The Post-Newtown Witch Hunt

In the aftermath of the horrific Newtown, Conn., school massacre, Americans from all parts of the political spectrum agree that we need to pay more attention to mental health issues. Public death threats and incitements to violence must be taken seriously. The incendiary witch hunt against law-abiding, peaceful gun owners is neither noble nor effective. It’s just plain insane.

Over the past week, I’ve witnessed a disturbing outbreak of off-the-rails hatred toward gun owners and Second Amendment groups. Whatever your views on guns, we can all agree: The Newtown gunman was a monster who slaughtered his own mother, five heroic educators and 20 angel-faced schoolchildren. He ignored laws against murder. He bypassed Connecticut’s strict gun control regulations, and he circumvented the Sandy Hook Elementary School’s security measures. Every decent American is horrified and heartsick by this outbreak of pure evil.

But tens of millions of law-abiding men and women own and use guns responsibly in this country. The cynical campaign to demonize all armed men and women as monsters must not go unanswered. What’s most disturbing is that the incitements are coming from purportedly respectable, prominent and influential public figures.

Consider the rhetoric of University of Rhode Island Professor Erik Loomis. He teaches “U.S. environmental history, the Civil War, late 19th and early 20th century America, labor history, and the American West” in the university’s history department. Online, however, Loomis is a militantly unhinged foe of all things conservative.

This week, the nutty professor took to Twitter to rail against law-abiding gun owners and the National Rifle Association. “Looks like the National Rifle Association has murdered some more children,” Loomis fumed. “Now I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick,” he added. (LaPierre is executive vice president and CEO of the NRA.) Loomis was just warming up.

“F**k the National Rifle Association and its policies to put crazy guns in everyone’s hands,” Loomis tweeted. “You are g*dd*mn right we should politicize this tragedy. F**k the NRA. Wayne LaPierre should be in prison,” he spewed. “Can we define NRA membership dues as contributing to a terrorist organization?”

If all that wasn’t clear enough, Loomis also re-tweeted the following message from a fellow left-winger: “First f**ker to say the solution is for elementary school teachers to carry guns needs to get beaten to death.”

When the conservative group Campus Reform called attention to the craziness, Loomis whined about a “right-wing intimidation campaign.” Sane university professors shook their heads. University of Tennessee law professor and blogger Glenn Reynolds explained the anti-NRA syllogism at work:

“(1) Something bad happened; (2) I hate you; so (3) it’s your fault. This sort of reasoning has played out in all sorts of places over the past century, with poor results. One would expect a history professor to know better.”

Unfortunately, Loomis is not alone. Famed author Joyce Carol Oates also took to Twitter to blame the entire membership of the NRA for one evil-doer’s massacre. “Another NRA-sponsored massacre for Christmas 2012,” Oates wrote. She then accused any politicians who supported the NRA of “felony homicide.” And then she mused hopefully for mass shootings against the NRA: “If sizable numbers of NRA members become gun-victims themselves, maybe hope for legislation of firearms?” Shockingly, actress Marg Helgenberger of the TV show “CSI” cheered her on: “One can only hope, but sadly I don’t think anything would change.”

In Texas, state Democratic Party official John Cobarruvias threw fuel on the fire. Cobarruvias is the Democratic Party precinct chair in Houston, Texas, and holds a seat on the Texas State Democratic Party’s executive committee. On his Twitter feed, Cobarruvias labeled the NRA a “domestic terrorist organization” and called for the assassination of NRA leaders and supporters: “Can we now shoot the #NRA and everyone who defends them?”

So, it’s come to this: Advocating beheadings, beatings and the mass murder of peaceful Americans to pay for the sins of a soulless madman. But because the advocates of violence fashion themselves champions of non-violence and because they inhabit the hallowed worlds of Hollywood, academia and the Democratic Party, it’s acceptable?

Blood-lusting hate speech must not get a pass just because it comes out of the mouths of the protected anti-gun class.

  • Chris Matthewson

    The Newtown gunman performed monstrous acts, but he was raised in a gun-loving environment. As I wrote several days ago:

    “As this tragic story unfolds, it will be discovered that this extremely
    troubled young man was exposed to guns by his mother and to violent, but
    realistic video games, which he probably played incessantly and in isolation.
    He was also reaching the age when his mother was going to push him out of the nest–the protective cocoon in which his disturbing madness fed on itself.”

    Quoting the ravings of a loony professor and the rantings of a leftist author, politician or actress does not make your case. It just proves there are crazies on both sides of the debate. Instead, view and re-watch Joe Scarborough’s eloquent plea for a sensible legislative response.

    Unfortunately, we will soon discover that the vast majority of gun aficionados (a/k/a nuts) will not give up a few of their beloved toys, even if doing so might save some children’s lives.

    Their unconscionable selfishness is the true outrage.

  • venter

    Here we go again. bad, bad, guns they need a “time out”. Now Washington wants to rush through a gun bill. Will the bill include water pistols? Washington reacts with out good common sense! Lets look at the whole picture bad,bad people who are evil and some need help. Notice lonely troubled people have been doing these crimes. Shouldn’t we explore everything? What is wrong with us . Why have we become so angry? Why? No more Big Gulp sodas, salt, sugar, snacks, cigarets, etc all taken away from us, see how good that is working! Washington cannot do anything. They are not in the trenches and just want another law that will not prevent another mass killing. Where the Benghazi guns legal? Was the video story legal? Can Washington deal with the truth , use common sense and work for the American people

    • Wheels55

      The gun used by Lanza would have still been legal even if the assault weapons ban was still in place. Proof that law makers who know nothing about what they speak should not make laws.

  • repsac3

    Pearls to clutch, and a fainting couch for Ms. Malkin, stat.