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Newtown witch hunt

| Monday, Dec. 24, 2012, 7:16 p.m.

In the aftermath of the horrific Newtown, Conn., school massacre, Americans from all parts of the political spectrum agree that we need to pay more attention to mental health issues. Public death threats and incitements to violence must be taken seriously.

But the incendiary witch hunt against law-abiding, peaceful gun owners is neither noble nor effective. It's just plain insane.

Over the past week, I've witnessed a disturbing outbreak of off-the-rails hatred toward gun owners and Second Amendment groups. Whatever your views on guns, we can all agree: The Newtown gunman was a monster who slaughtered his own mother, five heroic educators and 20 angel-faced schoolchildren. He ignored laws against murder. He bypassed Connecticut's strict gun-control regulations, and he circumvented the Sandy Hook Elementary School's security measures. Every decent American is horrified by this outbreak of pure evil.

But tens of millions of law-abiding men and women own and use guns responsibly in this country. The cynical campaign to demonize all armed men and women as monsters must not go unanswered.

What's most disturbing is that the incitements are coming from purportedly respectable, prominent and influential public figures.

Consider the rhetoric of University of Rhode Island history professor Erik Loomis. Last week, the nutty professor took to Twitter to rail against law-abiding gun owners and the National Rifle Association. “Looks like the National Rifle Association has murdered some more children,” Loomis fumed. “Now I want Wayne LaPierre's head on a stick,” he added. (LaPierre is executive vice president and CEO of the NRA.)

When the conservative group Campus Reform called attention to the craziness, Loomis whined about a “right-wing intimidation campaign.” University of Tennessee law professor and blogger Glenn Reynolds explained the anti-NRA syllogism at work: “(1) Something bad happened; (2) I hate you; so (3) it's your fault. This sort of reasoning has played out in all sorts of places over the past century, with poor results. One would expect a history professor to know better.”

Famed author Joyce Carol Oates also took to Twitter. “Another NRA-sponsored massacre for Christmas 2012,” Oates wrote. She then mused hopefully for mass shootings against the NRA: “If sizable numbers of NRA members become gun-victims themselves, maybe hope for legislation of firearms?” Actress Marg Helgenberger cheered her on: “One can only hope, but sadly I don't think anything would change.”

In Texas, state Democratic Party official John Cobarruvias threw fuel on the fire. Cobarruvias is the Democratic Party precinct chair in Houston and holds a seat on the state Democratic Party's executive committee. On his Twitter feed, Cobarruvias labeled the NRA a “domestic terrorist organization” and called for the assassination of NRA leaders and supporters: “Can we now shoot the #NRA and everyone who defends them?”

So, it's come to this: advocating beheadings, beatings and the mass murder of peaceful Americans to pay for the sins of a soulless madman. But because the advocates of violence fashion themselves champions of nonviolence and because they inhabit the hallowed worlds of Hollywood, academia and the Democratic Party, it's acceptable?

Blood-lusting hate speech must not get a pass just because it comes out of the mouths of the protected anti-gun class.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies” (Regnery 2009).

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