Mothers Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, an organization funded by billionaire Michael R. Bloomberg, is falsely claiming a victory for forcing a billboard company to take down a Slide Fire advertisement in Chicago.
The truth is that the manufacturer contracted for the billboard to stay up for only two months.
A publicist for Mothers Demand Action emailed me Tuesday saying, “The controversial billboard from rifle company Slide Fire (that you’ve written about before) came down Tuesday following a campaign from Chicago members of Moms Demand Action.”
She was referring to a billboard that depicted an AR-style rifle along with an apple pie and a baseball glove. The text said, “Pure American.”
The ad copy and design were done in house by Slide Fire, a Texas company that sells a replacement stock that allows for faster shooting.
The Bloomberg-funded group crowed, “While the billboard company, Lamar Advertising, initially indicated that they would not remove their client’s advertisement, the space is now blank. Moms are thrilled that their efforts have paid off.”
Not so fast.
When I first wrote about this billboard after it caused a firestorm in early January, the manufacturing executives told me that it was just being put up temporarily to make a point. So I circled back today.
“Certain politically motivated groups have mistakenly reported that the removal of our Chicago billboard was due to their influence,” Slide Fire CEO Chris Nichols told me Tuesday. “The advertisement in question was scheduled to run for two months and had completed that time frame upon removal.”
Slide Fire sent me the contracts with Lamar Advertising. The first document, signed in October, was to put up the 14-by-18-foot billboard for four weeks. A second contract extended the $3,500 space in Chicago for four more weeks, until March 9.
That is why the mothers group is seeing the blank space.
Mr. Nichols added that, “The response to our advertisement has been overwhelmingly positive and we are currently working with Lamar to arrange for more advertising opportunities.”
Gun control advocates are getting desperate to show a win when the public opinion has turned against them. They have an uphill battle trying to convince people that gun control laws are good, even though they have never reduced crime.
However, being dishonest about facts that are easily checked is not a way to win the debate.
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).