Patterico's Pontifications


NC Gun Shop Under Fire For Billboard That Mocks “The Squad”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:00 am

[guest post by Dana]

This is the billboard that Cherokee Guns in Murphy, North Carolina paid to have put up, and for which they are now facing a barrage of complaints:


The display was criticized Monday by the nonprofit group Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), which called it “disgusting anti-government violent rhetoric,” The Charlotte Observer first reported.

“Threats against members of Congress, particularly minority members are [rising] and it is driven by the president’s racial rhetoric,” CSGV wrote in a Facebook post. “This is dangerous!”

An employee of the store offered this explanation for the billboard:

Butch, a worker at the store who preferred not to give out his last name, said the store has since been flooded with calls from people who claim the billboard racist and others who are saying hateful things about the store and its workers.

“That’s not what this is about though,” Butch said.

“We’re putting facing the face of socialism out there so the American people can get a good look at it,” Butch added.

Butch said the gun shop’s billboard is not intended to pick on the congresswomen because of their gender or skin color.

“This whole thing is a stance against socialism,” Butch said. “Nothing else.”

Reportedly, employees have also been instructed on what to say when “threatening liberals” enter the shop:

“Show them the door, or your gun, and tell them they can buy their own billboard and pay for it like I did,” the staff member reportedly said.

Because the gun shop is in Rep. Mark Meadow’s district, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, one of the congresswomen depicted on the billboard, has called on Meadows to “do the right thing,” without stating exactly what it is she wants him to do:


(Meadows most recently made the news when he denied that Trump is a racist after the president went after Rep. Elijah Cummings this past week.)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib also voiced her disapproval of the billboard:


Offering clarification to Tlaib, Popehat explained First Amendment protections:

Representative Tlaib, speech is not “incitement” outside of First Amendment protection unless it is intended, and likely, to cause imminent lawless action. This is very unlikely to qualify. It may be vile, but it’s protected.

Words that encourage violence are protected unless they fall into an established First Amendment exception, like incitement, which requires words intended and likely to cause imminent lawless action. And “fighting words,” if it still exists, is limited to face-to-face words.

So far, I haven’t seen any responses from the other two congresswomen featured on the billboard.

Finally, the gun shop doesn’t appear to be backing down in the face of complaints but is instead putting the image on bumper stickers:


(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


37 Responses to “NC Gun Shop Under Fire For Billboard That Mocks “The Squad””

  1. “disgusting anti-government violent rhetoric,”

    How in the world is calling someone an idiot violent?

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

  2. Critics of the billboard are obviously racists since they don’t appear to be offended by the indian cultural appropriation contained in the shop’s name.

    Munroe (4bb078)

  3. I was struck by the irony of the name, but it turns out that Murphy is in Cherokee county.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  4. It is quite possible to think several things at once:

    a) elected officials should expect to be publicly mocked, criticized and insulted.

    b) the gun shop is attacking the most vocal members of the Democratic Party that are pushing for “socialist” goals (variations of the term acknowledged).

    c) the gun shop is intentionally using incendiary signage which they know will cause a ruckus and bring them accusations of racism, which in turn will make them heroes to Trump loyalists.

    d) the gun shop is giving evidence that Trump’s inflammatory and bigoted remarks hit their mark – both with the Democrats (in their reactions) and with his own supporters, who approve of his messaging and are following his lead.

    e) They are all awful people.

    Dana (fdf131)

  5. This is clearly protected speech, and a clever marketing campaign. Cherokee Guns’s “target audience” is more likely than not to agree with the sentiment, that the congresswomen are “idiots” and visit the store. If you don’t like their message, stop promoting it.

    Advocaat (2526e9)

  6. “I was struck by the irony of the name, but it turns out that Murphy is in Cherokee county.”
    Davethulhu (fab944) — 8/1/2019 @ 9:29 am

    Oh, so the whole county is racist.

    Munroe (4bb078)

  7. @ Advocaat,

    If you don’t like their message, stop promoting it.

    Are you talking about news outlets reporting on it, or me posting about it here?

    Dana (fdf131)

  8. It’s an ad. Controversy is a great way to get your name out there, especially if your intended customers might agree with whatever controversial thing you said. They now have way more ROI than if they’d just put up a billboard that said “Cherokee Guns, for all your hunting needs!”

    Nic (896fdf)

  9. Well, what would happen if several people bought guns there plus did their part to earn the bumper sticker, and at the last moment revealed themselves to be partisans for one of the Dem presidential candidates? It would be shades of the Arkansas gun shop which explicit announced it would not sell to Muslims or allow Muslims to use its range, but then refused a Hindu Indian-American on the b.s. premise that he was a muslim lying.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  10. Consequence of all the turmoil? The billboard is coming down:

    I guess you can call it a bricks and mortal variety of de-platforming.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  11. This is what happens when you criminalize people for their kids drawing a picture of them holding a gun. The very image or word GUN should be verboten per these nitwits.

    All this shop owner did was create a sign with:

    Photo of squad
    Calls them idiots
    Implies squad considers average people Deplorables
    Name of store

    As said above it’s just an ad making a political point.

    I don’t really get the ‘invite violence’ here. If a soda shop ran an ad in the same context and had a photo of politicians seeking to ban soda, would it be any different?

    Btw – From 2009 to 2016, gun shops all over the country had a poster of Chairman Zero with the caption: SALESMAN OF THE YEAR.

    harkin (58d012)

  12. no it isn’t, truth should be a defense, they are idiots,

    narciso (d1f714)

  13. Maybe a washed up comedian could tweet support for the billboard, and Rand Paul could RT it.

    Munroe (4bb078)

  14. What’s vile about it?

    NJRob (e14b8a)

  15. A picture is worth a thousand words. GLZ.

    Gary L. Zerman (ab669e)

  16. Just a thought, but they might double their business with a picture of Trump next to a picture of David Duke, and the caption: THEY HAVE GUNS, SHOULDN’T YOU?

    nk (dbc370)

  17. Ever the Greek, always selling to both sides….it was comical to see my gun enthusiast co-worker goading a Palestinian intern into buying a piece “the Jews this, the Jews that…”

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  18. …gun-enthuiast Greek co-worker (even sported an “EPIROS’ vanity plate)

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  19. If the ad was sponsored by a beer distributor, would I be an idiot if I construed that to mean I was supposed to misuse the product and pelt the four idiots with cans of Natural Ice?
    And if god forbid, someone drank that swill and then threw one at Tlaib, would the swiller of foul brew be at fault or would the beer distributor?

    steveg (354706)

  20. Billboard seems fine to me.

    Time123 (306531)


    Seems like a sh*thole

    The three kinds of lies. Lies, damned lies, and statistics. I have a retirement home not far from Murphy, just over the state line in Georgia. The statistics for many of the cities around there are ridiculously out of kilter with respect to slightly larger small cities because of ratio differences between city and county populations, the number of people who keep second homes there but don’t count as residents, etc. Not to say there aren’t an interesting number of problems related to meth (recently) and too much drinking. I’ve worked a food bank up there a few times and the poverty back up in the hills is pretty bad, thanks to welfare and the stupid food bank itself, IMNSHO. Also driving can be hazardous in that people drive way too fast for the hills. No mistake, there are some dumb SOBs just like everywhere. Hence the favoritism of firearms. But the southern North Carolina/northern Georgia area is mighty damn far from being a s*hole, however I encourage you to continue in your delusion. It’s getting crowded enough on the lakes up there as it is.

    PTw (e093e4)

  22. Cherokee knows that guns are more valuable, and sales go up, when Dems are in charge. My buddy bought a ton of guns when Obama was prez which he can not unload right now. I guess he will have a little easier time come 2020.

    JRH (14e837)

  23. unload = sell.

    JRH (14e837)

  24. Murphy, North Carolina; a sewer with zipcodes.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  25. not the glitz of Sabo, but
    entertaining and effective for me

    mg (8cbc69)

  26. i … don’t see the problem with the sticker.

    normally with these complaints i can at least see what the complainer is getting at.

    in this case, though … what?

    aphrael (3f0569)

  27. Are you talking about news outlets reporting on it, or me posting about it here?
    Dana (fdf131) — 8/1/2019 @ 9:34 am

    I was talking about the hyperbolic news reporting. It’s free advertising for the store.

    Advocaat (2526e9)

  28. @25. My family is from near there. It’s poverty stricken. There’s nothing to do, people don’t have jobs. People are depressed and drug addicted, as was already mentioned. Yes, rich people are buying second homes there which should help the economy but mainly helps stoke resentment, which is high, spurred on by the a$$hole in the WH. These 4 congresswomen are perfect targets for that resentment. And ofc commenters here will claim not to see what’s wrong with this ad with their innocent saucer eyes.

    JRH (14e837)

  29. Great advertising. Cherokee Guns is now nationally known. Like with Nike bending over to Kaepernick on Betsy Ross shoes, spotlighting the Suicide Squad sounds like a good business decisions.

    Paul Montagu (35419a)

  30. Makes me wish I still lived in North Carolina.

    Bill M (906260)

  31. Murphy looks like a nice place. Near the Tennessee border. If it’s not exactly where Mayberry was supposed to be, it’s close.

    nk (dbc370)

  32. Count me as one more person who sees no suggestion of violence in that ad.

    Kishnevi (72bb0b)

  33. It is a nice place. Not my favorite in that area but beats Baltimore slums hands-down. There’s a nice little restaurant there that is very good for lunch that I like when I need to go there (because it has the closest Lowe’s to me) called Shoe-Bootie’s. It’s an Archie Bunker reference with which you may be familiar.

    Now for wimpy people who lack an appreciation for nature, hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, stuff like that the Cherokee did put in a casino, unfortunately for the rest of us. But like I say, no place is perfect.

    Ptw (15a549)

  34. Ot the trailer for the Sheeran is out, should r deniro diversity

    Narciso (72d34b)

  35. Mayberry is Mount Airy, NC. Near Winston-Salem.

    Munroe (4bb078)

  36. Here is a elegantoffer in place of you.

    WilliamJug (d8da70)

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