Chicago has the highest rate of gun violence in the nation, which is why many people are objecting to a certain billboard placed on the I-55 Stevenson Expressway. The ad from Slide Fire, which sells gun components, features a baseball glove, an apple pie, the Statue of Liberty, the American flag, and a Christian ichthys near a rifle and the caption “Pure American.”
The company’s gun stocks allow users to modify semi-automatic rifles to fire multiple shots faster, effectively turning it into a fully automatic assault weapon.
The Chicago police department has released a statement in response to the controversy: “Military-style weapons belong on the battlefield and not on the street.”
Machine guns are illegal in the U.S., but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has ruled that such modified products are legal because the weapons are technically semi-automatic.
Meanwhile, a similar billboard was just erected in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which is also suffering from a very high rate of gun violence.
The real message we need to send in Harrisburg is that it’s time for our elected officials to make gun violence prevention a priority.