The state of gun violence in America today is no laughing matter- but apparently Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn thinks it is. In a distasteful move, Mayor Buckhorn poked fun at journalists at a military convention chiding he’d “make them cry like little girls” by pointing guns in their faces, not cluing into the fact that many of these journalists have have guns pointed at them while in the line of fire.
As reported by Raw Story:
According to a report by the Tampa Bay Times, Buckhorn’s joking statement about pointing two 50 caliber machine guns at journalists to make them cry has angered journalists who have been at the other end of the barrel.
Not only were the Mayor’s sentiments insensitive, they were also misogynistic.
Susan Katz Keating, a freelance journalist who was threatened with firearms while covering Northern Ireland in the 1980’s, said she was “appalled” by Buckhorn’s comments in a post on the “Military Reporters & Editors” Facebook page. The social media-led group has roughly 300 journalist members.
Kim Dozier, a Daily Beast reporter on national security, experienced her share of wartime fire while working as an embedded journalist in Iraq — and she said the mayor’s comments were difficult to stomach based on her experiences.
“As someone who had been under fire once or twice, and lost two colleagues to a car bomb in Iraq that nearly killed me, I didn’t appreciate the remarks,” Dozier told the Tampa Bay Times. “The mayor probably didn’t realize how many of the reporters in the room had risked their lives to bring Americans the story of U.S. troops in the field, including veterans-turned-journalists with prior special ops service.
“And so the first place I point that gun is at the media,” Buckhorn, who was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton for president, said at his address. “I’ve never seen grown men cry like little girls, for when that gun goes off those media folks just hit the deck like no one’s business. It’s great payback. I love it.”
Unmoved by the reaction of others, the mayor remained unapologetic for the choice of words he used in trying to convey his message.
In the fallout from his remarks, Buckhord reportedly said the backlash was “a silly reaction”.
Given that many of those he was addressing at the military conference have risked their lives to present the stories off the ground in war torn areas, were his comments in poor taste and do those offended deserve an apology? Or do you think that those crying foul are just overly sensitive and are taking the Mayor’s words out of context? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
(Article by Tasha Sharifa)