Black Lives Matter is a movement, but should it be used to sell things? Especially if that product is ... time at a gun range?
Down Range in Chico, California is under scrutiny for its new billboard which plays on BLM with the words, "Black Friday Matters," NBC Columbus reports.
Clearly, the gun range is gearing up for the popular holiday season shopping kickoff, but some folks aren't too pleased with its choice of slogan.
Down Range's owner and CEO Will Clark assures critics there's no ill-intention.
“As a small business, Black Friday matters – for us, we’ve been blessed to be here for the last four years, and we’re looking at it as, small business is the life blood of our economy, so we’re looking at it as, shop local for Black Friday,” Clark said.
While some residents say that the ad isn't necessarily "right or wrong," there are other activists who directly pointed out the clear issue with the ad.
"Businesses do have the freedom under the First Amendment … but there’s a level of ‘rocking the boat’ that can be detrimental to the community,” said Rex Bell, a Chico State University student. “It seems to me that they minimalized all of the issues behind Black Lives Matter. Not intentionally, maybe, I don’t think anyone wants to be that monster, maybe they didn’t understand the impact it would have.”
For his part, Clark gave a very different perspective on Black Lives Matter, saying that he believes the movement itself sometimes has a negative impact.
“I’m also a law enforcement officer and that stuff is often for us a false narrative, and it can get people hurt rather than just following direction,” said Clark.