A Florida weapons retailer isn’t even a little bit sorry for running an ad showing heavily-armed men in a standoff with black-clad protesters, with the slogan: “NOT TODAY ANTIFA.” A banner running at the top of the vignette says “Berkeley, Portland, Charlottesville, Boston.”
The ad appeared on the company’s Facebook page Sunday, with a list of hashtags, including : “#liberaltears,” “#hatersgonnehate,” “#thisisntaboutrace,” “#thisisaboutfreedom,” “#hillaryforprison,” “#socialjusticewarrior.”
Spikes Tactical produced the ad in conjunction with the Pipe Hitters Union, a Texas-based clothing company, and was also featured in SkillSet magazine, a publication dedicated to “redefining the alpha lifestyle.”
It quickly picked up heat online, with many asking on Facebook why the gun company appeared to have positioned itself on the white supremacist side of the fracas.
“We are not advocating violence,” Spike’s Tactical and Pipe Hitters Union wrote to VICE News in a joint statement. “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.”
“Spikes you are making a HUGE mistake with this post,” remarked Chris Whiteowl on Facebook. “Which side would you have taken during the Tiki March? Spike’s Tactical? I’d love to know? Where do you stand with that? With Nazis? Come right out with it y’all.”
But as it turns out, Spike's Tactical couldn’t care less if the ad upsets anyone.
“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,” the companies wrote. “We apologize to no one. If we were to make an apology, that would suggest that we have done something wrong or regret our actions, which is not the case.”
They didn’t stop there. Spike’s Tactical also resorted to actively trolling both their critics and Newsweek reporter Michael Hayden, who published a story about the ad Monday.
“For all the snowflakes and writer at Newsweek that we triggered with massive amounts of butthurt yesterday,” they wrote on their Facebook page, followed by a picture of a AR-15 lower festooned with slogans like “triggered,” “safe space,” and a picture of a unicorn with a rainbow mane.
CORRECTION Jan. 10 5:19 p.m.: An earlier version of this article misidentified the gun component shown below. It is an AR-15 lower.