If this wasn’t so awful, it would be hilarious.
The Scottsdale Gun Club in Arizona is offering a twist on the annual photo with Santa by allowing rifle-wielding families to pose alongside St. Nick.
On their website, the shooting range advertises the event with a catchy tagline: “Get Your Holiday Picture With Santa And His Machine Guns!”
Both adults and kids are welcome to choose from a variety of armaments — from pistols to modified AR15s — before sitting on Santa’s lap for a photo, according to MyFOX Phoenix.
There are almost too many things about this article to enumerate.
First of all, here we have a totally fictitious character promoting an idea that’s equally fictitious — the idea that guns and children are a smart combination. Second, Santa Claus promoting the use of assault rifles to children seems eerily similar to Joe Camel promoting cigarette smoking. Third, if there really was a fat guy who climbed down a chimney and into a house owned by someone with an assault rifle, a militant personality, and an itchy-trigger finger, that fat guy would be dead. Then again, if the fat guy is heavily armed, too — Christmas Eve shootout!
On a sobering note, the same AR15 assault rifle pictured with Santa was also the weapon of choice in the murder of an 8-year-old St. Petersburg girl in 2009. The shooters were sentenced last week for firing 50 rounds into the girl’s house — one of the rounds blasted through the girl’s chest.
In 2009, an anti-tax libertarian zealot showed up at a rally for President Obama brandishing an AR15.
Earlier this month, 12 AR15 rifles were stolen from a gun shop near Chicago. I assure you, they’re not in the hands of honest hunters and sportsmen (though I hasten to note an AR15 would rip a game animal to shreds).
In Oklahoma last week, 19-year-old Hector Escalante was sentenced to life in prison for shooting a police officer, Katie Lawson, in the “face, legs and body.”
Escalante boasted, “I shot a cop with an AR-15.”
Just like Santa’s.
(This post is written as part of the Media Matters Gun Facts fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to further Media Matters’ mission to comprehensively monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Some of the worst misinformation occurs around the issue of guns, gun violence, and extremism, the fellowship program is designed to fight this misinformation with facts.)