The Anti Antifa ad can be seen here:
Which immediately made me think about my interview with Anticom (anti-communist organization) that also uses slogans such as “Not Today Antifa”, or more appropriately “Not Any-Day Antifa”.
Spike’s Tactical and The Pipe Hitters Union had this to say in response to the massive controversy:
Our advertisement, NOT TODAY ANTIFA, is meant to be pro-American and against those who would suppress freedom of speech and the rest of our constitutionally protected rights, including the right to bear arms, said Kit Cope, spokesman for Spike’s Tactical.
We offer zero apologies to anyone that is offended by this advertisement that depicts armed, but peaceful, patriotic Americans standing up against socialist, anarchist and communist rioters.
We had no idea this ad would become so controversial, but let me be very clear about one point – We are not and do not support Nazis or any white supremacist movement in any shape or form, said Lincoln A. Osiris, president of Pipe Hitters Union.
Every year we do a centerfold ad together with Spike’s Tactical for SHOT Show, and this year, after the rioting in several cities throughout the U.S., we decided to address those who are anti-American, anti-government and anti-democracy in our advertisement.
We believe that anyone who supports this great nation, the Constitution and our democratic republic supports our stance.
The fact that these companies even need to respond to this controversy is saddening, really.
Specifically, one article I would like to call out is this Newsweek article. (Don’t worry, it’s archived).
Immediately, the article starts out with pure BS in the title:
Gun Company Ad Threatens Leftists with Assault Rifles
Yes, because clearly the one’s acting “threateningly” in the ad are the innocent leftists covered in black balaclava’s setting things on fire and clearly outnumbering the riflemen 15-4 (as depicted in the picture, it is implied there are more).
The article then goes on to tell all the horrible things that far-right provocateurs have done, while seemingly downplaying any harm from the left. Such as:
Leftists contend that they fall back on violence only as a last resort to protect marginalized communities from imminent danger.
And other BS such as:
“We aren’t violent. Violence is [the] last resort in opposing fascism,” the activist told Newsweek. “There aren’t antifa protesters roaming around the streets carrying baseball bats. That’s not happening.”
The activist has a good point. Baseball bats are so old-fashioned. They’ve upgraded to metal pipes.
Antifa Not Carrying Baseball Bats
Oh, and metal bike locks (hit at about ~0:18)
Finally, the Newsweek writer said that neither company responded for requests to comment on his terrible article. However, he tried to message both companies after business hours and published his article that evening.
Wonder why he didn’t get a response? Because he didn’t want one.
The company did, however, respond to VICE news:
We are not advocating violence, the companies told VICE News. If you pay attention to the ad, you see two groups of people. No matter what type of description you give to the two groups, there is clearly one group of unlawful attackers and there is another group of lawful defenders.
Which should have been plainly obvious.