Politician’s Christmas card under fire over firearms

Dec 8, 2021, 5:36 PM
Christmas card of Massie family with rifles...

SALT LAKE CITY — A Kentucky politician drew sharp coast-to-coast criticism over his family’s firearms-heavy Christmas card. 

Just days after four people died in a Michigan school shooting, the Christmas card sent by Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., started to attract attention. 

On social media, that card attracted strong criticism from people who say it sends the wrong message, but also support from other lawmakers. 

Firearms instructor reacts to Christmas card

KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic addressed the controversy Wednesday. Debbie Dujanovic said she was offended by the Christmas photo and the timing. Dave Noriega said it didn’t offend him, because the Massie family had nothing to do with the school shooting.

They spoke with a Utah firearms instructor who said if you own a gun, you need to make sure to take the necessary safety training and lock your firearms away from children.

Founder of Good Deed Revolution, Brandy Vega, a gun owner and educator, said it’s important for gun owners to know the responsibilities that go along with that. 

Anyone can be offended by almost anything

Debbie asked Vega if she was overreacting.

“You represent a lot of people, but so does Dave,” she said.

People can be offended by almost anything, she said, such as a vegetarian offended by the photo of a steak.

Vegas said she teaches a class on concealed weapons for the state of Utah and has sat through a hunter-safety class. 

The family in the Christmas photo are “not violating any of the basic safety rules. They’re following the safety protocol that was taught,” she said. “We can choose to be offended or not.”

Practice firearms safety at home, Christmas or not

“What should we be doing in our own homes when it comes to gun safety?” Debbie asked.

Gun owners should lock up their guns if they’re not carrying them.

“I keep mine in a safe,” Vega said. “Between mental health, but also suicides — it’s everybody’s responsibility to be a safe gun owner.”

“I’m not offended by this photo, but I’m also not a gun owner. I don’t have a gun in my home,” Dave said. “I’m not very comfortable handling them.”

Vega said not everyone should be a gun owner. If you are afraid of firearms, you shouldn’t own one, she added. And if you don’t know how to handle a gun, you should seek out safety training.

“Some people get them, and they just don’t have the right training. And then these kinds of things happen — kids get their hands on them,” she said.

Vega said some people take more ownership of their pets than they do of firearms.

She added that once the trigger is pulled and the bullet leaves the weapon, “you can never take it back no matter how much you might want to.”

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

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Politician’s Christmas card under fire over firearms