Like a lot of people, when Erik Loomis heard about the massacre in Newtown, he was angry. Angry at the proliferation of guns in America, at the frequency of mass shootings, at the power of the gun lobby of the NRA and weapons manufacturers. In expressing that anger, he stated:
I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders. Now I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick.
It’s a common phrase that everyone understands as hyperbole. I want LaPierre to be held responsible too. But the Right has taken the statement literally and is outraged.
Remember, these are the type of people who tend to carry signs that say things like this and this and this and this.
Regardless of the obvious irony, conservatives have formed an all-out push for Loomis’ head on a stick, calling for his ouster from his current position at the University of Rhode Island. It’s absurd that an institution of higher learning would leave a faculty member vulnerable like URI has, choosing to issue an apology rather than defend his right to use rhetorical devices. But since conservatives are forming ranks to call for him to be fired, and his university seems slow to the defense, it deserves to be said: I stand with Loomis, and you should too.
Please go add your name to this post at Crooked Timber in support of Loomis.