Another day, another supposedly outraged customer upset by something they saw while shopping. This time around it’s Leslie Ruffing from Aurora, Illinois, who was upset by what she saw while visiting her local Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store; two metal signs. One of the signs featured two crossed pistols and the words “We Don’t Call 911”, while the other read “No Trespassing! Violators will be shot! Survivors will be shot again!”
This was all too much for the shopper.
Ruffing, who identifies as a “gun violence prevention advocate” on her Twitter account, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that she was “instantly filled with disgust and anger” when seeing the firearm paraphernalia. She believes that by selling the signs, Hobby Lobby, which does not sell firearms in its stores, is going beyond affirming second amendment rights by selling products that appear to “encourage” and “glorify” gun violence.
“This type of ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ mentality is incredibly dangerous to our society and leads to innocent people dying,” Ruffing says. “I’d like to know how they can justify putting profits over people at a time in our country where we are experiencing more mass shootings than days this year.”
Nobody is dying because they saw, or even bought, either of these signs, which are clearly jokes. I have no idea how old Leslie Ruffing is, but I have a hard time believing she’s never seen a variation of either of these signs before.
Ruffing says she talked to a manager and demanded that the corporate offices be made aware of her complaint. And then, of course, she took to social media to complain.
. @HobbyLobby I’d love to know why on earth you think it’s OK to sell merchandise that blatantly glorifies and encourages gun violence.
I echoed my disgust to the manger on duty who agreed to elevate my concern to your corporate office.
It’s 2019. Let’s do better. pic.twitter.com/HkCeja8wjT
— LDR (@LRuff11) September 30, 2019
I kinda like the sign on the left, actually, though I will still call 911 as soon as it’s possible for me to do so if someone ever tries to break into my home. Then again, I’m also not a humorless scold. As Dave Workman of the Second Amendment Foundation told Yahoo Lifestyle, this is just an attempt to manufacture a controversy.
“People that have mailboxes that look like guns and bumper stickers that promote firearms ownership — and what you sent me pictures of — are [designed] to be humorous,” Dave Workman tells Yahoo Lifestyle, adding anyone taking issue with the signs sold at Hobby Lobby “doesn’t seem to have a sense of humor.”
“The people who buy stuff like this, it’s just a novelty, and they haven’t hurt anybody. Trying to demonize having anything to do with firearms because of those instances is kind of ridiculous,” says Workman.
I drive past a mailbox shaped like a shotgun shell (branded with a Hornady logo) every day on my way in to Farmville, Virginia. Not once has it ever occurred to me that the mailbox is threatening or designed to instill fear, but I have a feeling if a gun control activist like Ruffing saw that same mailbox she’d be blasting the U.S. Postal Service on social media and demanding mail carriers stop delivering to the home to send a message (ironically enough). Ruffing has made it clear she’s opposed to anything that might promote gun ownership.
“We’re scared to go church, to the movies, to concerts, scared to send our children to schools,” Ruffing says. “Those who contribute to this dangerous gun culture should be held accountable.”
“Gun culture” is dangerous. What Ruffing is talking about is lawful gun culture. Has she complained to Spotify about songs glorifying murder and violence that can be streamed for free, for instance? If so, she certainly hasn’t made as big a stink about it as she did for her trip to Hobby Lobby. No, what this is about is trying to other-ize and de-normalize legal gun ownership, and gun control activists will keep doing this every chance they get.
So far there’s been no response from Hobby Lobby. We’ll let you know if that changes.