A Vermont newspaper called the Bennington Banner is facing outrage after running a cartoon of dead bodies in hopes of gun control conversation.
The paper ran the cartoon on Tuesday—two days after the heinous attack on Las Vegas concert goers—and faced such backlash that it apologized the same day.
The Daily Mail reports that calls for Cartoonist Randall Enos and Editor Kevin Moran to resign were complimented by calls for an all-out boycott of the paper.
The cartoon shows a stack of bodies with the caption, “Whatever Happens in Vegas…” In apologizing for running the cartoon, Moran suggested it was commentary on the belief that the federal government will not use this opportunity to pass more gun control.
In an apology posted to Facebook, Moran wrote:
Our interpretation of Randall Enos’ cartoon was that little would be done with regard to gun control measures in the United States even after such an unprecedented tragedy. While we believe that is a conversation that needs to happen in this country, we must first mourn and honor the victims and provide comfort to their families and friends. We regret publishing the cartoon.
He noted that the choice to publish the cartoon was also bad because ill-timed—only two days removed from the attack—and because a nearby family had suffered loss in the attack. He wrote, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Sandy Casey, originally from East Dorset, Vermont, who are enduring grief beyond compare today. We apologize to them and others affected.”
Another paper—the Telegraph Herald—posted the cartoon on its website as well. Amid backlash, Editor Steve Fisher and Executive Editor Amy Gilligan issued an apology, which said in part:
As publisher and executive editor of the Telegraph Herald, we want to address the cartoon that was posted on our website Monday morning and the subsequent statement by one of our editors.
In the past 48 hours, we have made two errors. The first was our error in judgment when we posted a syndicated editorial cartoon by Randall Enos where the intended message was unclear, and as a result, many felt it was insensitive and in very poor taste. Our second error was posting a statement that inadequately apologized for our decision.
Editorial cartoons are social commentary, and we never saw it as an attempt at humor. No one in our organization saw the events in Las Vegas as anything but utter tragedy. We are deeply sorry that it came across as anything less.
Fifty-nine people were killed in the Vegas attack and more than 500 were wounded.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.