Professor's post-Sandy Hook tweet sparks academic freedom debate
- In the hours after the Newtown, Conn. mass-shooting Friday, University of Rhode Island assistant professor Erik Loomis tweeted, "I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders. Now I want Wayne LaPierre's head on a stick."
- LaPierre is the National Rifle Association's CEO, and the Loomis tweet has since sparked a debate on rhetoric, metaphors and academic freedom, with Loomis becoming a target for conservative bloggers and columnists who say his post was a literal threat to LaPierre.
- Additionally, U. of Rhode Island President David M. Dooley issued a statement Wednesday saying that the school "does not condone acts or threats of violence," alarming professors at URI and beyond who see Dooley as endorsing the point of view that Loomis' tweet was a literal call for violence and undercutting a faculty member under attack for his political views.
From the article:
"I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders. Now I want Wayne LaPierre's head on a stick." Erik Loomis, an assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island, wrote those words on Twitter on Friday, responding to the day's horrific news about the murders in Newtown, Conn. There has been no shortage of rhetoric about guns and violence in the wake of last week's tragedy. But the Loomis tweet has set off another debate -- one about rhetoric, metaphors and academic freedom, not just gun laws and violence. LaPierre is CEO of the National Rifle Association. ...
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