A University of Kansas journalism professor who suggested that the sons and daughters of National Rifle Association members would be good targets for a crazed killer has been suspended.
According to a report Friday at Campus Reform, which first uncovered the comment, school officials suspended David Guth in an announcement by KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.
The statement said: “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.”
The statement said Guth’s classes will be taught by others.
The school also now is taking a position on Guth’s comment, which he made on a private Twitter account earlier in the week after a dozen people were shot and killed by a gunman at the Washington Navy Yard.
“#NavyYardShooting The blood is on the hands of the #NRA,” tweeted Guth, part of the university’s William Allen White School of Journalism.
“Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters,” he continued. “Shame on you. May God d— you.”
The university said the contents of the professor’s tweet “were repugnant and in no way represent the views or opinions of the University of Kansas.”
“[I]t is truly disgraceful that these views were expressed in such a callous and uncaring way. We expect all members of the university community to engage in civil discourse and not make inflammatory and offensive comment.”
An “AJ” responded to the professor’s tweet: “Shame on you. I bet you think of yourself as a Christian while you are asking God to d— people and wishing their children dead.”
Campus Reform writer Katherine Timpf said that when Guth was contacted, he not only confirmed he sent the tweet, he doubled down.
“Hell no, hell no, I do not regret that tweet,” he told Campus Reform. “I don’t take it back one bit.”
After “AJ” criticized his statement, Guth said: “That moronic logic defies description,” and “God’s justice takes many forms.”
The school’s website notes Guth is an associate professor in the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Maryland and a master’s degree from North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
He was associate dean of the school from 2004 to 2009 and chairman of the school’s Strategic Communication track from 2000 to 2003.
Among his awards, according to the website, are the “Del Brinkman Teaching Award.”
Guth previously was a public information officer for the North Carolina prison, probation and parole system, a broadcast journalist and a public relations consultant.
“I don’t wish what happened today on anyone,” he said on the site. “But if it does happen again – and it likely will – may it happen to those misguided miscreants who suggest that today’s death toll at the Navy Yard would have been lower if the employees there were allowed to pack heat.”
In his interview with Campus Reform, he wished “a pox on our Congress and a pox on the NRA” for failing to have more gun control.
“It absolutely appalls me that after Newtown, we could not have come to some kind of sane agreement on something as simple as the number of bullets in a magazine or the availability of assault weapons,” he said.
The suspect in the Navy Yard shooting Monday was identified as Aaron Alexis, who recently had been living in Texas but was working on a contract at the Washington location. He apparently was shot and killed by police after he had gunned down several dozen people, 12 of whom died of their wounds.
The NRA has not tried to intervene in the aftermath of the shooting tragedy but frequently has called for existing gun laws to be enforced.