What appeared as a sick and extraordinarily insensitive stunt turned out to be an actual announcement for a raffle to “benefit” the victims’ families of the Orlando massacre at Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub in which a shooter murdered 49 and wounded another 53 people in the early morning hours of June 12, 2016.
The owners of Second Amendment Sports of McHenry, Illinois, sold tickets in their raffle for the prize of an AR-15 military-grade assault rifle, which is similar to the weapon of mass destruction and death used at the Pulse nightclub. Raffle organizers eventually cancelled it not because of the outrage they received on the insensitivity of the event, but, rather, they realized that a raffle conducted by a for-profit company might be declared illegal in their state’s judicial system.
Second Amendment Sports’ insane raffle represents only the latest installment in the volatile and explosive gun culture of the United States. For example, Spike’s Tactical shop of Apopka, Florida begun marketing its special AR-15 assault rifle, which company spokesperson, Former Navy SEAL Ben “Mookie” Thomas, claims was “designed to never be used by Muslim terrorists,” as the shop’s continuing battle in the Christian Crusades.
On one side of the rifle, shop employees laser-etched the Knights Templar Long Cross of the original Crusaders when they marched to reclaim the Holy Lands from Muslims in 1099 CE. On the other side, they engraved Psalm 144:1: “Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” Called “The Crusader,” the rifle includes a three-setting trigger safety control branded “Peace,” “War,” and “God Wills It.”
“Mookie” Thomas originated the idea for the rifle, stating, “Off the cuff I said I’d like to have a gun that if a Muslim terrorist picked it up, a bolt of lightning would hit and knock him dead.” Unfortunately, owners, employees, and customers at Spike’s Tactical seemed to have forgotten that the Christian Crusades represent one of the most horrific, shameful, and tragic scars on Christendom.
In another installment in the booming gun culture, Bergeron’s Restaurant in Louisiana, billing itself as the home of “God, Gumbo, and Guns,” offers a 10% discount to any customer who brings a gun with them to lunch or dinner. Says restaurant owner Kevin Cox:
“Show it to me out of your purse, out of your back pocket….Show that you have one so if something goes wrong here today, I know you’re here to protect me.” Cox criticizes gun-free businesses like Chipotle and Target: “You make a gun-free zone,” he argued, “that’s where bad people with guns are going to go – dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” Since instituting the discount this fall, business has increased approximately 25%.
Giving new meaning to the term “hunting for a wife,” Jewelry by Harold owner in North Liberty, Iowa last year gave a husband-to-be a voucher for a new Remington 870 rifle with the purchase of an engagement ring priced at $1,999 or higher. Shop owner Harold van Beek stated: “So say: I’m hunting deer, and here is a diamond ring, dear.” To apply for this “deal,” one must be eligible to own a gun in Iowa, and not have been convicted of a felony.
In its attempt to pull in shoppers a couple of years ago on so-called “Black Friday” (the day following Thanksgiving), the camping and outdoors superstore, Cabela’s, handed out envelopes to the first 800 people over the age of 18 who lined up in front of its stores before 5:00 a.m. for a chance to win a Browning A-Bolt Medallion .300 WSM rifle with a Cabela’s 50th anniversary gun case worth $875.
And maybe it’s not too late to go down to Nations Truck Sales in Sanford, Florida where three years ago they offered each customer a brand spanking new assault rifle with the purchase of a truck. Stated General Sales Manager, Nick Ginetta: “We started on Veterans Day. Hey, so many have given so much for this right!”
I’ve heard about people being shot from canons, but for those who want to remain active hunters well after they have “bought the farm,” now their wishes have come true. Be the first on your block to kill long after you have died. For the sum of only $1250, your loved ones can have you cremated with a pound of your ashes stuffed inside genuine bullets, resurrecting you as live ammunition.
For that measly sum, you can metamorphose as 250 shot shells, 100 rifles cartridges, or 250 pistol cartridges. For only $100 extra, until you come alive again as a killing apparatus, your bullet ashes can rest in peace in a decorative wooden coffin-like box.
The company, Holy Smoke Bullet Urns of Stockton, Alabama, has taken quite literally Shylock’s claim in Shakespeare’s 1596 Merchant of Venice: “The pound of flesh which I demand of him is deerely bought, ‘tis mine, and I will have it.”
According to the company’s cofounder, Clem Parnell: “You know I’ve thought about this for some time and I want to be cremated. Then I want my ashes put into some turkey load shotgun shells and have someone that knows how to turkey hunt use the shotgun shells with my ashes to shoot a turkey. That way I will rest in peace knowing that the last thing that one turkey will see is me, screaming at him at about 900 feet per second.”
And just in time for the holiday season, the Scottsdale, Arizona gun club now offers its members the service of sending out their Christmas cards with pictures of family members, including infants, posing with Santa while holding pistols and military style automatic weapons, fa la la la la, la la la la. Joy to the world?
I would ask, though, have so many in fact given so much for the right for us to turn our bodies literally into killing devices or for the right to own a “free” assault or hunting rifle? Do we really want “the last thing that one turkey will see is me, screaming at him at about 900 feet per second”? Do residents of our nation really need so many guns, assault rifles and others?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gun related violence has reached epidemic proportions in our country by snuffing out the lives of upwards of 30,000 people and wounding many more annually. Each year, over 100,000 people are affected in some way by gun violence. Many of the guns used in these killings reach military level weapons power, guns which currently remain legal.
Second Amendment Sports, Bergeron’s, Jewelry by Harold, Cabela’s, Holy Smoke Bullet Urns, Nation’s Truck Sales, and gun clubs hold the constitutional right to market their devices of death, but what type of messages are they communicating? Are we really “free” as a society when our right “to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”?
For a compilation of Warren Blumenfeld’s articles on Firearms Safety, click here.
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