifferin Jethro 3.14 million pop of da usofa I da gate keeper I so smart , like all libs I thro numbas around so you inbreds belif me..

overthemoon 2 years, 9 months ago

Perfect, now I can wholeheartedly say that I do not find his comment the least offensive. the NRA is an enemy of a free and safe society and those who think Obama is 'stealing their freedoms' are easily fooled by those who really ARE stealing their freedom.

lwctown 2 years, 9 months ago

I would be interested to hear how you think the NRA is stealing freedoms

Michael Capra 2 years, 9 months ago

u people think it ok to suggest to kill children wow

Gary Anderson 2 years, 9 months ago

NRA's Board of Directors are all very old...their "sons and daughters" are full grown adults...Mr. Guth never mentioned children.

Keith 2 years, 9 months ago

Plenty of people have been killed by bullets, few by words.

John Spencer 2 years, 9 months ago

I disagree. I think more people have been killed by words, as they are the basis for the problem and the 'solution' to the problem.

Hoots 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm pretty sure Hideki Tojo never shot anyone but he sure did kill millions on his word as did Jozef Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Tse-tung, and Adolf Hitler.. I think this bunch only killed a paltry 100 million or so. Just a few. And just by inciting violence on those they disliked or disagreed with.

Keith 2 years, 9 months ago

You're both pretty good at missing the point.

IreneAdler84 2 years, 9 months ago

And many of them started by rounding up the teachers and professors and other intellectuals who would not toe the party line.

asixbury 2 years, 9 months ago

Read what he said again. He never suggested killing children. What he said meant, maybe if it were the NRA's sons and daughters, then they would know what they're talking about, how it feels to be in the situation as the victims. Reading comprehension score = 0.

voevoda 2 years, 9 months ago

While Prof. Guth's comments many be politically inexpedient, morally questionable, and poorly enunciated, they do not constitute legitimate grounds even to place him on administrative leave, much less rescind his tenure and fire him. He hasn't done anything to disrupt the operations of the university or to endanger any person on or off campus. The university's actions violate AAUP standards, which are incorporated into its own rules and are endorsed by the Kansas Board of Regents.

And what is happening to the students in Prof. Guth's courses, while the KU administration is taking this action? Are they missing their classes, or getting a less-qualified instructor who is less prepared to teach the subject-matter of the courses? KU really needs to rethink this knee-jerk reaction to political pressure.

optimist 2 years, 9 months ago

Given how you yourself characterize his comments it is more likely that whatever the students are getting is an upgrade.

voevoda 2 years, 9 months ago

optimist, do you know what he says in his classes? I don't assume that he uses the classroom as a forum to disseminate his own beliefs; most professors do not. And further, if Prof. Guth actually was a poor teacher, the university would already have done something about it. That's what the promotion and tenure system and the annual reviews of all faculty accomplish. So it is much more likely that Prof. Guth teaches in an effective and responsible manner. If you have actual information to the contrary, then say so. Otherwise, it is better if you do not malign him.

fiddleback 2 years, 9 months ago

Clearly the administration believes that his continued presence, with the protests or other retaliation he may attract, is sufficient risk of operational disruption to outweigh the disruption to his students' education.

voevoda 2 years, 9 months ago

Then the correct response would be to provide police protection--not to ban him from campus. Administrative leave is a punishment. It is listed as one in the university's own rules. He shouldn't be punished for a political opinion he expressed as a private citizen, even if he is a known to be a university employee. And he certainly shouldn't be punished without due process at KU itself. Professors are supposed to be protected from arbitrary punishment by the chancellor.

fiddleback 2 years, 9 months ago

If there was a whiff of intellectual merit to his tweet, I'd agree with you. But it was pure emotional scapegoating upon a group that ultimately had nothing to do with the gunman's owning a shotgun and having access to the Navy Yard. The tweet was therefore essentially hate speech, with no purpose other than to express knee-jerk rage and inflame opponents, and those types of expressions hardly deserve additional resources like police protection. (I doubt he's banned from campus, btw)

Plus, since he's a journalism professor, doing the exact opposite of what a journalism professor should do, I suspect part of their reasoning for the leave is to assess just how much of this poor judgment and abandonment of journalistic ethics pervades his teaching. I don't agree with your suggestion that promotion and tenure reviews, especially with their supposed focus on research, would necessarily always catch an unbalanced or intemperate instructor, especially if he's still relatively well-liked.

voevoda 2 years, 9 months ago

I found intellectual merit to the tweet, fiddleback. I do not like his choice of words to express his sentiment. But it did cause me to think about the incident in a different way. Given that "intellectual merit" is in the eye of the beholder, it behooves a public university to err on the side of permitting a very wide range of opinions and terms to express such opinions, especially when members of the university are speaking as private citizens, as Mr. Guth was at the time.

Journalism professors do not need to surrender their rights as citizens; they can express opinions if and how they like. Furthermore, journalists can and do express opinions, and not only dispassionate reporting of fact. They can and do occasionally choose shocking language to spur attention to important issues.

There is no reason to place a professor on administrative leave in order to survey his performance. All the chancellor would need to do is ask to see copies of his annual reviews and student evaluations from the past five years--all records already in the possession of the KU administration.

fiddleback 2 years, 9 months ago

What "different way" of thinking did it inspire? I notice that you haven't articulated this supposed underlying merit. I don't believe this is such a subjective matter when the remark is a starkly direct wish that violence and damnation befall particular group, and it requires apologist reconstrual to imagine some more passive meaning. And even if you choose the latter, that meaning is still hardly anything insightful or cogent. Another shooting massacre including NRA members or their family members is unlikely to change many calcified minds, let alone dramatically change the fortunes or strength of the NRA as a whole. This contingent has already shown that they will rationalize and view this problem from most any other angle rather than consider additional gun purchasing restrictions. Did following this idea to its obvious dead end really constitute substantive re-thinking of the issue for you?

Yes, strategically shocking language is worthy of protection, but reactionary emoting that suggests further violence following a massacre is not. Again, the sort of retaliation that the remark may inspire seems ample risk of operational disruption, and the remark itself is hardly the sort of thoughtful provocation worthy of being classified as academic free speech and therefore condoned or absolved by the institution.

voevoda 2 years, 9 months ago

Given how much thought you, fiddleback, have thought into refuting Prof. Guth's words, it is clear that he has inspired you to think about why the sentiments he expressed bother you so much. So there clearly is "intellectual merit" in what he wrote. And if you think that professors should never make provocative remarks in order to spur students (and the public) to think about an issue in a new way, you have been out of the classroom too long--and you do not understand academic free speech. Or journalistic free speech (which is more pertinent in this case). Columnists who publish in the Lawrence Journal-World routinely make statements that are every bit as emotion-laden and provocative as Prof. Guth's tweet--not to mention what one hears from Fox News, MSNBC, Rush Limbaugh, or Pat Robertson.

For me, the tweet raised the question of the truth of Biblical instruction: "He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword" (Matthew 26:52). And also of the Biblical passages that talk about God visiting the sins of the fathers upon the sons--an idea that is debated explicitly in Scripture; see Ezekiel, Chapter 16, for example, or the whole book of Job.

So yes, fiddleback, I did experience "substantive re-thinking of the issue." And, it is apparent from your postings that you did, too, even if ultimately you came down on the same side as before.

fiddleback 2 years, 9 months ago

Considering the form and content of this idiotic tweet took me all of a few minutes; what's taking time and thought is trying to help you separate your deeper projected meanings from what this shallow knee-jerk remark actually communicates. To review, in its form, the statement is repugnantly hateful. Yes, that bothers me, as it should bother you. As for content, this hypothetical massacre of NRA members' children seems very unlikely to lead to position reversals by the NRA. As for what Biblical verses it reminds you of, I don't dispute that the human mind is capable of innumerable tangents when considering any entity, hate speech being no exception. We could pick a random violent, racist tweet that circulated following Obama's re-election, tease out all sorts of abstracted meanings, and write essays about it; that doesn't make these items worth that effort let alone make them the sort of protected academic free speech for which a university should hold an authoring faculty member innocent.

fiddleback 2 years, 9 months ago

Also, I challenge to find me an example to verify this claim: "Columnists who publish in the Lawrence Journal-World routinely make statements that are every bit as emotion-laden and provocative as Prof. Guth's tweet."

voevoda 2 years, 9 months ago

I meet your challenge, fiddleback. Here are some examples:

Cal Thomas, June 16, 2008: "The next attack probably won't come by airplane. It will come in a shopping mall, or a school, or on Wall Street, or possibly all three. It will occur simultaneously in many places and probably kill more than the nearly 3,000 who died in 2001. Perhaps someone who manages to extricate himself from Guantanamo, thanks to a liberal judge, will lead the attack. What will the Supreme Court and State Department say to cleanse the blood from their hands?"

Rush Limbaugh, January 18, 2011: "We could say they've [liberals] got blood on their hands, that they create this kinda climate. Because the Democrats, the left in this country, they turn citizen against citizen. They want people to hate each other over wealth or race, gender, sexual orientation, or whatever. They love talking about hate speech. they love talking about hate. They want people to hate each other.... This stuff needs to be turned around on these people. If you are a victim, and you have been victimized by other citizens or society generally, as the left preaches, are you not more likely to become violent?"

Pat Robertson: "God has seen this [gay/liberal] in the moral fabric of this country and has responded with three straight days of violence as a warning against our acceptance of these gays/liberals."

fiddleback 2 years, 9 months ago

Nope -- these don't measure up. Yes, they all assign blame for violence, rather past or hypothetical, and the second two reek of utter intolerance, such that if they were re-printed in the LJW, they were surely as examples of controversial partisan and religious bigotry, respectively. But none of these wishes future violence and/or death befall a certain group, and each posits its underlying philosophy in passive editorial fashion rather than as a hateful provocation directly addressing the disparaged group.

kuhoopsfan 2 years, 9 months ago

If you or I publicly said similar things while holding a similar position ... or, frankly, pretty much any position above an entry level minimum wage job ... we would have been terminated immediately. Mr Guth has the right to say what he said ... that's guaranteed by the First Amendment. However, he doesn't have the right to avoid consequences for his actions. He's no different than you and I in that regard. His tenured status doesn't grant him "super rights". He can't do or say anything he wants with impunity simply because he's tenured. Hate filled speech, regardless of at whom it's directed, minorities, gays, muslims, christians, or in this case NRA members, cannot be tolerated. Mr Guth can certainly continue engage in despicable diatribe, but he'll need to do it as a private citizen.

starburst 2 years, 9 months ago

As a KU journalism graduate, I am appalled at this knee-jerk reaction by the university bending to the pressures of a powerful conservative legislator. What ever happened to academic freedom? What happened to freedom of speech? It sounds like we need a new chancellor who can stand up to political pressures better than Bernadette Gray-Little. I've been ashamed of being a Kansan since Brownback was elected. Now I have to be ashamed to be a Jayhawk, too.

fiddleback 2 years, 9 months ago

I highly doubt this legislator's unrealistic demand was any kind of major further imeptus for Guth being put on leave; his announcement and theirs were within a couple hours of each other...Plus, I'd imagine the top offices have been bombarded all week with angry phone calls from NRA members, so by the end of the week they had to figure out what if anything they would do...

Michael Capra 2 years, 9 months ago

wishing death to the parents and there children is ok then,, ever heard of terroristic threats against the law

Gary Anderson 2 years, 9 months ago

"wishing death to the parents and there children"...Mr. Guth made no such wish...libel is also against the law.

gl0ck0wn3r 2 years, 9 months ago

Actually, no, it is a civil issue and that statement doesn't come close to libel. Really, try to understand the law before you post about it.

Kathy Theis-Getto 2 years, 9 months ago

Oops, glock. Really try to understand the law before you post about it. :-)

Chapter 21: Crimes And Punishments PART II.--PROHIBITED CONDUCT Article 40: Crimes Involving Violations Of Personal Rights Statute 21-4004: Criminal defamation. (a) Criminal defamation is communicating to a person orally, in writing, or by any other means, information, knowing the information to be false and with actual malice, tending to expose another living person to public hatred, contempt or ridicule; tending to deprive such person of the benefits of public confidence and social acceptance; or tending to degrade and vilify the memory of one who is dead and to scandalize or provoke surviving relatives and friends. (b) In all prosecutions under this section the truth of the information communicated shall be admitted as evidence. It shall be a defense to a charge of criminal defamation if it is found that such matter was true.

  (c)   Criminal defamation is a class A nonperson misdemeanor.

  History:   L. 1969, ch. 180, § 21-4004; L. 1992, ch. 239, § 187; L. 1993, ch. 291, § 135; L. 1995, ch. 251, § 14; July 1.

gl0ck0wn3r 2 years, 9 months ago

Oops. That's defamation and not libel. Additionally, because Mr. Guth has arguably chosen to become a public figure, I doubt you'd ever get a conviction. Try again.

Kathy Theis-Getto 2 years, 9 months ago

Defamation = libel and/or slander. Everyone who tweets is a public figure, now? Oopsy, you are wrong again.

evalrt 2 years, 9 months ago

I totally agree, too. I'm ashamed that starburst is a Kansan and Jayhawk.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 9 months ago

I don't agree with Guth and I think his comments are offensive, however, I think the response from the Kansas legislature is even more offensive and hypocritical. But from this house of clowns it is 100% predictable.

How about the legislator who wanted to shoot immigrants from a helicopter. Where was the demand for his "firing".

The right wing has set the new standard for offensive comments in this country. Guth is just going down to their level.

I seriously hope that KU does not bend over and let these people do whatever they want. This is a time to stand your ground in spite of the 81 question inquisition they have planned for next month. These people want to break the will of any opposition to their lunacy.

These are the same people who want to arm 18 year olds with handguns. This is about the NRA and gun manufacturers wanting to make more money off of our stupidity. They are allowed to spend tax dollars suing the federal government to let kids buy handguns but you are not allowed to get mad and say anything about it.

Well Damn them all to Hell.

Tammy Copp-Barta 2 years, 9 months ago

Thought 18 year old were adults, not kids ...

John Spencer 2 years, 9 months ago

I think as you get older, especially after 40 to 50, you'll recognize that although the legal age of majority is 18 in the US, the real maturation age, particularly that of brain development, is 25 or older.. Damn Kids.... :)

optimist 2 years, 9 months ago

We already arm 18 year olds with guns. We call them soldiers and they put their lives on the line every day so that we can sit here and spew whatever we like. We are still responsible for the consequences that come of what we say. Just because the 1st amendment protects you from the government it doesn't protect you from social consequences.

Hoots 2 years, 9 months ago

Right wing or left wing they're both parts of the same sick bird.

Brian Conrad 2 years, 9 months ago

right ... only let our government can slam a gun in their hand and send them off to Syria... they are 18 ... or better yet those 18 year old kids so good with video games , set them behind a computer screen and launch Drones & laser guided on those darn people killing their own people.. do they not know we need to be bullies like Guth and kill them first?

2002 2 years, 9 months ago

The support of this poor example disappoints me. You absolutely have the right to free speech, but to think that there isn't a price for that free speech from time to time is idiotic. The other very disappointing response is that some are admitting they are KU grads, supporting this professor and hanging their entire argument on the first amendment. Didn't you learn more at KU? I did. The truth is that most of the supporters are anti-gun just like the professor and they support limiting the extent of the second amendment. With this response you would think that I am a NRA fan. I'm not. I support more regulation, assault weapon limits and background checks. But I'm also open minded enough to know that the Naval Yard, Sandy Hook, Columbine and so on are never going to be stopped by gun regulation. It is moronic to blame these mass murders on guns. The blame is on sick people who, if they didn't have a gun would find another way to murder people just like the Boston Marathon murders did.

If this professor was a Geology professor, maybe he gets a reprimand. But as a Journalism professor it is impossible for him to train future journalists to be unbiased with such poor judgement. He should be fired. I'm sure that he will be a hero to the far left liberal elite and will land a higher paying job at some university that is intent on brainwashing students. But that isn't what KU should be. And to be consistent. A professor that tweeted that the Occupy Wall Street people should die should be fired also.

Please keep KU as a school that teaches education not political philosophy.

WarHawk78 2 years, 9 months ago

Nice comment 2002. Oh, and Starburst, KU IS a State run school, so politicians do have a say.

IreneAdler84 2 years, 9 months ago

Actually, since KU is a "state run" school, then the the first amendment clearly and explicitly applies. The first amendment specifically prohibits governmental institutions (like a "state run" school) from prohibiting or penalizing political speech (and this is clearly an example). If KU were a private institution (like Baylor, or BYU), then there would be no problem firing this guy.

The idea that because KU is funded by tax payers, that you have a right to infringe on free speech is completely and Constitutionally 100% wrong.

fiddleback 2 years, 9 months ago

With the violence and religious scorn being suggested, it's not political speech so much as hate speech in the political realm. I find that unworthy of such protection.

Kathy Theis-Getto 2 years, 9 months ago

We have no legal definition of hate speech.

Gary Anderson 2 years, 9 months ago

"moronic to blame these mass murders on guns" gave yourself away when you used the term "mass murders" instead of what they were...mass SHOOTINGS.

gatekeeper 2 years, 9 months ago

Take a good look at what Australia ( a gun loving nation) did and then rethink your comment.

Hoots 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm free to tell my boss to go suck a moon pie all I want. Then my boss will show me the financial reality of my free speech.

William Weissbeck 2 years, 9 months ago

I'd love to hear Prof. Calder Pickett's views, but I'd hate to raise his blood pressure at his age. Does the Journalism School stand for anything these days? There is such a thing as an intemperate comment done in the heat of the moment. In light of the shootings last night in Chicago, doesn't anyone understand that those of us who think there is a better way, might not be angry? If the dear legislator is upset by this comment by this state worker, then he'd better stay out of many of the classrooms on the Hill. I'd hate to see his head explode.

All hail, Greater Brownbackistan.

optimist 2 years, 9 months ago

I just want to point out that there are no walls or guns keeping anyone here in Brownbackistan. Any who wish to leave are free to.

William Weissbeck 2 years, 9 months ago

That is true, but it is much more fun to stay put to annoy you. We intend to wait you out.

optimist 2 years, 9 months ago

You my friend will be waiting a long time. I've lived many a place and I like it hear. I think I'll stay. ;-)

kernal 2 years, 9 months ago

It's good you like being able to hear, but how about here?

Lisa Medsker 2 years, 9 months ago

If you find one, let me know! I'm right behind you!

Hoots 2 years, 9 months ago

It'll just be owned and operated by another set of tools. I'd like to have a federal government that wasn't owned and operated by Goldman Sachs, Monsanto, GE, etc.

Lisa Medsker 2 years, 9 months ago

That would be nice, wouldn't it? "Democratic Republic", my heinie. "Corporate Republican Plutocracy" is more like it.

Kathy Theis-Getto 2 years, 9 months ago

Kleptocracy: government by thieves, regardless of party. We elect them.

Seth Peterson 2 years, 9 months ago

Optimist - we're Americans, we don't leave if we don't like where we're at, we kill people until we change it to something we like.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 9 months ago

The Kansas legislature is all about bullying our schools right now. This is what this is about and the Professor's comments clearly made in anger, are simply an opportunity which allowed a mean spirited politician a chance to get another kick into the stomach of a school that these people deride in their illegal closed door meetings.

Bssecamp 2 years, 9 months ago

Shame on the chancellor for capitulating on the First Amendment of all things. This was a teachable moment for the legislature-- there is such a thing as freedom of speech and privacy. Prof Guth's remarks may have been bombastic and raw -- mass shootings can do that to people - but that is his right as a citizen and there certainly was no threat made-- just a rhetorical point. And he didn't say them in class or while speaking as a representative of the university. The chancellor instead has demonstrated that KU faculty had better keep quiet on issues of public concern or face serious career consequences.

Mark English 2 years, 9 months ago

I believe he himself is or WAS a representative of the University.

William Weissbeck 2 years, 9 months ago

Just out of curiosity because I'm a tech novice and do not Twitter. I know enough to know that far too many people (even KU athletes) have used Twitter to post some really stupid things. But how do people who aren't subscribing to your Twitter account get ahold of your dumb comments? Have we reached the point that not only do we have the NSA's spying, but also private companies that are trolling for negative comments to their clients' interests and then forwarding them to people in power to be all indignant?

WilburM 2 years, 9 months ago

No one has mentioned the extraordinarily difficult process of revoking tenure. Certainly a angry, intemperant tweet doesn't come close to meeting the standard. And this is an example of what tenure is for. It protects Guth, to be sure, but it also protects the rest of the faculty from an increasingly aggressive and hostile legislature. I'd prefer it that he was back teaching on Monday, and that the University would have more of a backbone, but I can understand why it's rolling over right now, given wrath of many legislators.

Centerville 2 years, 9 months ago

A university employee publicly calling for the murder of children because he disagrees with their parents? Back to anger management classes and paid leave for you (again) Mr. Guth!

William Weissbeck 2 years, 9 months ago

As I recall, Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken were more than a bit intemperate at times. If Mr. Guth is guilty of anything, it might be self importance. But that sin fades with time either out of learning humility or being ignored.

gatekeeper 2 years, 9 months ago

Reread his tweet and tell us where he calls for the murder of children. I am so amazed at how poor people's reading comprehension is.

firebird27 2 years, 9 months ago

Unfortunately we are in an age of twitterdom in which commentary is reduced to sound bytes. The Chancellor's response is likely an act of political expediency to avoid reactions from a conservative governor and state legislature who might punish KU in an era of economic hard times. In doing so, principles, such as tenure, are sacrificed (at least temporarily) to weather a potential political storm in a time when KU can least afford it. If Guth's comments were made at KU in the 1960s and 1970s, the Chancellor would not have done anything.

In the end, Chancellor Gray-Little has suffered a political cost with some faculty members but not all. Professors are afraid to do anything with the fear of job cuts, and a Provost wielding a budget axe in these hard times. There is a theoretical term for this type of institutional behavior, which sound melodramatic but in terms of its definition is appropriate. It is friendly fascism. I do not use this term lightly. Faculty recourse is limited and ultimately sequestered in a political atmosphere of fear.

One may not like Guth's forthrightness, but as others have stated, he should have been allowed to say them. If KU's faculty rose up to protest, which it is highly unlikely, not only would the Chancellor be under fire but also the state legislature and its application of institutional rigidities that our Governor and conservative members have no qualms of using.

One wonders what Martin Luther King, Jr. would have said about this occurrence.

fiddleback 2 years, 9 months ago

These clarion calls for protecting free speech and impunity for tenured faculty are already sounding very hollow....

I'm no fan of the NRA, but I have to agree with people pointing out that if this remark were made about any other group, there would be much less controversy about the current course of action. To me, the tweet qualifies as hate speech, with no other merit or purpose other than to inflame. Freedom to take unpopular positions should absolutely be protected, but hate speech, being devoid of intellectual merit or purpose, should not, especially when it comes from a supposed expert on public relations who should know far better.

Kathy Theis-Getto 2 years, 9 months ago

I have to disagree with you on the professor's comments being hate speech. Last time I checked, the NRA is not a protected group.

fiddleback 2 years, 9 months ago

So the NRA needs to be on a list in order for the tweet to be considered "a communication that carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group, especially in circumstances in which the communication is likely to provoke violence." Sorry, I'm not buying that technicality as substantive.

Maggie Morrissey 2 years, 9 months ago

If he would have juuuuuuuust left off the last part!

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 9 months ago

Does the NRA work for gun owners or gun manufacturers?

"Today's NRA is a virtual subsidiary of the gun industry," said Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center. "While the NRA portrays itself as protecting the 'freedom' of individual gun owners, it's actually working to protect the freedom of the gun industry to manufacture and sell virtually any weapon or accessory."

It is time to push back against the NRA leadership and take a good hard look at this organization.

Have they become corrupted by money? It is time to question what is going on with these people.

Liberty275 2 years, 9 months ago

So gun companies are paying to protect the availability of a thing I have a constitutional right to own? Is that what you are saying?

I'd like to be the first to thank all the gun manufacturers that are helping to protect our 2nd amendment right to own and bear arms. I would also like to thank the NRA for collecting that money and using it to defeat those in our country that would further limit our rights.

optimist 2 years, 9 months ago

What I find most disappointing about Mr. Guth is his lack of effort as a journalist in finding out the whole story and presenting it in its entirety in lieu of a tweet that simply demonstrates his lack of initiative.

There are a number of commonalities amongst each of these mass shootings. They all turned firearms into weapons and their choices of firearms varied. However each of them had lengthy histories of mental illness ranging from depression to schizophrenia. Each of them had recently been prescribed or stopped taking a prescribed Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI). While there are millions of firearms in circulation in this country only a few are used for violence. The fact that after the mass shootings we find out about the mental illness is concerning. The story is usually everyone knew but did nothing. The story that isn’t being reported is the SSRI connection. Is the media failing to report this because of the vast sums of advertising revenue they receive from drug companies? Is the result the intentional redirecting of our attention on the gun rather than the real cause, big pharma? I don’t claim to have all of the answers but I thought people like Mr. Guth were tasked with getting to the truth. What exactly is he teaching his students about journalism? Sounds like he is just another guy that takes the story they are fed.

IreneAdler84 2 years, 9 months ago

Riiiiiiggghhhh! So, guns don't kill people, SSRIs kill people? Please follow your own logic.

As you note, "While there are millions of firearms in circulation in this country only a few are used for violence." Similarly, there are millions of Americans who take SSRI's (around 1 in 10 adults), but thankfully few commit acts of violence.

I would remind you that the same law (HIPPA) that prohibited the sharing of the Naval Yard shooter's mental health history with the federal gun registry, is the same law that prohibits sharing of your medical history with your employer.

voevoda 2 years, 9 months ago

You expect "the whole its entirety" in a tweet, optimist? Or else he should be required to say nothing at all?

Armen Kurdian 2 years, 9 months ago

It is wholly appropriate to put him on administrative leave. I don't think he should be fired, but the comment is utterly reprehensible. What if he had made a comment about black civil rights leaders because the shooter was black...saying the blood was on their hands? Would that have been grounds to fire him? I venture to guess many of you left-wingers would be singing a different tune. The difference being that I would also agree with you if that were the case.

He needs a stern talking to and a written warning. Then send him back to work.

And for you left-wingers, I'll help you push back on the NRA if you promise to defund Planned Parenthood. After all, they 'kill' people too, right? Of course, if that were the case, we'd be tweeting that several times a day...

Seth Peterson 2 years, 9 months ago

jhawks - they don't, but nice try attempting to slip that dishonest fact into a discussion.

Armen Kurdian 2 years, 9 months ago

So PP doesn't abort tens of thousands of babies every year that would otherwise be born as human beings?

hedshrinker 2 years, 9 months ago

not "BABIES" being aborted....stop with the distortions and inflammatory, hysterical language already.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 9 months ago

Most gun owners including concealed carry license holders, want improved gun safety and enforcement of laws that are currently on the books. Most gun owners do not agree with the liberal extremists but they don't agree with the right wing extremists either. We know that we can do a much better job of keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill or criminals but there is not enough cooperation among different political parties over these issues.

Why is that?

Ideologues are clogging up the lines of communication like zebra mussels because we keep electing these kind of people to congress. Kansas is suffering because of these kind of people in our government.

When I walk into a gun story, oftentimes I see a caricature of Obama drawn in an insulting manner and meant to be humorous. I often have to endure a stupid political comment or two before I leave the establishment and I often get quoted a rediculously stupid comment that someone heard on conservative talk radio, sources that are designed for propaganda, not truthfulness.

I too worry about liberals criminalizing law abiding citizens, but is it not just as dangerous to our freedoms to allow ourselves to be used by right wing ideologues? In my view, they are both bad and the anti-government, Obama hating culture they promote is insane. Someone has to say enough is enough and that is going to have to be the majority of gun owners who happen to be moderate regarding gun control issues.

We need moderates in our government again and we need to fight back against political lobbyists and secretive political organizations that are designing the bills our legislators are pushing into law. These people are not working for us. They are just lying to us.

fu7il3 2 years, 9 months ago

The shocking part is the guy is supposed to be an expert on strategic communications. This should be a good lesson on how a single quote or soundbite can spiral out of control. He really should have known better, given his expertise.

chootspa 2 years, 9 months ago

He wouldn't be the first such person to make a really stupid tweet that got themselves fired.

Hoots 2 years, 9 months ago

Rule #1 ...don't poke the Bear. Rule #2 ...don't anger the people with the checkbook. Strategic Communications? Really? Not very stra·te·gic or el·o·quent.

Maggie Morrissey 2 years, 9 months ago

He communicated his thought of... if it had been/was your (NRA) sons or daughters would you see your way to a solution? .......very poorly. Shocking the end part because it is.....well.....SHOCKING! Who says that??? But he can say it. But there are consequences. It doesn't matter if the employer is KU or anyone else. Guaranteed I would lose my job if I made such a social comment. All Employers have code of ethics. All employers tell you that you represent them in and out of the office. No one is arguing that he CAN'T say that.......the point is by you exercising your right is followed by your employer exercising their rights. State of Kansas is an "at will" state. Hire you at will and send you packing at will. The consequences of his actions, in my humble opinion, are appropriate.

voevoda 2 years, 9 months ago

Tenured faculty are not at-will employees, mags_and_ku. In that way, they are like judges. They can be removed through cause, via a formal, specified process. However, the content of the tweet, no matter how much you may disagree with it, does not come close to rising to the standard of justifying dismissal.

And if your boss would fire you for a tweet such as this, you ought to be very, very afraid of him, because he does not believe in our American system of rights.

gl0ck0wn3r 2 years, 9 months ago

The second paragraph of your post is ridiculous. I tend to err on the side of the 1A, but the idea that a company doesn't care about the American system of rights if it fires someone for public, off-hours commentary is stupid. It happens all the time in both private and public institutions. Compare, for example, this situation with the police chief from PA who was fired on Thursday for making insane videos regarding liberals. I didn't see much outrage from the 1A purists and there shouldn't be.

voevoda 2 years, 9 months ago

So, there are a lot of bosses in the US who think that compensating an employee for his labor imbues them with the power to order that employee to forgo his rights as an America. That ought to make you even more afraid, gl0ck0wn3r. It certainly makes me afraid. We are citizens, not serfs.

gl0ck0wn3r 2 years, 9 months ago

So, let's just follow your logic for a moment. I own a business and I have certain ideas and expectations of my employees. I have an employee who, on his free time, posts anti-gay rants and videos online and frequently participates in forums expressing similar views. He is also anti-immigration and, on his free time, participates in groups that, while not explicitly racist, are implicitly racist. On occasion, his views have created problems at my company when other people online have discovered where he works and written letters to me suggesting i should fire him. Further, those people have posted his work information online in forums like reddit. Finally, other employees are aware of his hobbies and have expressed displeasure about working with this employee. A few employees are uncomfortable working with this employee because they are gay despite the fact that there is no evidence this employee has treated them differently from other employees. Otherwise, the employee is a model employee. He is always on time and, although I completely disagree with his public opinions, he is well within the performance curve. He does not have a contract. The question is: do I keep him as an employee or let him go because he doesn't fit my ideas as the owner of the company? If I do fire him, am I violating his 1A rights?

voevoda 2 years, 9 months ago

Yes. You should keep him on. If you fire a model employee not because of any malfeasance at work but because other people want you to do so in order to silence him, you are abetting in the suppression of his rights. It would show not only that you don't value free speech, but also that you don't value a fine employee. That is a horrible model to present to your other workers, because they could be the next to go if they espouse an unpopular view--maybe something such as defending the right of Muslims to build a mosque.

Here's what you could do instead: You could confront the people trying to convince you to fire his employee, and tell them that he is a valuable worker. And that you value our First Amendment rights to free speech and do not choose to participate in censorship. And that employment of him in no way constitutes endorsement of his views. To emphasize the last point, you could publicly donate to the causes that he condemns in his off-work hours. Of course, doing the right thing would require you to be courageous and patriotic. Too many bosses, it seems, are cowardly instead.

gl0ck0wn3r 2 years, 9 months ago

Would you have kept Ayo Kimathi at DHS?

NewKansan 2 years, 9 months ago

He's tenured. Completely different story.

question4u 2 years, 9 months ago

Where were the critics of this kind of talk when representative Virgil Peck suggested killing immigrants from helicopters? Why is Peck still in office? Why didn't legislators oust him from the statehouse?

If you want to condemn hate speech, then by all means do so, but your moral ground is underwater when you defend the right of a state representative to talk about murdering people then call for the head of someone who says something just as bad but is on the wrong side of your political fence. It's spelled h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 2 years, 9 months ago

Virgil Peck was among Fellow Representatives and Said what he said about immigrants with a Wink And a Knowing smile. They say that he was just joking around. I agree with you, question4u. Hate Speech is Hate speech whether you wink and smile or scream out in Rage. If Prof. Guth goes ,so should Rep. Virgil Peck. Otherwise it is Hypocrisy of the highest order by our Legislature and(as Susan Wagle put it) it is offensive to Taxpayers who THEY work for.

mdlund0 2 years, 9 months ago

One should be careful not to confuse the right to free speech with the ability to say things without consequences. The first amendment only protects us against government persecution for our speech, it does nothing to protect us otherwise. Prof. Guth has tenure, so his position is ultimately not in jeopardy. Were he to not have tenure and work in an at-will position as most of us do, his comments would definitely endanger his employment. In this way social pressure often bends the will, which is why tenure exists in the first place: so that "dangerous" ideas can be expressed (and encouraged). Whether or not they have merit in the dialogue at hand is for the court of public opinion. Suppressing ideas does nothing for us as a society and is a tool used in defeat by those who cannot conceive of a better idea. Terry Bruce should be judged harshly in this light.

IreneAdler84 2 years, 9 months ago

Yes. And KU is a government institution. So, they are constitutionally prohibited from censuring him.

Liberty275 2 years, 9 months ago

No, they are required to provide him due process before taking any action against him..

IreneAdler84 2 years, 9 months ago

No. He is an employee of the state. The Supreme court has made numerous rulings that teachers and other state employees cannot be fired for expressing political views. Most of the case law is about letters to the editors, but recent cases have been based on behaviors such as sending racist emails, and most recently "liking" something on Facebook. Think long and hard about whether you want the State of Kansas determining what IS and what IS NOT acceptable political speech.

Curveball 2 years, 9 months ago

Guth will never be fired. I only know of two who were dismissed. One was crazy and she was allowed to receive her pay for about 5 years untile she could retire. The other one was fired for his political views and his viewpoint on the law. If anything this will probably be a stepping stone for Guth. Other Universities may want him even if they have to pay more to get him.

Brian Conrad 2 years, 9 months ago

will someone post his past record.. David Guth Associate Professor of Journalism, engaged in unprofessional, threatening, and abusive behavior towards another faculty member in an October 8, 2010 incident. His conduct violated acceptable standards for professional ethics, University policies and Article V.2 and Article V.5 of the Faculty Code of Conduct. The University of Kansas censured him for these actions. Professor Guth’s continued pattern of abusive behavior, as evidenced by not only his Twitter post but his enthusiastic support of the post, which urges people to use guns to perpetrate violence on other people and their children, is not excusable. It also shows that Professor Guth is not against violence but sees it as a means to an end as long as it supports his view.

guess_again 2 years, 9 months ago

I am beyond appalled that the Chancellor and KU administration are rolling over on a professor about a comment uttered in a private manner in a non-classroom setting.

If the university is serious about maintaining its membership in the AAU, they also need to be prepared to respond to the American Association of University Professors. KU will be in hot water based on this action.

Seth Peterson 2 years, 9 months ago

Terry Bruce and other republican's don't want to talk about children being murdered, they just want to legislate matters to the point where the children die long, slow painful deaths. They want to put the bodies in the ground (provided they're poor enough), but don't you dare talk about a hypothetical situation where the children of someone THEY know might be called at risk.

Jim Tebow 2 years, 9 months ago

He is a tenured professor, and did nothing illegal. Why is KU reviewing it?

Seth Peterson 2 years, 9 months ago

Because of the people like those posting comments here.

Sue McDaniel 2 years, 9 months ago

Free speech is one thing, being prepared for consquences should be a consideration of an adult.

heygary 2 years, 9 months ago

I'll keep my guns, thank you!

In the year 1787, Alexander Tyler (a Scottish history professor at The University of Edinborough) used an analogy to describe "The Fall of The Athenian Republic" some 2,000 years prior: “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”

From my vantage point, Mr. Tyler’s observation has been unsettlingly predictive of the path of our own experiment in Democracy.

In my youth I studied, with gratitude and reverence, the “bondage to liberty” sequence associated with the birth of our country. I believe I have lived through the “abundance to apathy” sequence. Now, as I watch the current Administration attempt to spend its way out of a recession, push forward massive bail out and entitlement programs, and socio-engineer Government intrusion/involvement in to most aspects of our lives, I cannot help but feel that the road to “dependence” has been charted.

Garth Atchison 2 years, 9 months ago

This is how censorship works. The Koch machine gets Brownback and Company to cut funding to the Universities. The Universities are more worried about their future and more willing to stifle speech. Anyone uttering less than Koch or ALEC approved party line is targeted for removal. Welcome to Brownbackistan. Hope you don't get rounded up and sent to a private prison somewhere. The thought police are ready for your dissent.

Brad Hall 2 years, 9 months ago

I don't have a problem censoring public officials. You take my money (taxes and tuition) to teach my kids and I don't expect you to be sending out tweets about killing kids. It doesn't matter what group or organization he vented on, it is inappropriate for anyone, but especially for a teacher. You would think that a professor would have enough sense to censor himself, Guth obviously isn't that sensible.

William Weissbeck 2 years, 9 months ago

I take issue. Especially at the college level our history and tradition going far back to European beginnings was to tolerate and expect a great deal of nonconformity and "new" thinking within the college community. Much like newspapers, universities were often in the forefront of annoying the power structure.

Sparko 2 years, 9 months ago

You have a right to disagree, not muzzle. You have a right to a reasoned discussion, not intimidation. Sometimes leadership is to speak out against the NRA and the terrible harvest they have reaped in Kansas and elsewhere. There have been 14 mass shootings this year. Not one was prevented by the NRA but all were facilitated by it.

gl0ck0wn3r 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm sorry... Has Guthrie been muzzled? Last I checked there has been no censorship involved and he is free to publish as he wishes.

Mixolydian 2 years, 9 months ago

I can't believe they put this professor on leave. This is outrageous. Who hasn't wished that death and horror befall the children of those who have a difference of opinion about a particular part of the constitution?

ThePilgrim 2 years, 9 months ago

With the Internet is there any legitimacy to a Journalism major, program, or professor at all?

danmoore 2 years, 9 months ago

My knee jerk reaction was the same only I was going to pull my support if Professor Guth was fired. I came to my senses. Hope you do as well.

NewKansan 2 years, 9 months ago

Why? If it's because they haven't fired a tenured professor for not doing anything illegal (they would lose any sort suit brought against them for a knee-jerk termination)...I'm sure KU isn't going to miss them.

Lisa Medsker 2 years, 9 months ago

So, let me get this straight... If I say, "I'm disgusted and outraged at the ineptitude of the purchased politicians, and their inability to rein in one of the Koch-snorters BIG cash cows, because people died. I wish these people in power would learn some empathy, even if it's the hard way. God will judge them, harshly, I hope.", then the Royalty of KU will start shouting, "Off with their head!"

I wonder whose hands are in the pockets of whom. Not even Lawrence is safe, anymore.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 9 months ago

I am forced to remember how a Kansas state representative, Virgil Peck, spoke about shooting hispanics from helicopters. He was kicked out of the legislature, right? Oh wait. No he wasn't.

More evidence that the right has fully embraced the victimhood culture that they so criticize when it comes to racial minorities and economically disadvantaged.

Guth violated the political correctness of the right, the centerpiece of which is gun ownership.

danmoore 2 years, 9 months ago

Yep. People pretending to be offended. Happens on both sides.

oldexbeat 2 years, 9 months ago

sights you know, with a cross hair on the head of a politician she didn't like. That's not common among rational people.

oldexbeat 2 years, 9 months ago

Oh, and right at the same time as the shooting and killing of people in Tucson, AZ during a political event with the Congresswoman. Yup.

Centerville 2 years, 9 months ago

No one has gotten around to how breath-takingly stupid his comment is. The shooter at the Navy Yard didn't have anything to do with the NRA. Nor did that awful kid in Mass.
Why Guth wants a specific set of innocent children murdered because of something two unrelated sick dregs of society did is beyond me. Maybe it's part of that 'strategic communications' thing.

smileydog 2 years, 9 months ago

A. The shooter voted for Obama. B. He didn't belong to the NRA

What a great example for future reporters.

Bob Reinsch 2 years, 9 months ago

His punishment should mirror the punishment handed down to State Rep. Virgil Peck when he advocated shooting illegal aliens from helicopters, in the same fashion as feral pigs, and the punishment handed out to then Speaker Mike O'Neal when he used two passages from the Book of Pslams to pray for the death of the President and leave his wife widowed and his children without a father.

danmoore 2 years, 9 months ago

What's the big deal. The NRA does have blood on its hands. As long as its not their sons and daughters they view mass shootings as an acceptable price to pay for the right to bear arms.

Liberty275 2 years, 9 months ago

Rights cost what they cost and we pay whatever the price is. Get used to it.

gl0ck0wn3r 2 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps Mr. Guth should have taken his own J840 course - Crisis Communications.

Sparko 2 years, 9 months ago

When are we going to have a real discussion about the NRA? They seem to pull the strings in the Kansas Legislature.

danmoore 2 years, 9 months ago

One has to go out of their way to misinterpret his statement. Now the gun nuts are pretending to be offended.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 9 months ago

Right wing political correctness, pure and simple.

Okrent 2 years, 9 months ago

Isn't it strange how the gun-obsessed crowd doesn't really seem to mind that much when a classroom full of first graders are slaughtered, but a simple tweet like the one at issue here and the lynch mobs come out.

And the legislators who are now gunning for Guth;s head on a platter ... what have they done to stop gun violence and the 30,000 gun deaths a year. Nothing. But if someone expresses an apt point after the latest slaughter of innocents, they are now up in arms - at the behest of their masters, the NRA - with feigned outrage.

The NRA does not care how many children are slaughtered, how many wives, girlfriends, neighbors, etc. The more dead people there are, the more money they are making, and the more campaign contributions they can make to ensure the slaughter continues.

patkindle 2 years, 9 months ago

for a professional gentleman 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

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 9 months ago

The NRA's "well-regulated militia" has struck again!!

oldexbeat 2 years, 9 months ago

The university rolled over. I expect better. They should at least tell the politicos to stay out of it, while KU decides what to do. And the Regents clearly are bound to the Brownbackistanians. But we knew that when one lied to get on the board. They should have backed the University process and left it at that -- the honorable Regents of the past would have done that.

chicago95 2 years, 9 months ago

This certainly is not the first time that the Kansas Legislatiure has extorted administrative action from KU. I am reminded of Senator Wagle's 2003 campaign against KU Prof. Dennis Dailey. Read this May 14, 2003 tract from Mike Hoeflich, Kansas University School of Law ( ) in which he wrote: "If Wagle can wage such a crusade against Dailey, what is to stop her or any similar-minded colleagues from attacking any citizen of the state for any reason?"

Fossick 2 years, 9 months ago

Sure, it was a classless thing to say, but what does it have to do with his job?

If someone doesn't know by this time that KU employs a whole cadre of classless moonbats, he's simply not paying attention.

In parallel if not exactly related news, the Communications director of the Sacramento Democratic Party took to Twitter today to wish "may all your children die of debilitating, painful, and incurable diseases" to political opponents.

For the children, of course.

getreal 2 years, 9 months ago

A poor choice of words, but I'm much more outraged about what this legislature and Governor are doing to K-12 and our universities than I am about somebody's tweet! I doubt very many people even saw the tweet until the Pres. of the Kansas NRA made a big deal about it. K,U. and the regents should be standing up for their students and professors to the legislature and their slash and burn attitudes and spend less time on a 44 character tweet.

Fossick 2 years, 9 months ago

It wasn't a poor choice of words. People who write for a living seldom choose their words poorly. It was instead a heartfelt expression of hatred for the man's political opponents and their offspring. It was a true revelation of the sort of love for others that this man possesses. His words might be foolish considering the price he's paying, but they were not poorly chosen.

Even so, that price is too high. He has a right to his words and his expression. KU should have said, "We have no comment" and the GOP and NRA ought to stop pretending to be offended. But I have to admit I don't blame them all that much. Pretending to be offended has been a very effective political tactic in recent years.

nwtransplant 2 years, 9 months ago

Fire him! Anybody who is teaching our children and can even have these kinds of thoughts running through his mind does not deserve to have such a position. We do have free speech in this country but there are some limits like yelling fire in a large crowd when there is no fire and this kind of crap.

NewKansan 2 years, 9 months ago

Last time I checked, he taught adults...not children. He's not an elementary school teacher for crying out loud.

voevoda 2 years, 9 months ago

All those people calling for Prof. Guth to be fired, asserting that he must be incompetent and prejudiced in his actions with students, need to read this vigorous defense of him by a former student, who identifies himself as "a gun-owning, pro-gun, pro-NRA conservative":

"[The] statement that Prof. Guth's students may feel intimidated by his Second Amendment views is neither accurate nor informed... Prof. Guth maintained an even-handed, fair and friendly demeanor toward all students... Despite our political differences, I found Prof. Guth to be very open to discussion of various political topics and willing to consider differing opinions. ...[H]e is a knowledgeable, informed and capable scholar who doesn't act in an overbearing or negative manner at all... I ran into anti-conservative sentiment very rarely among the professors at KU. ... The simple truth is that Prof. Guth often sees the world differently than...I do, but he does care about his students and his community deeply.... I never saw him treat any student poorly, ever. I have the utmost respect for him. I am grateful for his fair and even-handed treatment of me and for his friendship."

Beate Williams 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm astonished that the Koch/Brownback political faction of the state has become so ruthless and they do it right out in the open and from what I can interprete from what i see, a majority of Kansans seem to go along with their program. I'm a Kansan and now live in Texas and until Brownback became such a distraction, such a powerful right winger, doing all that he could to make Kansas look like Texas, I was always proud to tell folks I was from Kansas and thankfully we did not have the nut bucket politicians of Texas running Kansas. I can no longer say that. As conservative and in many ways backwards Texan politicians are (Ted Cruz) Kansas is rushing to try and surpass them in idiocy. So many things have occurred in Kansas over the pass ten years to truly make me feel ashamed and I never felt that way before regardless of my travels nationally or internationally, but now... I feel for Gray and the administrators at KU. They have to weigh what these right wing tea baggers say because they have already proven what they can do and will do to the university's budget if the university does not fall in line. It isn't as simple as they can simply ignore them and go on operating as a top notch institution when they may be looking at a 20, 30, 40 percent cut in the budget and I don't believe I'm exaggerating that in the least. Then what happens to the university, not only will there be mass firings, but also mass departures to other institutions. The staff who are terminated will find it hard to find other positions in Lawrence or anywhere else in the state and based on what Brownback is attempting to do to those who are unemployed, well I think you get the picture. But I guess he would say it is their fault for going to work at the university in the first place. Those who love KU sports, can forget about attracting the top athletes regardless of what sport you might think is king. It is incredible that the people of the state have no more insight in what it means to be a top level university and that everyone in the university is not suppose to think alike. The professors are there to teach the students to think and if the particular professor thinks one way, if they are good at their job, they provide the other point of view and the student makes up his/her mind. You don't teach one idea and mandate that everyone must think that way, I think we had that a few decades ago in Nazi Germany and we all know how that turned out; or do I have to save death camps.

Clearly4Kansas 2 years, 9 months ago

Guth's twit was hate speech. He needs sensitivity counseling, but he sounds too arrogant to benefit from it. The biggest winner here is KSU. They are out-recruiting KU for instate undergrad kids already and this reinforces the stereotypes and concerns many parents have about KU. Parents do want the very best in a college experience for their kids and Guth is having a negative impact on recruitment.

Joseph Jarvis 2 years, 9 months ago

In 2011, I wrote to KU Engineering about Prof. Carl Burkhead's bigoted editorials attacking gays. KU OGC brushed it off citing the applicability of the First Amendment to KU as a government actor (probably correct legal analysis). OGC letter at following link:

Now instead of offending libs, a professor says something that offends conservatives. And the KU administration suddenly feels like suspending a professor. Hypocrisy much? Apparently academic freedom at KU means do what you want so long as you don't tick off Kansas's Tea Party.

IreneAdler84 2 years, 9 months ago

You should write a letter to the editor quoting this letter. What Leitch said was exactly right and should be repeated ad nauseum.

fiddleback 2 years, 9 months ago

Whereas Burkhead's editorials are expository, this tweet suggested violence and had obvious potential to provoke retaliation. I'd agree in suspecting that Guth cannot be fired for the remark for first amendment reasons, but the violent dimension to this makes the administrative leave a fitting precaution.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 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.

Okrent 2 years, 9 months ago

Mike, you forgot to mention that the NRA gives free membership to all law enforcement. They can't give campaign contributions to officers, but they can get them on board with free membership and other perks.

Let.s be honest. The NRA is primarily an industry group and is heavily funded by the gun industry, which has funneled well over $70 million to the organization since 2005 in donations, fees and advertising revenue.

The organization has three functions - promotion / sale of firearms, lobbying and intimidating legislators to stop any and all restrictions on guns anywhere, and PR (propaganda) aimed at low-information voters and gun owners designed to radicalize them and instill the fear that government is going to take their guns away. They also have gotten laws passed that prohibit doctors from asking patients about guns or keeping records of gun injuries so that the full extent of the carnage is hidden from the public (there are 5 such provisions in the Obama care law.)

It's no secret that the gun manufacturers profit handsomely after each mass shooting. Sales go up, not down. And since they own the politicians, and will spend millions to punish any who step out of line (and to silence people like professor Guth), they have nothing and no one to fear, and the more killing there is, the more money they make.

The NRA is the closest thing we have to a terrorist organization in the US. Except the killing isn't done for allah, it's done for the almighty dollar, just like the cigarette companies peddle death for profit. And the cost to the rest of us is over 30,000 dead people a year in the US (10,000 are homicides), 78,000+ trips to the emergency room for those wounded, and billions of dollars in lost productivity, unpaid hospital bills and benefits for the survivors. I can only imagine the outcry if terrorists were killing 30,000 people a year in the US by use of some other means.

So it's not surprising that the NRA gives free membership to law enforcement. But I bet the officers who had to carry those 1st graders out of that classroom might be having second thoughts about their free membership - if they have any brains at all, that is.


Gun deaths per year:


Bob_Keeshan 2 years, 9 months ago

The Director of Re-entry Services at the Kansas Department of Corrections is Margie Phelps

Yes, it is that Margie Phelps.

Among the many other vile things Margie Phelps has said, she has advocated for the death penalty for gay men and women. She has wished physical harm on other people.

When will our brave state legislators refuse to fund the Kansas Department of Corrections?

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

If anyone had even the slightest question about liberalism running rampant in the education system Guth is the shining example. Why would anyone pay tuition for "higher education" to have their children brainwashed into this kind of warped mentality.

NewKansan 2 years, 9 months ago

"Liberalism running rampant?" Way to generalize.

llama726 2 years, 9 months ago

I think it's really funny people are up in arms about one guy's tweet & using it to justify hateful or misleading thoughts about an entire university... and yet when someone stereotypes gun owners or the NRA because of a dozen mass shooters in the past two years, they cry foul and exclaim that this was just an individual bad apple.

Which is it?

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 9 months ago

Tolerance of different points of view as well as exposure to those views should be part of an elite education.

I am sure I would not agree with Guth on a lot of things but I am not afraid of him teaching my children. I wish I could take his class.

I am afraid of those who want to censure free speech because it goes against their political beliefs while preaching how they are defenders of freedom. There is nothing uglier than sinners pretending righteousness.

If Guth handles this right, he will win in the end. I just hope the people of Kansas see the real character of our Kansas government for what it is.

IreneAdler84 2 years, 9 months ago

State censorship and punishment for political speech, isn't that what the Communists did? Thankfully, I cannot imagine that our governor is planning to unleash a KS version of the "Red Terror". But, the citizens of KS should push back against any acts of state sponsored censorship of political speech, no matter how small the act of censorship, and no matter how ugly the speech.

nwtransplant 2 years, 9 months ago

Lets see what he said in his tweet. “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.” First of all, he is blaming the NRA for what happened. Then he goes on to say that next time this happens let it be YOUR sons and daughters. He is implying that he hopes it would be the NRA's sons and daughters who are murdered next time something like this happens. Then he is implying that God may damn the NRA members for what has happened. Doesn't damn somebody usually mean to send someones soul to hell? I know the man is frustrated but come on man! His explanation sounds to me like he is trying to keep his job. I would do the same if I had said something like that but I don't have any thoughts like that. I wish no harm on anybody even on my worst enemy. I do not believe that he should not be allowed to say what he did. I just feel that he should not be allowed to say that AND teach our children as well.

danmoore 2 years, 9 months ago

I don't think the implication is he wants the sons and daughters of the NRA murdered rather if they were the victims the NRA would take a different view.

NewKansan 2 years, 9 months ago

Again, college students are NOT children. They are adults. Currently, almost 40% of college undergraduates are 25 or older. The "he shouldn't be teaching our children" talk doesn't fly here.

danmoore 2 years, 9 months ago

Why do our legislators have to take every opportunity to embarrass us? I hope the national media doesn't run with this story.

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

too late, see Yahoo and MSN. The embarrassment ( if you read the comments ) is Guth

danmoore 2 years, 9 months ago

I totally agree with his sentiment so I'm not offended or embarrassed by his comments. What embarrasses me is our state legislature pretending to be offended when they should be smart enough to interpret something they may not agree with and then throwing the 1st amendment under the bus.

a34123h9038419 2 years, 9 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.

danmoore 2 years, 9 months ago

Politicians are always LOOKING for fodder...


ikuyasu 2 years, 9 months ago

Well, people change when they get old, you know. He may just have become a grumpy grandpa figure. But, his response to Campus Reform is a very poor behavior by him: “Hell no, hell no, I do not regret that Tweet,” “I don't take it back one bit.” Here, he answered as a KU faculty because that's why Campus Reform asked and linked this to his twitter comment. But it will be difficult for any individual to know what the best action to take under this kind of circumstance unless you are professional in the field of public relations or communication from the mass media industry.

Bob Forer 2 years, 9 months ago

Not surprised that the first glimpse of American Fascism came courtesy of Kansas.

OlDan 2 years, 9 months ago

When I asked a conservative professor friend of mine how he survives in a decidedly left university environment, he answered that he has tenure. But I often wonder (since he was demoted from an administrative position) if he was being punished for his decidedly conservative views. Tenure may have assured his professorship, but may work against him in our very liberal university environments. I believe that Professor Guth's tweet was indeed inflammatory and unprofessional, but typical of the ultra liberal ideology that is being spewed daily in the college classrooms in our college campuses all across the country. Exclusive political ideology devoted to either liberal or conservative ideologies has no place in our college class rooms. While students need exposure to diverse political ideas, it is not, or should not be the norm to advocate for one idea or ideology while excluding the other. This is not education, it's brainwashing pure and simple.

Bob Forer 2 years, 9 months ago

You are so funny. A professor who is put on administrative leave for exercising his first amendment righs with a arguably left of center tweet does not work in a "decidedly left wing environment."

You have been drinking too much of that Faux News KoolAid, sonny boy.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 9 months ago

This is just more Glenn Beck type stuff.

I go to night classes and the last 3 semesters I can tell you that I had at least one Professor each semester who had a CCL and we lamented that we were not able to carry our guns to class. And these guys were definitely not liberals.

Sorry to challenge your world view.

OlDan 2 years, 9 months ago

My professor friend says that most liberals are associated with liberal arts while most of the conservatives, though few in number, are usually connected with the sciences and technical fields. If you are taking science or some technical course work, then it would more likely that you would find professors with CCLs. And no, this is not Glen Beck type stuff my friend.

avarom 2 years, 9 months ago

And what disciplinary action happen to Virgil Peck for his outspoken comments.... That's Right, NOTHING! Definite abuse of power, disparity, and unfair treatment which creates a very hostile environment. Well I don't agree with Guth's comments, they're very insensitive, we all should be treated the same. Guth's 1st Ammendent Rights are being violated. We have a constitution for a for Reason. Bunch of Hog Wash! And, I'm sure Guth's regrets them.

I guess, if you have enough political power or money, you can work your way out of anything. Ask OJ! Where's Judge Judy when you need her!

ikuyasu 2 years, 9 months ago

First Amendment means that you don't get fined or arrested for your opinion or speech by the government. How the University deals with him would be already written in the employment contract. His tweet comment is sort of in a dark area because he also commented on the request of Campus Reform as a KU faculty that he would not apologize for it: “'Hell no, hell no, I do not regret that Tweet,” he said. “I don't take it back one bit.'” So, he went beyond his personal blog and tweet here.

guacamole 2 years, 9 months ago

For all the "but the First Amendment!" psuedo-intellectuals posting here, this is a fuzzy area of law. A case could be made that his comments are "fighting words" and therefore not protected by the First Amendment.

gl0ck0wn3r 2 years, 9 months ago

Actually, although I do not agree with his tweet, I do not agree with your position. I sincerely doubt that the tweet would meet the narrow definition of fighting words or the other jargon people are throwing around (hate speech, for example).

IreneAdler84 2 years, 9 months ago

Sorry, the Supremes have carved out very, very narrow exceptions. The Phelps are covered by the First Amendment. If the WBC filth is not an example of "fighting words", Guth does not even merit a second look.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 9 months ago

These people in Kansas who brag about being defenders of the constitution are showing us a glimpse of the future when our lives will be monitored by "thought patrol" police and our children will be subject not only to a curriculum of Math and Science but indoctrination by the dominant political party.

Freedom will be redefined to mean whatever serves their purpose. Freedom is only what you think it is. You can lose it and not even know it.

If Guth would have criticized abortion instead of the NRA, he would be a hero. His mistake was poking the bullies in Topeka.

Eugehne Normandin 2 years, 9 months ago

I thought journalism and free speech were like peanut and jelly ?

avarom 2 years, 9 months ago

Le'ts all remember Virgil Peck's discriminating remarks shall we....and he was at work!

Brian Conrad 2 years, 9 months ago

Guth is a bully and only wants attention... this is not his first rodeo... he has very checker past and admits he knew Tweet would get him attention.. just one of his violent past behaviors... David Guth Associate Professor of Journalism, engaged in unprofessional, *threatening, and abusive behavior towards another faculty member in an October 8, 2010 incident. His conduct violated acceptable standards for professional ethics, University policies and Article V.2 and Article V.5 of the Faculty Code of Conduct. The University of Kansas censured him for these actions. Professor Guth’s continued pattern of abusive behavior, as evidenced by not only his Twitter post but his enthusiastic support of the post, which urges people to use guns to perpetrate violence on other people and their children, is not excusable. It also shows that Professor Guth is not against violence but sees it as a means to an end as long as it supports his view.

hedshrinker 2 years, 9 months ago

Wow, over the top interpretation of Guth's communication. His tweet, while in poor taste and lacking in judgement appropriate to a person in his position of leadership as an educator is neither actual violent behavior nor to be seen as exhorting others to commit acts of violence. Part of the problem w the language he used was its very ambiguity, allowing allowing others to project onto it their own often erroneous interpretations. You seem to have a pretty big vendetta yourself against this professor, digging up past official incidents of censure....sounds like you've got some horses in this race, given your highly judgemental language.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 9 months ago

I am licensed to carry a gun. I am very glad about that but I don't need to carry my gun except in specific situations. In those situations I don't want to go to prison because some crazy left wing politician passes what I consider a stupid law.

That being said, I believe this country is only as great as the principals that we live by. Those principals, in my opinion, say that Mr. Guth is only guilty of being angry because people were senselessly murdered. The NRA seems to be in the pocket of people who care nothing about average Americans. They have understood that too many of us are very naivete and can be eadily manipulated. They are hiding behind the veneer of patriotism and freedom.

By their actions they are showing that they are about money and political power. They are not concerned about preventing gun violence. That is how I read it.

Guth is just a man who cares. Like his methods or not. I like a man who has a heart.

These politicians in Topeka do what they are told. They think they are Americans but when I look at them that is not what I ser.

hedshrinker 2 years, 9 months ago

"principles", not principals. "naive", not naivete PLEASE try proofreading for typos at least; I think I agree w yr content, but it's hard to say.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 9 months ago

You are right sir that my spelling and grammar were atrocious. And I, a one time spelling bee champion, should be ashamed and I am. The problem comes from moving from PC to tablet to smart phone in a dark and crowded restaurant. However, I accept your criticism because some of the most important police in our society are policing our spelling. Being a good speller and good at grammar are still among of the most noble pursuits left for us in a sometimes confusing world.

That and art.

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