A professor of a taxpayer-funded state university is calling for National Rifle Association’s (NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre to be killed.
The professor is Erik Loomis (photo below), who’s an assistant professor of history at the University of Rhode Island (URI).
Oliver Darcy reports for Campus Reform, Dec. 17, 2012, that in the wake of Adam Lanza’s killing of 20 children and 6 adults in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Professor Loomis tweeted that “ the National Rifle Association has murdered some more children.” Loomis then called the NRA “a terrorist organization” and declared that he “want[s] Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick.”
His tweets are now erased.
Thomas Lifson writes in American Thinker, Dec. 18, 2012, that Loomis received his PhD in history from the University of New Mexico in 2008, and has a history of violent rhetoric directed against conservatives. In March of this year, in an essay ironically titled, “Are Conservatives Any Crazier Today Than 50 Years Ago?,” Loomis called for a “decades-long fight to the death” against conservatives as America’s “only hope.”
Oddly, the hypocrisy and irony of an anti-gun prof calling for the assassination of the CEO of a pro-gun organization is lost on the professor. But that is because, as Lifson observes, Erik Loomis is projecting his own violent impulses onto conservatives.
According to URI’s website, all members of the university community pledge to help foster an “inclusive environment recognizing and respecting diversity.” But one of its faculty clearly does not abide by the university’s pledge. If Professor Loomis is so venomous as to publicly call for the death (“head on a stick”) of the CEO of an organization he disapproves, imagine how Loomis treats his students who are conservative and/or pro-Second Amendment.
H/t FOTM’s Anon.
I tried to find contact information for Loomis and the president of the U. of Rhode Island, David M. Dooley. But I cannot access the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) website http://www.uri.edu, although there is nothing wrong with my computer or my high-speed Internet connection. But information can be found from other public sources (Rhode Island White Pages and Spokeo):
19 Amity St, Apt 2
Providence, RI 02908
Contact info. for David Dooley, President, U. of Rhode Island:
Dooley issued this statement:
December 18, 2012
The University of Rhode Island does not condone acts or threats of violence. These remarks do not reflect the views of the institution and Erik Loomis does not speak on behalf of the University. The University is committed to fostering a safe, inclusive and equitable culture that aspires to promote positive change.
Dr. David M. Dooley
University of Rhode Island
Wow! That statement sure makes everything all okay now. [Snark]
H/t my bud Mark S. McGrew for the Update!
Eight professors have joined together to issue a statement in support of University of Rhode Island assistant professor Erik Loomis, who last week tweeted that he wanted NRA executive vice president ”Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick.”
The authors of the statement, posted on the blog Crooked Timber, defend Loomis’ tweet as an example of metaphor and say their defense was “pulled together on an emergency basis” — perhaps explaining why distinguished academics would cite the Urban Dictionary as their source in explaining what “head on a stick” means, as well as their omission of his retweets of other violent metaphors wishing for those who support arming teachers to be “beaten to death” and Dick Morris to be hunted down and skinned for breakfast.
Nevertheless, Loomis has found defenders in academia, who worry that “his lack of tenure makes him vulnerable,” a state of affairs the rest of us who don’t enjoy the defense of “academic freedom” — that is, ”scholars’ freedom independently to express views (even intemperate ones) on topics of public importance” — face every day while arguing our beliefs in the public sphere. The fact that Loomis’ tweets seemingly had nothing to do with his teaching or his field of study further stretches the idea that academics should enjoy special protection from criticism. Meanwhile, the authors of Loomis’ defense call on university administrators to “affirm … the protections of the First Amendment” while overlooking a call for the head of a proponent of the Second Amendment.