A gun club in Scottsdale, Arizona is hosting an event for parents and their children to pose for pictures with Santa Claus while holding machine guns they would not be allowed to legally own. Even toddlers are permitted to hold high-powered firearms, including grenade launchers, assault rifles and AK-47s.
Toting the gun, and perhaps belts of ammunition around their necks, they smile alongside a rather bewildered-looking Santa. You can see some of these “festive” holiday cards by clicking here.
Get Your Holiday Picture With Santa & His Machine Guns!
The Scottsdale Gun Club advertises the event as “a one-of-a-kind opportunity to be photographed next to Santa while against a backdrop of a stunning $80,000 Garwood mini-gun and SGC’s coolest belt fed machine guns including the M60, M249 and M240.” The photos are $5 for club members and $10 for non-members.
A caption on the club’s website reads: “Santa’s Back With His Bag Of goodies. Get Your Holiday Picture With Santa & His Machine Guns!”
From The Daily Mail:
“There’s a huge community that’s interested in firearms as a sport and a hobby,” (club member) Jennifer Dove said. “There’s no reason they can’t express their holiday spirit and their passion for that hobby.”
The club’s general manager Ron Kennedy added: “Our members and guests enjoyed the concept and we are delighted to bring it back again this Holiday season.”
State Representative Steve Farley Objects
However, an Arizona state representative thinks it’s wrong for a Scottsdale gun club to be giving folks, including children, a chance to have their photos taken with Santa Claus while “holding pistols and military-style rifles,” The Associated Press says.
Representative Steve Farley says “to involve machine guns and Santa in a celebration in the birth of Jesus Christ is the worst kind of heresy I can imagine.”
Seeing photos of kids and toddlers being introduced to machine guns, weapons that exist for the sole purpose of killing people, is troubling. Add to this the fact that the Scottsdale gun club sees this as an appropriate activity for Christmas, and it becomes horrific.
Guns are easy to obtain in the U.S., as Arizona witnessed earlier this year with the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords and the deaths of six others. So it’s no wonder the number of shootings in the U.S. is so high. In one year, 31, 593 people die from gun violence, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). This compares to, for example, 200 in Canada and 60 in Spain.
Do you think it’s OK for a gun club to be offering photos with Santa that include weapons? Check out the video below:
Photo Credit: etimbo