KU professor on leave after tweet directed at NRA

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm •  Published: September 20, 2013
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Bruce has received $2,500 in campaign contributions from the NRA since 2004, including $750 in 2012, according to the online database maintained by the state Governmental Ethics Commission. Hildabrand received a $500 contribution last year from the Kansas State Rifle Association.

The Kansas Board of Regents, expressing its "disgust and offense," said in a statement Friday it appreciated the immediate response by the chancellor.

Members of Kansas' faculty also distanced themselves from Guth's viewpoint.

"While the First Amendment allows anyone to express an opinion, that privilege is not absolute and must be balanced with the rights of others. That's vital to civil discourse," Ann Brill, dean of the journalism school, said in a statement. "Professor Guth's views do not represent our school and we do not advocate violence against any group or individuals."

The Kansas State Rifle Association has called his statements "outrageous," and president Patricia Stoneking said in a news release her group will "do everything possible" to see to his removal.

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam added Friday: "This is hate speech. It is disgusting and deplorable. It has no place in our society."

Guth said Thursday that gun rights advocates had orchestrated a social media campaign against him.

"I respect their First Amendment rights and it would be nice if they would respect mine," Guth said. "And, by the way, I even respect their Second Amendment rights.

"Frankly, my plan is to be the calm in the center of the storm," Guth said.

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Associated Press writer John Hanna in Topeka, Kan., contributed to this report.