Des Moines columnist who called for death of gun owners now claims it was 'satire'

Des Moines columnist who called for death of gun owners now claims it was 'satire'

Donald Kaul, the retired Des Moines Register columnist who called for a repeal of the Second Amendment and the death of gun owners, is now claiming he was only being satirical, Newsbusters reported Monday.

Tom Blumer noted that Kaul made “five immodest proposals.”

“1) ‘Repeal the Second Amendment’; 2) ‘Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal’; 3) ‘Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony’; 4) People resisting the confiscation efforts of those trying to pry their ‘guns from their cold, dead hands’ should get their wish; 5) ‘tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner … to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they … (see) the light on gun control,'” Blumer added.

But after receiving numerous phone calls he said were threatening in nature, Kaul wrote that he “hit a nerve,” claiming that his five proposals were “thoughtful” and “well-reasoned.”

“I also proposed, satirically and more in sorrow than in anger, tying House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to the back of a pickup truck and dragging them around until they agreed to exert some control over guns,” he added.

But there was nothing satirical about his original article.

Here are the proposals Kaul called “thoughtful” and “well-reasoned.”

“• Repeal the Second Amendment, the part about guns anyway. It’s badly written, confusing and more trouble than it’s worth. It offers an absolute right to gun ownership, but it puts it in the context of the need for a “well-regulated militia.” We don’t make our militia bring their own guns to battles. And surely the Founders couldn’t have envisioned weapons like those used in the Newtown shooting when they guaranteed gun rights. Owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right.

• Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. Hey! We did it to the Communist Party, and the NRA has led to the deaths of more of us than American Commies ever did. (I would also raze the organization’s headquarters, clear the rubble and salt the earth, but that’s optional.) Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony. If some people refused to give up their guns, that ‘prying the guns from their cold, dead hands’ thing works for me.

• Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control.”

If those measures didn’t work, Kaul said he would “adopt radical measures.”

But after getting blow-back from law-abiding gun supporters who don’t appreciate media elites calling for their death, Kaul hides behind the old “it was just satire” argument.

“I also proposed, satirically and more in sorrow than in anger, tying House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to the back of a pickup truck and dragging them around until they agreed to exert some control over guns,” he wrote, while claiming he really doesn’t want the Second Amendment repealed.

Oddly enough, he never addresses his desire to pry guns from the “cold, dead hands” of their owners.

After comparing himself to Jonathan Swift, he goes on to say that he’s “closer to believing” that NRA members are terrorists.

“I’ve been getting hostile telephone calls at all hours of the day and night for the past several days. Why would you call a stranger at 3 a.m. if you weren’t trying to frighten him? It’s what terrorists do — frighten people,” he whined.

“No, Don,” Blumer wrote in response. “While instilling fright is an obvious and beneficial (from their point of view) side-effect, terrorists primarily kill and maim people. The NRA doesn’t do that. Hamas and al Qaeda do. And for what it’s worth, pal, almost all of us who do writing on current events have gotten those 3 a.m. phone calls.”

“Perhaps my column jumped the shark a bit,” Kaul wrote in what many would call a “duh” moment.

But Blumer wasn’t buying his explanation.

“So Donald Kaul, if we’re to believe him (which I don’t), mixed seriousness with satire, wrapped it up in ‘anger,’ and expected readers to discern what he did mean and what he didn’t mean. Swift, a brilliant satirist, something which at least in this case Kaul obviously was not, didn’t do that,” he wrote.

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Joe Newby

Joe Newby

Joe Newby is an IT professional. He has written for Conservative Firing Line, Examiner, NewsBusters, and Spokane Faith and Values.

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