Death of bug ignites ruckus

Maddie McGee and Becca Schmidt

Imagine you’re sitting at your desk in Mr. Bowman’s AP English class and a spider crawls across your papers and into your binder. Your first reaction would be to squash the heck out of it. You wouldn’t think anything of it, but some people might think differently.
Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, was sitting at his desk, entertaining his daughter, Bridget’s fourth grade class who had dropped by for a visit. The visit was going smoothly when a spider crawled across his desk. His natural reaction was to smash it, so he did. Immediately after killing the nuisance, the children applauded and cheered. Later that day, he tweeted a video of the murder, saying, “Earlier today I saved a few school children from a spider.”
You can hear one young boy screaming at the governor to “staple it,” amid the squeals of the many terrified fourth graders. The governor informed the students, “That’s a fun part of being Governor. Any bugs that are on your desk, you’re allowed to kill them and not get in trouble.”
While most people may have thought the stunt was funny, others are up in arms. President of People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Ingrid Newkirk acknowledged Christie’s video in a statement describing the Governor’s actions as thoughtless. “He probably did it without thinking,” Newkirk said. “Some people put the spider outside, but spiders are often scary to people, and that can prevent them from pondering their worth.”
PETA is a group that operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to wear, eat, use as entertainment or experiment on. They condemn the killing of any animal, no matter how big or small.
Susan Tenberg (12) believes that the uproar is dumb. “I do not care if he kills a bug. He was protecting the children.”
The event has caused a firestorm across the pond. British newspapers have taken this opportunity to mock the event, calling the event “outrageous” and saying that PETA is overreacting about the incident. All of the comments on the articles regarding the incident call out PETA, and take the side of Governor Christie.
A similar incident occurred in 2009, when President Barack Obama swatted at a fly during a televised interview. PETA released a statement addressing it as an “executive insect execution” that criticized peoples’ thoughtless treatment of insects. The video was posted on YouTube, and within a week the total views were over 750,000 and counting. The group ended up sending Obama an insect-transporting device so that it could be released outside.
It’s astonishing that an itsy bitsy spider can cause such a large ruckus!