ProJo’s no-no: insensitive placing of an ammunition ad

Alison Macbeth – Anchor Staff

The Providence Journal is a beloved publication in Rhode Island. As the only newspaper, our tiny state fondly looks through the pages and smiles. But not this past weekend. The day after the detestable Pittsburgh shooting, the Providence Journal missed the mark.

The Sunday paper’s front cover ran in big, bold letter “Shooter kills 11 in Shooting Rampage.” The story is devastating. It feels like one after another grievous and fear-inducing events have lined up and appeared on our headlines like a conveyor belt. While we are all repulsed by this act of violence, we have to be honest. Somehow we are getting used to the terror of the ubiquitous violent headlines. And so is the Providence Journal.

The Sunday newspaper often includes a coupon to promote a local business. This Sunday’s paper featured a coupon that just happened to be for the Preserve Sporting Shoppe, an outdoor gear shop that was hosting its grand opening this weekend. But here is the shocking part– the coupon was for a “free box of ammo for every firearm purchased.”

Photos courtesy of Alison Macbeth

The juxtaposition of a coupon for ammunition and a headline highlighting the largest mass shooting of the Jewish community in the United State is undeniably insensitive. While I want to give the Providence Journal the benefit of the doubt and recognize this was an oversight, there is a bigger story and analogy here as well. We are becoming numb to senseless violence. It is as if mass shooting are an expected part of the newscycle. In the past two years, it is hard to recall all the shootings and events where a firearm in the hands of an American citizen was used to purposefully murder a large group of people.

The synagogue massacre is another call for changes to be made in the U.S. system regarding firearms. We are done with the headlines– and the free ammo too.