Newspaper apologizes for column calling for Republicans to be dragged behind pickup trucks

In case you missed it, Kaul lashed out at President Obama, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the National Rifle Association and “weak-kneed politicians” for their genteel response to the Connecticut shooting.

“The thing missing from the debate so far,” he said, “is anger.”

Kaul offered a few steps that could end gun violence — from repealing a section of the Second Amendment and declaring the NRA a terrorist organization to making ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony.

He also suggested tying Republicans Mitch McConnell and John Boehner to the back of a pickup truck “until they see the light” for the need to address gun control.

In his last paragraph, Kaul acknowledges his views are preposterous. “None of that is going to happen, of course,” he wrote.

But many readers either didn’t make it that far in his column or were too angry to see his less-than-artful attempt at satire.

And for that, we take blame.

At a time when our nation still grieves over the massacre of 26 victims at a Connecticut school and is ensnared in a contentious debate focused on gun ownership, a ban on the sale of assault weapons and the Second Amendment, the Register needed to be more thoughtful in how it handled Kaul’s column.

It didn’t get the careful critique from us that it deserved. We should have tempered the rhetoric and insisted his views be a bit crisper so they weren’t misconstrued for condoning violence.

I regret those missteps. And while there certainly was no attempt to be reckless, I’m sorry if it may have offended you.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

Related posts

Top