Christmas is a special time of year and as we trim our trees, oftentimes our choice of decorative items reflect who we are and what we are about. Here’s a peek at something that’s on my tree this year. So, what’s on your Christmas tree?
The above is a no-name tiny little .25 Auto pocket pistol, sans ammo for safety, of course. Because, after all, nothing says “Peace on Earth” like the means to stop bad people with evil in their hearts.
I’ve had some gun-related stuff on my tree for a number of years now, and mentioning it off-hand a few years ago led to a remarkable lead-in for a 2012 documentary about Guns Save Life published at The Atlantic – and a great friendship with the man who reported it.
‘Nothing Says Peace on Earth Like a Handgun for a Christmas Ornament’
Meet the folks at GunsSaveLife.com, an Illinois nonprofit
John Boch, the president of GunsSaveLife.com, isn’t joking about his Christmas tree decorations. He and the members of the organization firmly believe more firearms in the hands of trained citizens are the route to a safer society. Based in Illinois, the nonprofit is dedicated to protecting the rights of gun owners and promoting education around gun safety. On the GunsSaveLife.com blog, Boch concurred with recent remarks from the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre, focusing on gun-free zones as the problem, not the solution to school shootings.
Charles “Stretch” Ledford, a filmmaker and assistant professor of multimedia journalism at the University of Illinois, tackles this highly polarizing issue in a short documentary, below, called Handguns and Humor in the Heartland: A Gun Rights Group’s Unlikely Activism. Ledford spent this past summer and fall meeting members of G.S.L. and documenting their slogan-powered publicity effort, which dots the sides of highways with signs like the classic Burma Shave signs. In the documentary, members speak candidly about their values, providing a more nuanced look at the pro-gun side of the national debate raging in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.