Gun-Toting Santa Featured on Christmas Card

By Nathan Burchfiel | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - The latest reason for gun control and gun rights activists to sharpen their rhetoric is a Christmas card released by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. The card features an armed Santa Claus attempting to shield three children from a terrorist.

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) sent the card to members of Congress, President Bush, and others who support gun rights.

The terrorist portrayed on the card is wearing a turban and trying to place a stick of dynamite near the baby Jesus under a Christmas tree. The Santa Claus character is holding a semi-automatic handgun. The caption wishes the recipient "a Christmas of peace and joy and a New Year of triumph over terrorism." But implied is the message that an armed Santa Claus is better able to protect the children than an unarmed Santa.

Peter Hamm of the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence - one of the nation's foremost gun control groups - said the Christmas card underestimates the threat of violence.

"One of the problems with the card seems to be the lack of sophisticated firepower in the hands of the terrorists," Hamm said. "Poor Santa might be outgunned by terrorists with AK-47s and Uzis," he added, because of the CCRKBA's "opposition to a law that would prohibit people on the terrorist watch list from buying firearms."

Hamm added sarcastically that he was "very supportive of Santa Claus catching terrorists because nobody else seems to be able to catch them."

John Snyder, public affairs director for CCRKBA, created the concept for the card and pointed to the importance of gun rights during the Christmas shopping season. Millions of Americans, he said, realize "that very often the real peacemaker is the policeman-in-the-pocket, the ability of law-abiding citizens to be able to own a firearm to protect [their selves.]"

Snyder said a weapon of self-defense is something "even Santa Claus can use."

He told Cybercast News Service that he has not received any negative feedback from the card in spite of its wide circulation after he posted it on the Internet. Admitting that it was politically incorrect, Snyder said that "usually when you are politically incorrect, you are in fact truly correct."

Hamm said the Brady Campaign didn't have any serious concerns with the card because he's "sure that it's being handled in a light-hearted and funny way." But he added, again with sarcasm, that he was "disappointed" the CCRKBA had not sent him one of the cards.

"I must be off their list this year," Hamm said. "I guess I haven't been good."

Hamm gave Snyder credit for creativity. "Ours is really boring," he said of the Brady Campaign's Christmas card. "It's one of those calendars: 'Holiday wishes and here's a calendar to go with the 400 others you've gotten.' So [the CCRKBA] definitely get credit for having a more whimsical idea."

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