Professor Who Tweeted About White Gun Deaths Is Placed on Leave by Rutgers
On November 18, 2016, Rutgers University placed a professor, Kevin Allred, on leave after allegations arose that he tweeted threats of gun violence toward white victims.
According to school officials, about one week after Donald Trump won the United States Presidential Election, Allred tweeted, “Will the 2nd Amendment be as cool when I buy a gun and start shooting at random white people or no…?” After the tweet, Rutgers received a report regarding the tweet and then contacted authorities in Brooklyn, New York. The authorities went to Allred’s home and then brought him to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. However, Allred was not arrested.
Subsequently, Allred tweeted that he did not intend to directly threaten anyone but that “it was a hyperbolic question to show a double standard.” In addition, Allred disclosed that he attended the psychiatric evaluation and was cleared to return to Rutgers on November 16, 2016 to teach his class. However, on November 18, the university placed Allred on administrative leave, meaning that he would no longer be allowed to teach classes at the school.
With daily headlines about gun-related deaths, the Black Lives Matter movement, and police officer deaths, we are constantly reminded that one of the most divisive and volatile social issues facing our society today is that of the Second Amendment and gun control. The recent situation involving the Rutgers professor, however, intertwines another foundational aspect of American culture: free speech. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Meanwhile, the Second Amendment states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Gun Violence, Terroristic Threats Charges Middlesex County NJ
Even in light of these amendments, each state has its own specific gun control laws that impact who can and cannot own a firearm, how to legally purchase a gun, and how to legally transport firearms. In addition, despite the fundamental right of free speech, it is illegal to threaten to kill another person with a gun. Moreover, New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States and every aspect of gun ownership and gun use is stringently controlled.