The owner of a Castle Rock, Colorado plumbing company is apologizing after a digital sign for the business displayed a picture of a Nazi concentration camp guard shooting a Jewish inmate over the weekend. The picture, which was captioned with “”Hitler gave Jews the gift of gun control, you know, because he cared about their safety,” was meant to serve as a warning about the dangers of anti-gun legislation, but Javier Hoggard, who owns Patriot Pros Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical, quickly realized that the message was being lost when the complaints started coming in.
“It has been made clear to us that an image we used in our outdoor advertising at our office came across as extremely upsetting to members of our community, including members of the Jewish Faith. While my intention was to make a statement about our 2nd Amendment Rights and the dangers of Government Overreach, the message was misconstrued and taken out of context.
I immediately took the imagery down the moment we got our first complaint. Hours later, after the imagery had been removed, a local Rabbi called our office and spoke with me about why the image was a sensitive issue for the Jewish community.
After that conversation, I fully understand the mistake that was made and am deeply sorry for coming across as so callous and offensive. It was never my intention to do any harm, upset anyone or cause damage to our relationship with the community we love and strive to help so much.”
It’s pretty clear that Hoggard didn’t intend to kick up a controversy when he or an employee loaded the image into the digital signboard’s hard drive. The intent was simply to tie gun control into authoritarianism. Still, there are ways to drive that message home without actually displaying a picture of a concentration camp inmate facing imminent execution. Personally, I probably would have gone with a big picture of former governor and Senator-elect John Hickenlooper, along with the statistics for the increase in crime in Colorado since Hickenlooper signed the state’s magazine ban and universal background check laws back in 2013, but that’s just me.
It doesn’t sound like Hoggard or Patriot Pros are facing cancellation over the digital sign at the moment, which is good. Complaints were made, Hoggard listened and responded, and that should be the end of the story. I’m sure that anti-gun activists in Colorado will try to make as much out of this as they possibly can, but Hoggard and the folks at Patriot Pros handled this as well as they could have. They’re not backing off their support for the Second Amendment, just recognizing that the message they were trying to convey was getting lost amidst the complaints.