September 28, 2013

It's a day that ends in "y", so there must be a story about double standards on the right, with mainstream CW providing cover, saying "both sides do it." A yes, here we are, my story story at Salon, "Hypocritical NRA nuts obliterate the First Amendment", which begins like this:

Two related scenarios involving principles behind the First and Second Amendments unfolded in the week of the Navy Yard massacre. While the knee-jerk mainstream media’s “both sides do it” narrative would handily treat them as mirror images, they actually represent opposite sides of a long-running political drama: The attempted silencing of an NRA critic is a commonplace example of McCarthyism, while the firing of a profanity-spouting small-town police chief is an all-too-rare example of an out-of-control would-be McCarthyite being called to account.

Comparing these two cases, we see the NRA side eagerly embracing a double-standard: absolute free speech protections for those on their side, but outraged condemnations — even death threats — for those who oppose them. But the actual facts support an opposite conclusion: NRA “speech” is embedded in a campaign of intimidation that is designed to make everyone else shut up, not to promote the free flow of ideas.

Here are the basics: In Eastern Pennsylvania, Mark Kessler, a profanity-spouting “Second Amendment hero,” was suspended as police chief of Gilberton (population 700), with final termination pending his right to a public hearing, as a dozen armed supporters rallied outside. Half a continent away, on the other side of the gun debate, Kansas University journalism professor David Guth was swiftly suspended from teaching for the hotly-debated content of a single angry tweet: “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.”

Guth received death threats along with calls for his firing from the GOP’s Kansas state senate leader, and others, along with threats to cut state funding for the university.

You can read the whole thing here. I quote from David in the piece, setting the record straight about the nature of eliminationism, when rightwingers tried to get another anti-NRA professor fired just after Sandy Hook.

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