When you’re in the business of guns, it’s still okay to have fun with your holiday advertising, right? I say, “Sure, why not?” But, Down Range in Chico, Calif., a shooting range that has only been in business for 6 months, has locals sipping hot chocolate and talking about gun-toting Santas instead of dancing sugar plums.
If you get the chance to drive down Highway 99, you’ll see a billboard of Santa Claus holding an AR-15, semiautomatic rifle with the words, “We build AR’s for Santa” next to the image. Some find the billboard humorous, but others, well, they are bothered, thinking it sends the “wrong message” to kids.
Down Range owners Steve Dyke and Will Clark are adamant that their ad is not meant to be offensive, but rather just a holiday ad campaign.
“Some people get firearms,” said Dyke. “So, when Santa needs help putting together an AR rifle, we can definitely help out with that.”
In defense of Dyke and Clark and in the name of security, their website does indicate that they are in the business of gun safety, with the slogan “Safety through training and education.” So really, I actually find their holiday ad to be quite clever as they are in the business of teaching people gun safety; however, what I did find a bit offensive (I just shrugged my shoulders and laughed) is what was written right under it:
“Down Range is northern California’s premier range and indoor training facility offering training courses for youth, adult and women only.”
Hmmm…when was the last time women weren’t considered adults? I mean, as a woman, I appreciate being included and all, but still…