This billboard in North Carolina is causing a little bit of a stir with residents. It’s a billboard advertising for Blackstone Shooting Sports – a local gun range and store – and it features Santa Claus holding a semi-automatic rifle. The caption reads, “Santa knows what you really want!”
When I first read the news article, I wondered why reporters were asking drivers what they thought of the billboard. Did someone bring it to the station’s attention? Did a resident complain to the store? Then I realized that this “controversial” billboard is only an issue, because we just witnessed another mass shooting in Colorado. So, naturally, people are more sensitive to these types of things. And the media wants to make a story out of it.
Following another mass shooting, a gun store’s billboard ad is raising questions of taste and sensitivity.
The billboard for the Blackstone Shooting Sports store shows Santa looking down the barrel of an assault-style rifle.
The ad reads, “Santa knows what you really want!”
The billboard is visible to drivers going north on I-77 near Clanton Road.
NBC Charlotte showed a picture of the billboard to people and got a mix of reactions.
One woman said, “I have to say in general, to each their own. It doesn’t appeal to me but what are you going to do about it?”
Another man said he found it insensitive.
“It’s promoting something we don’t want to promote,” said Ken Stow.
The store manager, Guy Santiago, said in a statement to NBC Charlotte, “Santa Claus is synonymous with the holiday season. We thought the ad would be amusing and that our customers and potential customers would get a kick out of it.”
The media’s only trying to create a story. They’re trying to make controversy. It’s what they do best. No one called to complain about the billboard. Otherwise, they would have brought that up. They just wanted to find out what drivers thought of it, and all of a sudden it’s “raising questions of taste and sensitivity.”