Yael T. Abouhalkah

KU professor’s anti-NRA rant damages gun control movement

Updated: 2013-09-22T00:06:20Z

By Yael T. Abouhalkah

The Kansas City Star

Let’s be honest: A limited number of people in the gun control movement have privately thought exactly what Kansas University journalism professor David Guth tweeted this week.

“#NavyYardShooting 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.”

The clear meaning of Guth’s words: National Rifle Association members won’t act sensibly on gun control until some of their own children are killed in mass shootings.

But here’s one way Guth damaged the gun control folks: He actually said those hateful words out loud, got a national audience for them, then doubled down on them.

I’m for more gun control, and the NRA members who blindly defend Second Amendment rights drive me crazy with their passion for putting more killing machines in the hands of Americans.

However, most Americans who support gun control realize in their rational moments that wishing death upon the children of NRA members is morally wrong.

That kind of feeling brings gun control advocates down to the level of those who think it’s OK to keep spreading the word that more guns are the answer to what ails America.

Guth’s words also will galvanize the pro-gun crowd, as if they need any more ammunition for their cause.

His comments set off a spate of criticism not just of the professor but also of KU for letting him keep his job.

On Friday morning, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little ordered that Guth be placed on “indefinite administrative leave.”

In reality, the gun control movement needs all the help and friends it can get in Congress and across America. Guth’s words do not help that cause.

And there’s a practical reason to think his comments are ill-advised: If NRA children are killed in a mass shooting, that more than likely would force NRA members to be even more dug in on the fantasy that expanding the use of guns will help defend other children in the future.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/YaelTAbouhalkah.

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