In yet another case of social-media vitriol backfiring in the workplace, journalism professor David Guth of the University of Kansas has been placed on indefinite administrative leave after posting a hostile comment on Twitter.
Following the Navy Yard massacre, Guth tweeted, "#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."
This tweet evoked the wrath of the Kansas State Rifle Association, which is demanding that Guth be fired. President Patricia Stoneking said,” The KSRA will do everything possible to see to the removal of this man. He should be fired immediately. His statements are outrageous!"
Although Guth has not yet been terminated, chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little stated, “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.”
Despite the controversy, Guth stands by his tweet, claiming that he does not want to see anybody hurt but rather intended to open a dialogue about gun control in the United States.
In an interview with local channel Fox 4 News, Guth stated, “Hell no, hell no, I do not regret that tweet. I don’t take it back one bit … I don’t apologize for it because I’m not saying in the tweet that I want anybody harmed, and I expanded on it in my blog.”
Guth also said, “If you look at how I structured the statement, I didn’t really bring [NRA members'] children into it. I carefully structured the statement to make it conditional, but apparently it was too much of a nuance for some people … I don’t want anybody harmed. If somebody’s going to be harmed, maybe it ought to be the people who believe that guns are so precious that it’s worth spilling blood over.”