A group of street artists has claimed responsibility for vandalizing a billboard with a shocking anti-gun message, eliciting both harsh criticism and some degree of support in the process.
As KTNV reported, INDECLINE, the notorious guerrilla team behind this week’s incident in Las Vegas, altered the text of an ad for a local firearms dealer to read “Shoot A School Kid Only $29.”
The vandals offered context in an additional message that read “Defend Lives Reform Laws.”
Shortly after the message appeared Thursday morning, Lamar, the company that owns the sign, released a statement indicating it had “immediately removed the billboard at the request of the authorities, and we’re cooperating with law enforcement agencies as they investigate further.”
In its initial statement, the group taking credit for the vandalism specified its intentions further by explaining that it is “calling on all political parties to immediately work towards a legislative resolution that aims to protect citizens and reform inadequate gun (laws) that are currently placing value on assault weapons over that of human life.”
Even among some who agree with the group’s gun-reform message, however, their methods were deemed inappropriate.
A representative speaking on behalf of INDECLINE acknowledged the team received some “negative comments” claiming the stunt “was insensitive,” though the criticism in no way diluted the underlying message.
The source went on to say that “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.”
At least one survivor of the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas in October said he believes the recent billboard vandalism is evidence of a troubling trend.
“Lives were lost and people’s families were shaken forever and now it’s being pushed as an agenda,” said Joel Isola.
In multiple statements, though, the artists behind this display do not attempt to distance themselves from such an interpretation.
The group declared its latest act was 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.”
As for the “gut reaction” from those who criticized it, the group offered a subsequent statement asserting that the “most horrifying example of lines being crossed” is the government’s “unwavering collusion” with the NRA and numerous incidents of deadly mass gun violence.
“If U.S. citizens can stand by and tolerate that and not a removable vinyl sticker on a billboard, we’re in bad shape,” the group said.
INDECLINE has claimed responsibility for several other illicit art installations, including a series of statues depicting a naked Donald Trump, which were erected in cities across the nation just weeks before the 2016 election.
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