“The Dakota War of 1862 . . . was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of Dakota (also known as the eastern ‘Sioux‘),” wikipedia.org reports. “It began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota. It ended with a mass execution of 38 Dakota men on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota.” The mass hanging remains the largest official mass execution in U.S. history.
The images above are from American Legacy Firearms‘ Mankato commemorative rifle. The noose on the firearm’s butt stock ignited a firestorm of criticism. twincities.com contacted ALF GM Jean Van Oppen, who hadn’t realized that the noose image would cause such concern.
Yeah, the noose that was put on there, that definitely got some attention. We thought it was very forward of us to do that. We did not mean to hurt anyone’s feelings or to be mean or rub it in or anything like that, it was just the historical aspect . . .
We felt it was a piece of history that should never be forgotten and is one of the most historical events that took place in the area. We do not mean any offense with the image.
Responding to the backlash, the company has withdrawn the Makato commemorative rifle from sale.
“We definitely listened to what everybody had to say,” Van Oppen said. “Hindsight is 20/20. It probably wasn’t the best choice to put on the rifle. … Unfortunately, we did not put our best foot forward there.”
I wouldn’t want a Auschwitz commemorative rifle with a picture of the gas chambers. Then again, freedom of expression. And Christianity’s sacred symbol is a cross. Your thoughts?