The NRA convention is being held in Indianapolis this weekend, and the Gannett-owned Star is all over it.
The paper’s Facebook page banner is a photo of the Convention Center sign, noting that the NRA event has “9 Acres of Guns and Gear.” Just below that is the paper’s post about Indianapolis’s 50th homicide.
On Twitter, the Star is telling readers to post photos of their weapons with the #ShowUsYourGuns hashtag. Some are doing that, while a good number of people are protesting the paper’s request.
“I don’t think #ShowUsYourGuns is the appropriate hashtag to use considering all of the shootings in the area,” writes @NickRevell317.
“Shame on you for this inane hashtag,” writes Andrew J. Bailey. “Kudos to those who are using it to show ‘proud’ gun owners/users (some NRA members) like Adam Lanza.” (The Star’s response: “Andrew. It’s not our intention to do anything but to start conversations that will hopefully make our community better.”)
Even @WillMcAvoyACN chimes in: “I usually like the @indystar, but I don’t think the #ShowUsYourGuns idea is a particularly well thought out one.”
I’ve asked Star editor Jeff Taylor and reporter Cori Faklaris – here she is with her gun – about the hashtag and reaction to it.
UPDATE: Star editor Jeff Taylor’s response:
We have more than 70,000 visitors in our city for the NRA national meeting this weekend and, as part of our coverage, were trying to engage with that audience.
In no way did we intend to appear insensitive to the serious problems of gun violence and homicides in Indianapolis. We have devoted significant resources to providing extensive coverage of those issues and the devastating impact on families and neighborhoods, and will continue to do so — along with providing forums for an important dialogue on how to address those problems.
Our efforts today were aimed at interacting and providing a destination for conversation among our many local readers and visitors who own guns responsibly and consider them an identifying part of their life.
* Show us your guns for the NRA convention (indystar.com)
* Read the Facebook comments about #ShowUsYourGuns
* Search results for #ShowUsYourGuns (twitter.com)
* The Indy Hyatt isn’t as enthusiastic about showing off guns (facebook.com)