Anti-Gun Teachable Moments

This weekend, a reader sent us a link to a forum posting about a Pennsylvania DJ who was supposedly fired for being anti-gun. Before having all the facts, the original forum poster made a declaration that he was opposed to the firing over personal political views, and the reader indicated similar concerns based on the “facts” of the forum post. I didn’t post it because, to be honest, I don’t trust random forum posts that aren’t backed up by actual news sources.

When I finally found a real news source on the issue, it turns out that not only is the forum post completely wrong on the facts, any employment concerns on the part of the dj have little to do with political views.

To sum the situation up, a morning show dj, Tim Benz, is extremely anti-gun and used his show and the associated social media accounts as a way of promoting his personal politics. Apparently, he has been having fights with listeners in the Pittsburgh area about this issue recently. On Friday, he decided that he was sick of hearing from all these annoying pro-Second Amendment people and walked off of his job while on the air.

In other words, if he is actually fired, the dj will not be fired because of his personal views. If the station does let him go, he will be fired because he is incapable of behaving in a professional manner when people disagree with him – something Benz freely admits to in subsequent interviews. Now, obviously, Benz wants to keep his job. He claims that he did not officially resign, and he’s happy to serve out his contract in whatever manner the station chooses, even if it’s off of the air. However, given that the morning show slots are typically some of the most competitive times for listeners, it would seem unlikely that the station would have much interest in keeping a dj who acknowledges that he brings his personal politics to air and cannot accept disagreement in a rational manner.

I’ll be frank and say I don’t have much pity for the guy. He knew what kind of divisive topic he was bringing to his employer, and he couldn’t handle the notion that the listeners had different ideas that they care enough about to call in and/or comment about it online. He is the one who made the decision to walk off of the air rather than handling the debate in a more reasonable manner. Basically, he made a decision to screw his employer, so I think his employer is more than justified in releasing him from his contract.

That said, I think there are a few lessons here. One, if you’re a radio show host who cannot handle debate about core personal political views, it’s best to leave them out of your show. Two, if you’re a radio show host who cannot handle people who disagree with you, then perhaps you should steer clear of major political debates in general. Three, an employment agreement is not a matter of the First Amendment; you don’t get protection from saying things or behaving in a manner that reflects negatively on your employer, so don’t fall back on that defense. Four, this is somewhat related to a question that Uncle asks often in his posts: Why are anti-gun activists so violent? In this case, it’s not violence, but it is still an inability to control one’s temper to the point where it interferes with his ability to hold down his job.

29 thoughts on “Anti-Gun Teachable Moments”

  1. They are anti-gun because they believe that everyone else is like them (and therefore cannot be trusted with a gun.)

    1. I’m really beginning to believe that.
      So many of the worst murderers in recent history have been self described left leaning democrats.

      Perhaps we should ban Democrats from owning guns?

  2. Sounds like the politicians in Minnesota and Iowa who run and hide when exposed to our side of the “conversation on guns.” When is the DJ running for office?

      1. That website running a contest to win an AR-15 is what started the anti-gun ranting, at least this time.

        Then the DJ went off and talked about being happy to see drone attacks on a guys house, and something about gay slurs went back and forth… like listening to teenagers play madden.

  3. Here’s something that you may not be considering. This is likely just a radio stunt. Radio DJs do this sort of thing from time to time.

    Let me tell you a story about a DJ who got “suspended” for refusing to play “Rage Against the Machine.” I think it was in the Philly area. The DJ ranted a bit about Rage and told his listeners he didn’t like them and wouldn’t play them no matter what the playlist said. “Corporate” told him he would play what he was told to play. He said no, and stormed off. The station “suspended him” for two weeks. What no one knew was that it was pre-planned, and he was just going on vacation. The whole stunt was cooked up for ratings. The radio was in on it from top to bottom.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this was just more of the same.

    1. There are two reasons I don’t think that’s a reasonable explanation. One, first and foremost, is that if the news ever broke that this was a publicity stunt, that means that it will come out that the station is purposefully using Newtown to profit. That would turn listeners against them faster than you can blink.

      The second reason is because this issue is getting coverage in the newspaper that includes a column by the dj’s wife. Now, while you might think that it’s easy evidence that she could be in on it, that actually makes their scrutiny of the case higher. If it is just a ratings stunt profiting off of the debate post-Newtown, then the newspaper is now complicit in promoting the stunt and the radio station. Their coverage of all things local that involve any family members of any staffer would then be questioned, and I doubt that’s a risk they would take just to help a dj cover himself for vacation.

  4. Why is it that most of the Liberal/Progressive/Anti-Gun/Democrat/Obama supporter/Pro-Abortion leaning people act like this?

    They profess to embrace differences and varied points of view, but when questioned they act like “it’s my way or none” and either start calling you names and/or turn violent?

    I’ve run into several on Facebook and message boards and no matter what evidence you give them to support our side it’s either made up, from a unreliable source, or it’s that you are racist. Sometimes all the above. Yet they offer (probably because they have none) no evidence to support their claims at all and you are just suppose to take them at their word, as they are supposedly an authority beyond refute.

    HOW do you get thru to people like that?
    Or do you just write them off as too brainwashed to ever learn? I’ll bet the radio guy is one of them, just pissed that the “little people” don’t agree with him out of hand. Never really listening to what is said or even giving it a thought. Sad…..

  5. The real thing here is that the FCC REALLY hates what’s known as “dead air”. As in when a station goes dead for more then (IIRC) 30 seconds, the station owner gets to explain to the FCC exactly why the dead air happened.

    1. Stations don’t like it, but the FCC only cares that a station announce its identity once an hour. And if you’re not broadcasting at all, they don’t even require that, but after 30 days or so they’ll cancel your license.

  6. I worked in radio for over 10 years, we hate dead air. So the guy can say whatever but… it is bs. No excuses for dead air.
    (you might turn the dial and never come back)

  7. He walked off the job during work hours. He should be summarily dismissed. No question. Contract terminated.

  8. I think you just found the source of the anti-gun hysteria: “…an inability to control one’s temper to the point where it interferes with his ability …”.

    Eh, this precisely sums up the comportment of pretty much every hard-core, “progressive”, moral adolescent I’ve ever encountered. It’s pretty clear that this inability to control one’s temper, which is a sign of moral and emotional immaturity, is projected onto the world at large by those who are simply too willfully ignorant to know any better. And of course such as Bizarro-world society as they have manufactured out of their own lack of self control shouldn’t have people walking around carrying a firearm.

  9. Employers call this action “job abandonment.” And, as the with politicians who leave to avoid legislative business, this idiot should be fired. Dead air is very costly.

  10. Dead air is dead air. This moron pushed too far; fire his ass. End of discussion.

  11. He’d like to have a conversation about gun control where everyone else shuts up. Typical lib.

  12. Not a great city/state to be anti-gun. I looked at Indiana University of Pennsylvania a few years ago- the gun policy was “hunting rifles/shotguns to be kept in police lockers” I doubt Harvard has the same policy.

    Maybe there is a small group of anti-gun types in downtown Pittsburgh- but while the city has an impressive skyline- a short drive will have you in wooded hills or farmland. Probably prime sportsman territory.

    1. That’s a big assumption about Harvard. While I attended college in Massachusetts, there were two shooting clubs on campus – one for the undergrads and one for the law school. In fact, I went shooting with them once and they drew out a pretty sizable group of shooters and gun owners.

    2. Ten minute drive from downtown Pittsburgh and you can be at my gun club. It’s been in existence since 1897.

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