A billboard on the side of I-55 in Chicago is drawing both criticism and support due to its contents. Above the words “Pure American” are three objects: a baseball glove, apple pie, and a semiautomatic rifle. According to ABC7, the billboard was paid for by Texas-based firearm accessories manufacturer Slide Fire. The sign uses little in the way of words to link American patriotism with gun ownership, and in the corner a “2A” symbol stands next to the American flag. The abbreviation is, of course, for the Second Amendment.

Not everyone is happy with the sign and its message. The company purchased billboards in other parts of the country, but the greatest criticism seems to be coming from Chicago. The city has a long history of restrictive gun control policies and many restrictions are just now beginning to ease. Illinois recently became the last state to allow concealed carry after lawmakers agreed to pass the law last July. The first batch of Illinois gun owners received their concealed carry licenses last month, but the city of Chicago remains contentious for both gun control advocates and Second Amendment supporters.

“I think there is this great move by manufactures, NRA, and others to make guns part of America’s wardrobe; this is not what we define America by,” Reverend Michael Pfleger told ABC7.

Pfleger said that the billboard is offensive because of its proximity to the city’s West Side, where gun violence is high. The reverend is calling for the sign to be removed, and he is joined by the activist group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

“As a mom, I’m shocked and offended that I would be replaced in an idiom with an assault rifle,” Nicole Chen, president of the group’s Illinois chapter, told The Chicago Tribune.

Efforts to remove the billboard, however, seem to be gaining little ground. The sign had already been up for weeks before the criticism began, and the billboard company that owns the sign, Lamar, asserts that nothing on the billboard is illegal.

“We feel like it’s a legal product, and the advertiser has a First Amendment right to try to sell this product,” said Hal Kilshaw, Lamar’s vice president of governmental relations. “If a group wanted to run a billboard that says, ‘We think semi-automatic rifles should be banned,’ we would run that.”

Slide Fire is perhaps best known for their patented “slide stock” design, which allows certain semiautomatic rifle platforms to fire rapidly, a practice referred to as “bump firing” by gun enthusiasts.

Since the criticism started, the company received support from its fans and pro-gun activists.

“Love your sign on I-55 in Chicago,” wrote one person on Slide Fire’s Facebook page.

“I strongly support the ‘all American as apple pie’ billboard depicting the modern sporting rifle, if we fail to protect the Second Amendment, then all other rights will be lost as well,” wrote another.

Slide Fire recognized the media coverage of its billboard in Chicago and other areas, but has not commented further.

Image screenshot of video on abclocal.go.com

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27 thoughts on “Chicago Pro-gun Billboard Draws Criticism

      1. We’re not real sure out president even functions. Brackets? Really? Is there a better way to project “I am so dis-engaged”?

      2. Brackets? What are you talking about?

        As for a point of self defense, greater than the thief coming through the bedroom window, the technical scientists that maintain our nukes (nuclear bombs are a high maintenance weapon requiring a highly skilled technical team to keep them functioning) have died of old age and the remaining few on the team have been disbanded.

        The gun behind every blade of grass is still true, but the other part of our survival is to prevent them from reaching our shores so that we then have to shoot from behind every blade of grass.

      3. He’s talking about Obama unveiling his bracket picks for the college basketball championship tournament. Guess the office of the President has become so unnecessary these days that all he has to do is pick winners and losers in college basketball. Oh Snap! That’s what he does with the economy and businesses also. Once again proving he is on top of all those important world decisions.

  1. Pure American in a Un-American City. Sure the Un-American Liberals in Chicago don’t like it. Does anyone care what Liberals in that city of Treason like?

  2. As long as I can remember, Illinois has been two states. There is the Illinois that is north of I-80 and the Illinois south of I-80. Many statutes even will state, “except Cook county.” Having been born and raised in southern Illinois, I have often said that Chicago should be a separate state. I would also suggest a change in the state moto, Land of Lincoln. Recent history suggests that a more appropriate moto might be, Land of Convicted Governors. Thankfully, I have lived next door in the Hoosier state for the past 44 years.

  3. Maybe they fear the innocents in that section of Chicago might just think they should be able to protect themselves.

  4. The scriptures tell us that there were at least two swords carried by
    Jesus’ Disciples. A sword at that time was the equivalent of today’s
    AR15 or AK47. Swords were banned by the governments in that day. Little
    has changed in that governments perpetuate themselves by removing the
    people’s ability to rebel against tyranny!

    The Disciples knew that they would have to defend themselves, not
    only from robbers on the roads, but eventually from the collusion of
    corrupt religious leaders and government exercising tyrannical power
    against those speaking truth about liberty and freedom of the soul.

  5. “As a mom, I’m shocked and offended that I would be replaced in an idiom
    with an assault rifle,” Nicole Chen, president of the group’s Illinois
    chapter, told The Chicago Tribune.
    Not to deride motherhood, but loving mothers exist worldwide. The Bill of Rights has made this country great and kept it free. . .at least until this tyrannical administration came to power. It is a tribute to the Left’s ability to take over America’s schools that Mrs. Chen has been convinced that firearms in the hands of law-abiding-citizens somehow endangers her and her family. I suspect that her indoctrination is so deeply rooted she is even “uncomfortable” when in the company of armed police.

    1. Biggest problem with her comment to the Tribune is that she was NOT replaced by an “assault weapon”, but a semi-automatic sporting rifle with cosmetic appliances attached to alter its appearance.

  6. These liberal gun grabbers can not punish us for something lesser that pointing our finger. We are not children and because we know what they are up to. These dam fools would give up constitutional rights just to appease political correctness.

  7. I’m sure that most on here have heard the argument “that’s not what it means’ referencing some passage of The Constitution of The United States. You are also probably aware that Article V outlines the procedures to be followed in changing anything written in t

  8. It’s a perfectly legal sign. The Chicago libtards can cry all they want but the 2A is a right – not a privilege, not a reward, not a whim, not a political chip to be bargained – a right! To the self-righteous moms who feel insulted about being “replaced” I say put an old skill to use and suck it up.

  9. If gun control worked, Chicago would be more like Mayberry than Mad Max. They shoot down cops in uniform there to jack their cars. That ain’t the guns fault.

  10. Perhaps if the LEGAL citizens (non-criminal element) were armed, there wouldn’t be as much gun violence in the West Side..

  11. ““As a mom, I’m shocked and offended that I would be replaced in an idiom with an assault rifle,” Nicole Chen, president of the group’s Illinois chapter, told The Chicago Tribune.”

    Well, Nicole, technically it is not an assault rifle. And for the record, more Americans are killed via stabbing than with any kind of rifle.

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