If an Iraq war veteran planned and executed bombings and bank robberies, then murdered a USM professor and was charged, prosecuted, and sentenced to a term of x number of years resulting in life in prison, would you want his name and story to be glorified in police stations?

How about his artwork?

What if the artwork showed that he truly was a thoughtful man and the lives he took were because of unjust or unfair doings to himself and his peers? I say absolutely not-with an exclamation point.

I fabricated this man to parallel the situation USM faced when Tom Manning, a Vietnam veteran and a criminal who took part in bombings and bank robberies with a radical group, then killed a New Jersey police officer in “self-defense,” had followers try to put on an art exhibit of this man’s paintings at USM.

Granted, the two situations are nearly exact opposites, but the victims’ family members in each situation might be nearly identical. Put yourself in the shoes of the family who lost a brother, husband, son, or even a father. Would you want the killer of your loved one gaining any freedom whatsoever because it is thought that he is a political prisoner? I wouldn’t want the guy to see the light of day, let alone show his artwork.

USM didn’t let this guy’s show come to town and I stand behind them on their decision. I truly hope they never let anything from that guy be a part of a USM student’s education. No university or college in this country should ever glorify a man behind bars, no matter what the sentence.

He gave his freedom away when he committed the crime and shouldn’t have it back until he serves his sentence. If that sentence doesn’t allow him to have his freedom back in this world, then he can try to gain it back when he stands in front of God and is judged.

Exhibiting his artwork is indeed a freedom. Letting him create the artwork is a whole separate freedom and something I also wouldn’t allow, especially to the killer of a man whose job was to serve and protect the citizens of this country.

Exhibiting the artwork shows that the man has sympathizers who believe his actions were understandable.

Those people have no guts and obviously don’t think with their brain. If they did, they’d use their brain to put themselves in the shoes of the police officer (or professor or the victims of the bombings and bank robberies).

Then they’d surely see that the man doesn’t deserve any freedom. He deserves to be locked up behind bars until the day he dies, which is exactly what will happen.

Want to see his artwork?

Go to the jailhouse.

Ask to visit the man and have him show it to you because that’s where he and all his doings should remain-prison.

Dustin Gilbert describes himself as a compassionate conservative hoping to help students better understand right-wingers.


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