Update: Tactical Shit has said it will no longer sell the patch. See our latest update for the reasons why
SCREENSHOT VIA TACTICALSHIT
Good thing this commodification of Holocaust imagery isn't being taken lightly. What a relief.
The persecution of gun owners in America has an "uncanny" similarity to the abuses Jews suffered under Nazi rule — at least, that's true according to a remarkable item description for a "morale patch" shaped like a yellow Star of David that's currently being sold by a St. Peters gun store.
The store, called Tactical Shit, maintains a massive social media following through its Facebook group
, and its inventory intentionally courts the tastes of right-wing meme lords and firearm aficionados who despise political correctness.
The store makes no secret of its desire to push the boundaries of good taste. That yellow star patch? You can find that under the dedicated tab for "offensive
." At only $8, it's an absolute steal.
The full item description reads (emphasis added):
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).
Principled! Defiant! TOTALLY not taking this historical symbol lightly. Still, the logical justification for borrowing an operative symbol of genocide
seems to fray at the edges if you just ... well, put really any thought into it at all.
That hasn't stopped people from buying the patch. A screenshot taken from a closed Facebook group displays a man showing off his own yellow star patch, as well as a similar design that uses a white star and red highlights around the word "Republican."
"I'm not Jewish, but" — if you find yourself starting a Facebook post like this, maybe don't?
The above screenshot appeared on Twitter several days ago in unredacted form, and the patch's existence has since been picked up as a news item by at least three Israeli media sources, including Times of Israel
However, the patch's exact provenance is a bit murky. The same patch and description are also featured
on the site of an Indiana-based patch company, and the design even garnered a brief write-up
by an industry blog in August 2016. We've reached out to Tactical Shit for comment and clarification on who came up with this masterpiece of respectfully invoked Holocaust imagery.
Still, the patch is for sale on its site currently. And it's fair to say such a patch wouldn't be out of character for Tactical Shit, which has found success by tapping into a vein of douche-bro humor that ranges from basic middle school dick jokes to some pretty explicit sexism.
In a September interview with Guns.com
, Tactical Shit's founder and owner, TJ Kirgin, said that the site's messaging caters to his customers' tastes. He acknowledged that those tastes aren't for everyone.
Kirgin is described in the story as "a former St. Louis police officer turned marketer."
"You talk to a beat cop, you talk to a SWAT guy, you talk to a Navy SEAL, these guys, they have a sense of humor,” said Kirgin. "They have a sense of humor that’s not your average guy’s."
Update: Kirgin emailed us in the evening of January 22 to say he's no longer selling the patch. See our update for his reasons why
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com