A billboard advertising a shooting range in Las Vegas was vandalized overnight on Thursday and changed to a more politically charged — and shocking — message. The original sign “Shoot a .50 Caliber Only $29” was modified to read “Shoot a School Kid Only $29.”
The phone number for the shooting range has been replaced with the word, “Defend Lives Reform Laws.” Just hours after the vandalization, the billboard advertisement was taken down completely, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The billboard company, Lamar has stated that it "immediately removed the billboard at the request of the authorities, and we're cooperating with law enforcement agencies as they investigate further,” according to CNN.
INDECLINE, a guerrilla artists collective has taken responsibility for the vandalization.
The art collective provided a statement to Oxygen:
“This protest piece is in response to America’s longstanding obsession with gun culture and our government’s inability to honor the victims of mass shootings by distancing themselves from the homicidal policies of the NRA. INDECLINE calls on all political parties to immediately work towards a legislative resolution that aims to protect our citizens and reform the inadequate gun laws that are currently placing value on assault weapons over that of human life.”
The collective has released video footage of the vandalization that shows a team of people dressed in black working together to modify the billboard.
INDECLINE also told Oxygen, in the form of another statement that, "It’s difficult to have a conversation these days about gun reform over the sound of AR-15’s and the screams of the victims. We’ve reached a point in American culture where mass shootings, some involving children, are tolerable. INDECLINE doesn’t typically align itself with political parties, but when our politicians align themselves with nefarious corporations like the NRA, who value unrestricted access to assault rifles over human life, it requires dirsect action. INDECLINE isn’t anti-gun. Some of the members of this collective own guns. We’re also not calling for the complete eradication of weapons. However, the least we can do, now that we understand the results of harboring 270 million guns in a single country, is acknowledge that we have a problem, ignore the irrelevant and thoroughly debunked claims that mental health disorders are to blame and focus on the issue at hand. There needs to be reform and it needs to happen now. The writing is on the wall and it’s in the form of bullet holes."
The billboard switch has conjured up mixed reactions from the public.
"Some of the negative comments claim what we did was insensitive, but if you think that this is crossing the line and shooting children in a school without protest is OK, you need to recalibrate your thinking,” The group’s spokesperson told CNN.
[Photo: Provided by INDECLINE]