I have spoken frequently about my family's plight during the Holocaust. Two of my grandmothers survived concentration camps: my maternal one was at Auschwitz for 4 years, my paternal one had a short stay at Bergen Belsen. The remainder of my grandmother's family's were all murdered - either in the ghetto or in the gas chambers. Thankfully my grandmothers both made it to America, got married, had my parents, and so on.
Photos of them with the gold "Jude" star are seared in my brain. Children as young as toddlers had to wear these stars. They were pinned on blazers, coats, dressed, tops. It was a literal sign that you were the "other." The dirty Jew. The hated Jew. The unwanted Jew. The MARKED Jew.
As a Jew, this symbol is powerful. We wear stars on our necks - called Magen David (Star of David). We have mezuzah's on our front doors, many etched with the Star of David. We use this symbol on embroidered covers for our Torah in Synagogue. We proudly wear the 6 pointed star. It is a symbol of our faith.
To see a gun company use this symbol - not only the Star of David but the GOLD JUDE STAR - as their symbol of persecution is grotesque, offensive and despicable.
A St. Peters gun store called "Tactical Shit" decided gun owners are so persecuted that they are suffering an "uncanny" similarity to the abuse Jews suffered under Hitler. No, really. They said this. They built a marketing campaign on that disgusting premise.
Are gun owners being segregated in ghettos? Are gun owners being turned in by neighbors? Are gun owners having their homes, property and business taken over? Are gun owners being marched in cattle cars to concentration camps where children are literally stripped from their mothers arms and shot dead? Are women gun owners being stripped naked, forced to dig their own graves and shot dead at point blank range? Are gun owners being marched, naked, into "showers" where they are murdered by Zyklon B?
NO? Then shut up. No, seriously. SHUT up. (ok, deep breath). Let me continue.
The store advertises the patch this way:
"We do not invoke this historical symbol lightly. The similarities of the current attitude of the legislative environment and the systematic persecution that this star represents are uncanny. There's no difference.
The "Pieces of Flair" patch is a strong reminder of how quickly an unarmed society can be toppled by a dictatorship. How have we reached this point? How has the persecution of a single group of people become so socially acceptable? Well, to us, its not. Its time to remind these people of history. Line in the sand: drawn. This patch will fray nicely at the edges with usage (intentionally).
After being contacted by River Front Times, the owner says he is no longer selling the offensive patch.
Note to business owners: Do not use Holocaust style merchandise to sell your gun-pimping fascistic junk. It is not appropriate. It is not ok. Genocide is not funny or witty or cool. Just...don't.