Gun advertisements posted on billboards in both North Carolina and South Carolina are causing quite the stir this holiday season.
A sign in Charlotte that depicts Santa Claus holding a modern sporting rifle with the caption, “Santa knows what you really want,” has — to use the obvious pun — folks up in arms.
“It’s promoting something we don’t want to promote,” Ken Stow, an observer told NBC Charlotte.
Meanwhile, the store responsible for the billboard, Blackstone Shooting Sports, argued that the ad was all in good fun.
“Santa Claus is synonymous with the holiday season,” said store manager Guy Santiago in a statement. “We thought the ad would be amusing and that our customers and potential customers would get a kick out of it.”
Likewise, the Palmetto State Armory in Columbia, S.C., ran into similar criticism for their advertisements, one billboard features a loaded revolver and the caption five “golden rings” and another billboard depicts a suppressed handgun under the caption “Silent Night.”
“We have a right to say what we want and they certainly have a right to put that up. But I also have a right to comment on it, and I did not think it was appropriate, an appropriate use of the image and the words from that song,” Jack Swerling, a local attorney, told WISTV.com
Swerling, a gun owner with a concealed carry license, doesn’t believe Christmas cheer should be co-mingled with firearms.
“I just thought that was totally inappropriate,” Swerling said. “Silent Night is a beautiful song. And I’m Jewish. But I was offended for the Christian community that they would try to make that play on words and images.”
A spokesman for the gun shop defended the ads.
“There’s a lot of people that really enjoy the humor behind the advertisement. And there are some people in our community that don’t necessarily like it. We’ve spoken to them directly. I’ve received calls and I speak to them and you know as a member of the community one of the great things about this country is that everybody is allowed their opinion and we don’t by any means discourage that,” said Adam Ruonala, the company’s marketing officer.
“And we just kind of explain to them that it’s not something that we’re not necessarily trying to tie Christmas and Christ to firearms,” Ruonala continued. “It’s more of people, this is their passion. Hunting. Shooting sports. All kind of things, it’s their passion. And so they have the right just like anybody else to enjoy the specials that we would offer this time of the year when buying is up.”
Is it just me or is everyone offended by everything these days?!!! I mean, our society is so politically correct that even the most innocuous Christmas ads are considered to be disrespectful to one person or another. It’s ridiculous!
Think about what that lawyer said. He, personally, wasn’t even offended really. He was offended for the Christian community? How the heck does that even work? How do you become offended for someone when you’re not even sure whether the individual or, in this case, group is offended? It appears we’re so eager to be offended by things these days that we’re starting to take offense on behalf of other people!
You know, I often argue that the biggest existential threat to our country is government tyranny. I’d say, not militaristic tyranny, but tyranny from feckless and spendthrift policies that are bankrupting the nation, morally, spiritually and, of course financially. But I may have to change my assessment.
I think what may doom us, after all, is this giant stick up our proverbial keister. Seriously, why is everyone so sensitive? Why can’t people take a joke? Why does a picture of Santa holding a rifle engender so much outrage? I don’t understand it. But what I can tell you is that it’s not good. We’re becoming a nation of humorless wussies! And the reality just might be that we’ll lose ourselves as a people long before the government runs the country into the ground.