Journalism professor suspended after tweet, ‘blood is on the hands’ of NRA

By George Chidi
Saturday, September 21, 2013 21:58 EDT
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David Guth
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A journalism professor at the University of Kansas was placed on indefinite administrative leave Friday after he Tweeted about the Navy Yard shooting, saying “blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters.”

Guth teaches media ethics, as well as strategic and crisis communications, among other classes.

“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,” Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said Friday in a press release. “Professor Guth’s classes will be taught by other faculty members.”

Tuesday, the day of the Navy Yard shooting, Guth wrote on his blog, “The news of the senseless slaughter today at Washington’s Navy Yard has me again questioning how we can let this madness continue. Frankly, I don’t care if I am criticized for being too quick to judge, too harsh in my criticism or too strident in my tone. The time has passed for niceties and tact. The blood spilled today is on the hands of the National Rifle Association. I don’t care how the NRA tries to spin this.”

His Twitter account, @DWGuth, has been disabled.

Kansas lawmakers and the Kansas NRA quickly called for his removal after the tweet drew the attention of a conservative activist campus reform site. Kansas Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson, called on the school to dismiss Guth, noting on Facebook that “Wishing death and damnation upon parents and their children is reprehensible and is not befitting of an employee of such a distinguished university.”

[Image courtesy of the University of Kansas.]

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