A Pennsylvania amusement park pulled personalized bullet key chains from its gift shop after someone filed a complaint on social media, LehighValleyLive reported.
Sarah Keller was with her children and their friends at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in South Whitehall Township, the outlet said, and while in a shop her youngest child stopped, pointed out the display, and said, "Whoa, that's crazy."
The souvenir was titled "Personalized Rifle Bullet" that showed a cartridge in an embossed leather holder on a key chain, LehighValleyLive said, with the words "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms" on the paper holder along with an image of an eagle.
imagine an amusement park thinking a personalized bullet would be a cool souvenir! Its what Dorney Park in Allen… https://t.co/p15AeuR8O0— matthew (@matthew)1559240946.0
"This is not OK," Keller told the outlet in an email. "We shouldn't normalize this."
Keller shared a photo of the display with her friend, Lisa Boswell, who then shared the photo on Twitter, LehighValleyLive said.
"Offering kids a bullet with their name on it at an amusement park gift shop is already the most ill advised thing to happen this summer," Boswell tweeted, according to the outlet. "Who greenlit this? Imagine a shooting survivor encountering this?"
The tweet has since been deleted.
"In today's climate — where our children are repeatedly asked to prepare for mass classroom homicide (lockdown drills) and can't play outside safely — it was inexplicable to me," Boswell said in an email, LehighValleyLive said. "Further, it showed a lack of sensitivity toward gun violence survivors."
How did Dorney Park respond?
Dorney Park followed up Boswell's tweet with a tweet indicating the key chains would be removed, the outlet said.
"We ceased offering the merchandise because we believe we can offer our guests products that are more suitable for our family friendly environment," the amusement park said in a prepared statement, LehighValleyLive said.
Then another kind of backlash hits
But once word hit that the bullet key chains were pulled, some Twitter users were none too pleased:
- "Lots and lots of Pennsylvanians participate in shooting sports, especially in the 'flyover' sections of the state where hunting is king. I doubt it's as offensive as you think it is."
- "The First and Second Amendments are key pieces of the Constitution. It doesn't matter who greenlit it; if you don't like it [don't] buy it. Pennsylvania played a key role in your freedom. Read a history book."
- "A bullet with a kid's name on it sparked all these back and forth battles? First, they are not real bullets; just the cases. I understand the shooting victims thing. Yes it's sad to lose a love[d] one. Yet, we allow our kids to play shooting games, and that's OK? Guns don't kill, people do."
- "Guess you should pull all of the blinky light items for the epileptic and all of the sugar items for the [diabetics], too."
- "It's a freaking key chain. Lighten up! Holy crap."