Secretary of the Marquette County Republican Party in Michigan, Dan Adamini, made a series of social media posts implying that protesters, like the ones at a university in California last week, should be shot as they were during the Kent State Massacre. In 1970, the Ohio National Guard killed four students and injured nine others after they were ordered to use live ammunition during protests against the Vietnam War at Ohio’s Kent State University.

Last week, Adamini composed a tweet in response to protests at the University of California-Berkley that shut down plans for a Breitbart editor to speak on campus. The tweet read:
Violent protesters who shut down free speech? Time for another Kent State perhaps. One bullet stops a lot of thuggery.”

Adamini then gave his post more thought and reworded it for Facebook. His second post still called for violence and evoked the Kent State shootings.

“The violent protests at our universities certainly indicate Portage acacian at the lower level. I’m thinking another Kent State might be the only solution. Protest stopped after only one death. They do it because they know there are no consequences yet,” Adamini said.

“It was stupid, it was poorly done. But my goal was to stop the violence by protesters, not commit violence against protesters. The point I was trying to make, admittedly I did it very poorly … was that the violence is really getting out of hand, and much like in the 1960s, the violence created an atmosphere where something terrible and tragic like Kent State could happen. I’d like to see the violence stop before we have a tragedy,” Adamini said.

“We could be headed toward another Kent State tragedy if we don’t get a handle on the violence. It sounds like I was calling for violence, but I was actually trying to call for an end to the violence. … Some are saying I’m calling for the death of innocent protesters, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are paid agitators who continue to plague this country,” he added.

Kent State University responded to the controversy with a statement calling the social media posts “abhorrent.” The statement read:
“May 4, 1970, was a watershed moment for the country and especially the Kent State University family. We lost four students that day while nine others were wounded and countless others were changed forever. This abhorrent post is in poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still pains the Kent State community today. We invite the person who wrote this statement to tour our campus and our May 4 Visitors Center, which opened four years ago, to gain perspective on what happened 47 years ago and apply its meaning to the future.”
Adamani’s statements were condemned by both Democrats and Republicans, and he was quickly forced to resign. However, Adamani blamed his critics for his resignation and claimed that he received death threats after news of his posts went viral.

In his resignation statement, Adamani said, “For the good of the Republican party in Marquette and Michigan, I hereby resign my position as secretary. The hatred being directed toward me because of my comments on social media is beginning to hurt others and I do not want that to happen. The threats and hatred do not appear to be dying down and I do not want to be a distraction to the important work that lies ahead. I will continue to support the party, but will not do so in an official capacity for the foreseeable future.”