ocal Vermont paper The Bennington Banner caused outrage when it published a cartoon about the Las Vegas shooting that was perceived by almost everybody as extremely inappropriate and offensive.
It's been less than a week since a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concert-goers in Las Vegas, killing 59 and injuring over 500. While reactions have been varied — some immediately called for gun control, others took time to mourn — this cartoon was clearly out of line.
The cartoon was published in the Tuesday, October 3 edition of The Bennington Banner.
The reaction was swift and generally people were appalled.
Many thought the cartoon made light of this unthinkable tragedy.
While the vast majority of people were horrified that the cartoon was published, some weren't exactly surprised.
Unfortunately, we live in a time where mass shootings like Las Vegas aren’t shocking anymore. It can be hard to know exactly how to respond, but obviously, this cartoon was not the answer.
People reacted strongly to the offensive cartoon. Some threatened to boycott the newspaper.
Others demanded that the paper’s executive editor Kevin Moran and cartoonist Randall Enos resign.
So what exactly did this wildly inappropriate cartoon look like?
It is a haphazardly-drawn pile of bodies with a hand-written caption that reads, "Whatever happens in Vegas..."
Who thought this was OK?
It didn’t take long for the outrage to fly and for the paper to apologize.
In a Facebook statement, Moran wrote that their interpretation of Enos' cartoon "was that little would be done with regard to gun control measures in the United States even after such an unprecedented tragedy."
Unfortunately, that didn’t come across at all.
A statement called, “To our readers: We are sorry,” was posted on The Bennington Banner website on Tuesday afternoon. This letter from the paper’s president Fredric D. Rutberg, says they “regret and apologize for publishing the cartoon.”
He wrote that the decision to publish the cartoon “was made in haste,” and said, “As the president of the company, the responsibility for the grievous error is mine, and I apologize to the entire Bennington community that the Banner was so insensitive.”