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Virginia is for Snipers.
October 22, 2002 4:08 PM   Subscribe

Virginia is for Snipers. The owner of a Richmond, Virginia vintage clothing store has created T-Shirts with large red targets on the back and a play on the "Virginia is for Lovers" tourism slogan on the front. The clothing store owner has displayed a track record of being a little off kilter...
posted by machaus (37 comments total)

 
Damnit, there goes my Halloween idea.
posted by gottabefunky at 4:11 PM on October 22, 2002


If you scroll down in the second link, you'll find a wonderful quote from an email exchange he had. He is replying to a NYT staff writer that chronicled selling her mom's teeth on ebay:

''Although I do have a certain interest in the macabre, I can usually restrain my enthusiasm for old dental work,'' it reads in part. ''I bought your mother's teeth strictly for the possible gold content, taking a small risk in doing so due to the inept description.''

Laurence's store is two doors down from my wife's wine shop. He is a never ending source of entertainment.
posted by machaus at 4:12 PM on October 22, 2002


From the in-store display: And, if you do happen to be the unlucky person in his scope, our shirt will encourage a less dangerous body hit - instead of his preferred head shot.

Huh? Mr. Lindbergh is long on creativity, short on research.
posted by gsteff at 4:13 PM on October 22, 2002


Bad taste, shame on him. Essentially, all false claims of "bravery in the face of this threat" etc, this is someone trying to turn a buck on nearly a dozen murders, which, while nowhere near as bad as pulling the trigger, is pretty shitty. And shame on the buyers, too.
posted by jonson at 4:22 PM on October 22, 2002


Maybe law enforcement should trace the buyers of those shirts. Just a thought.
posted by konolia at 4:32 PM on October 22, 2002


Jonson, I'm not trying to defend this man's actions, but if you are going to criticize him for "trying to turn a buck on nearly a dozen murders," you'd better be critical of all the flag-waving assholes that sold the intolerable pins, flags, t-shirts, bottle-openers, key-chains, magazine ads, made-for-tv-Movies, books, and on and on and on, with stars, stripes and firemen after 9/11.

Comparing Lindbergh to the boring marketing managers who came up with the genius concept of "hey wait a minute... let's put a flag on it!!!" :

At least Lindbergh had some creativity.
posted by zekinskia at 4:38 PM on October 22, 2002


Does everyone check their sense of humour at the door, before entering MeFi? It sure seems that way.
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:46 PM on October 22, 2002


Well, I thought it was funny. And hey, show of hands - anyone here claiming to not endorse the freedom of speech? . . . Anyone? Bueller?

That's what I thought. Feeling offended is feeling your horizons being forcibly broadened.
posted by Ryvar at 4:53 PM on October 22, 2002


Dark Messiah- when in doubt, we try to use the American spellings of words here on MeFi, so "humour" should actually be written "humor." Please make a note.
posted by gsteff at 4:54 PM on October 22, 2002


Here, Here, Zekinskia! I would much rather wear the "Virginia is for snipers" T-shirt than one emblazoned with a picture of "our fallen heroes" and a roll-call of the 9-11 dead on the back.

Somehow I like the idea of the highway patrol pulling every motorist over and forcing them to wear this T-shirt. Maybe by making a joke of the whole affair, we could humiliate the sniper into taking more risks and leaving more clues.

My parents went to Maryland and all I got was this T-shirt with a bullet hole.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:54 PM on October 22, 2002


(To be clear, that was a joke. And I just made that rule up).
posted by gsteff at 4:56 PM on October 22, 2002


when in doubt, we try to use the American spellings of words here on MeFi

Vive la resistance!
posted by Dark Messiah at 5:02 PM on October 22, 2002


I'd much rather buy one of his shirts if it made me invisible to snipers, or if it had kevlar in it.

Or if it somehow would deflect the bullet so that it hit one of the FOX News crew. Speaking of making a buck off of murder victims..
posted by Hildago at 5:02 PM on October 22, 2002


He's just ripping off the "Virginia is for Hustlers" shirt in that Clipse video.
posted by techgnollogic at 5:06 PM on October 22, 2002


What I want to know is, when is the media gonna show us some sniper shuffling?
posted by Degaz at 5:32 PM on October 22, 2002


I'd buy one if it were made of genetically altered mammal cells which produce spider's silk.
posted by hama7 at 5:54 PM on October 22, 2002


Drat!

genetically altered mammal cells which produce spider's silk.

Curses!
posted by hama7 at 5:57 PM on October 22, 2002


* fights urge to grab screamingly obvious tagline *
posted by gottabefunky at 6:11 PM on October 22, 2002


Turning a buck is what america is all about!

If you oppose this guy, you're with the terrorists!
posted by delmoi at 6:54 PM on October 22, 2002


If you oppose this guy, you're with the terrorists!

Then they haven't already won? Yay!
posted by iceberg273 at 7:34 PM on October 22, 2002


Does everyone check their sense of humour at the door, before entering MeFi? It sure seems that way.

Exactly - often the best way to deal with tragedy is to laugh at it. I wouldn't wear one of these shirts, but can see the humour in the concept. He is hardly the only one making money from this situation, after all - the newspaper that reported on his selling the shirts hardly did it as a community service.

Dark Messiah - you carry on spelling humour correctly and don't worry about what those lazy Yanks do ;-)
posted by dg at 7:43 PM on October 22, 2002


WHATever...I'm just not shopping at any Target stores anytime soon...
posted by airgirl at 8:56 PM on October 22, 2002


That's not the best/most tasteless sniper t-shirt out there.
This is.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:12 PM on October 22, 2002


Zekinskia - I'd take a hundred -or a thousand even- Lindbergh's if only I could disappear the TV media hype of "CNN- 'Sniper on the loose'" programming.
posted by troutfishing at 9:19 PM on October 22, 2002


Yeah, clearly I've run afoul of the cynics here. See... the point isn't:

1) That it's funny in a clearly un PC way. That doesn't bother me - jokes about this, or other tragic situations don't bother me, off-color humor doesn't offend my delicate sensibilities. It's the turning a profit on the joke that troubles me. If it were really about "laughing in the face of danger", the shirts would be sold at cost, or the proceeds donated to help the widows/survivors, etc. It's about making a cynical buck, which is shitty.

2) That it's better than the news media's relentless SniperWatch(tm). Like I said, selling the T-Shirt is better than a lot of things, for example, shooting people while hiding in the woods. Still doesn't make it a good thing, just not quite as much of a bad thing.

3) Finally, some people seem to think that just cause I'm anti-"t-shirt selling jackass" that I am pro "flag stickering jackass". That's a weird cognitive leap, and couldn't be more wrong. They're both identically morally offensive, although the flag one was politically correct, I'm not for a second misguided about the motive$ behind the flag sellers.

As for the claim that "feeling offended is feeling your horizons forcibly broadened", I'd have to say, some horizons are just fine where they are. For example, let's say someone referred to my niece as a dirty nigger, or my best friend as a slant eyed japanese monkey, I'd imagine that I'd be offended. Am I in the wrong? Do my horizons just need to be broadened?
posted by jonson at 10:19 PM on October 22, 2002


As a native Virginian, I think these are great. "Virginia is for Lovers" deserves all the mockery it can get. But I love this T-shirt from CunningLinguist's link more.

And bravo, jonson.
posted by hippugeek at 11:46 PM on October 22, 2002


Some of you would've sneered at my "Adolf Hitler -- The European Tour" T-shirt, too.

Nyah nyah Godwin nyah.
posted by alumshubby at 2:47 AM on October 23, 2002


Virginia is for Snipers

I've been reminded of this fact every time I drive by the NRA Headquarters out on Rt66 in Fairfax for years now.
posted by crunchland at 3:29 AM on October 23, 2002


Don't jump on Big jonson's case; people like him make shirts like this priceless. So, Bj, this one's for you !
posted by mischief at 4:14 AM on October 23, 2002


I just don't see the humor in this, right now. We've got multiple people dead, two injured, plus a whole lot of people scared to even pump gas into their cars.

Not to mention his threats against children from yesterday. Maybe once he's caught and I can drive more than 1/4 mile without seeing at least once police officer standing watch, I'll feel differently.
posted by SuzySmith at 7:23 AM on October 23, 2002


Metafilter - Forcibly broadening your horizons.
posted by botono9 at 7:44 AM on October 23, 2002


This guy is more about the idea than the buck. A vintage clothing gig in Richmond is not the haunt of your venture capitalist. I estimate he paid minimum $450 for the set up. printing, shirts, and shipping (based on a little searching, one link here): 3D2046">http://customink.com/cink/r.jsp?R=cis%3Dgt%26st%3D2046

So if he sells all of his original order for $936, that's a profit of a whopping $500, give or take. If that money helps keep his store open (I've visited, very interesting browsing) - good for him. I'd rather go to Luxor than Target any day.
posted by rainbaby at 8:11 AM on October 23, 2002


Sorry, link didn't take, but I did look around and I'm pretty confident in my estimated price.....
posted by rainbaby at 8:12 AM on October 23, 2002


Reminds me of the shirt I really wanted to get when the Heaven's Gate cult offed 'emselves, wearing Nikes: a picture of the bodies and the tagline Just Do It.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:24 AM on October 23, 2002


Reminds me of the 9/11 victims trading cards.
posted by packphour at 9:27 AM on October 23, 2002


what's with non-dc-metro virginia stealing our thunder? first 3 counties around richmond close schools after one shooting (while teachers in aspen hill have to report to work when every street in the area is blockaded).

now this t-shirt. everyone knows montgomery county is for snipers, virginia is just for occasional-throw-a-wrench-in-the-profile attacks.
posted by danOstuporStar at 10:13 AM on October 23, 2002


Look, there's merchandise online now! I have 8 relatives in VA who are all getting these for Christmas... if you run around scared, the sniper wins. My mother-in-law flew to China a week after 9/11 and once my shock wore off, I realized she was right! You have to live your life. The very definition of terrorism is to disrupt life as usual...
posted by sparky at 12:36 PM on October 23, 2002


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