What’s on your Christmas Tree?



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

Handguns and Humor in the Heartland: A Gun Rights Group’s Unlikely Activism from Stretch Ledford on Vimeo.

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.


  1. avatar Ralph says:

    What’s on my Christmas Tree?

    Pine needles.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      A few tufts of cat fur on the lower branches of mine…

    2. avatar Ing says:

      Not for long, I bet.

  2. avatar anonymoose says:

    A bunch of ornaments, some dating back to my great-grandparents. Also, lots of trains and hockey stuff.

  3. avatar Nine says:

    An irritating cat.

  4. avatar former water walker says:

    Well no guns on my Christmas tree. But maybe I’ll put something gun realated after seeing this?

  5. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

    The closest thing I have to arms on my Christmas tree is a wooden nutcracker soldier. Anybody who uses a gun as an ornament needs to reevaluate his life.

  6. avatar ATTAGReader says:

    I would like there to be a handgun for my wife under the tree, but she’s not quite ready.

  7. avatar Sean in Tampa says:

    NAA Tucker Combo II, with the gut hook knife and the 1 5/8 magnum 22

  8. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

    Multicolored lights, god dammit. For 20 years my family only ever used boring white lights, and now that I live on my own I’m FREE!

    1. avatar Sean in Tampa says:

      You’re gonna love the way it looks, I guarantee it.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      LOL. Liberty is defined differently by each person. Escaping the tyranny of holiday decorations is but one. 🙂

  9. avatar Missouri Mule says:

    Ruger LCR in 327 Federal.

    Time to master wheel guns.

  10. avatar HandyDan says:

    Dust. It hasn’t left the attic in years. Don’t know why I even keep it.

  11. avatar Timmy! says:

    My mother set up her tree one year but didn’t get around to putting any ornaments on it for a day or three. The neighbor across the street came over and hung a single .38 Spl round on it making it…

    a cartridge on a bare tree.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Ha! Did she shoot any turtle doves with it?

      1. avatar jwm says:

        That’s not a legal method of take in my area.

  12. avatar Cjstl says:

    Just had a brainstorm for the topper this year. A 26.5mm Polish flare gun manufactured in 1966.

    Got the .45/.410 insert for it and haven’t worked up the nerve to test fire it yet.

  13. avatar indirect Action says:

    A little gun right next to the Peace on Earth ornament… love it.

    My wife decorates ours with the kids. I drink and supervise. If I only had a little gun like that, I might do the same.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Does she hook the kids on or zip tie them on? 🙂

  14. avatar Matt says:

    I’ve got a Hakim milling about my bedroom that could be put to good use and an ornament…

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