Tampa Bay mayor taking heat for joking about pointing machine guns at press
By Andrew Shepperson
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn fires a .50 caliber machine gun during the 2016 Special Operations Capabilities Demonstration in Tampa Bay. (Photo: Tampa Bay Times)
Tampa Bay Mayor Bob Buckhorn is taking heat from journalists upset over the politician joking about pointing twin .50-caliber machine guns at the media.
The Tampa Bay Times reported Buckhorn’s comments came during a speech at the Special Operations Industry Conference held last Tuesday at the Tampa Convention Center.
During his keynote address, the mayor told a story of how he was taken “hostage” during a special ops rescue demonstration. The most memorable moment, the mayor said, was when he fired blanks from a .50-caliber machine gun aimed at members of the press.
“And so the first place I point that gun is at the media,” Buckhorn told the crowd. “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.”
Susan Katz Keating, a freelance writer who had firearms pointed at her while covering the conflict in Northern Ireland in 1988, said she took offense to the mayor’s comments.
“Personally, I was appalled,” Katz said on the Military Reporters & Editors Facebook page.